Tag Archives: single mothers

Single Moms Often Choose To Be Part Time Students

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As a single mom you more than likely have several responsibilities to juggle each day, including student life. When you consider going back to school it may seem overwhelming. If you want to earn a degree you can make plans and arrange to go to school part time if you need to. Many single moms choose to be a part time student in order to keep their jobs and have time for their children.

Part time college classes are often very flexible to schedule including evening, weekend and online classes to make it easier for you to fit your education into your schedule. It may take you a few extra years to earn your degree by going to school part time, but the ability to keep gainful employment and have time for your kids while going to school is a major benefit of part time classes.  With online classes you can even do your work after the kids go to bed at night or early in the morning, you can’t beat the flexibility of part time classes when you consider some of the alternatives. Would you rather work a full shift 5 days a week and also go to classes at night 5 days a week in order to be a full time student? When would you see your kids, and when you did see them would you be in any frame of mind to enjoy them?

Financial aid, grants and even some scholarships are available for single moms even if they are only attending school part time. Schools, employers and financial providers are aware of how difficult it can be to manage going back to school when you are a single mom and many will work with you to arrange a set work schedule, flexible class scheduling and financial aid so that you can take on the challenge of earning your degree.

Some employers even offer tuition assistance for furthering education classes that you can take part time to better prepare yourself for promotion within your company. Don’t pass up any opportunity to get your education. It may take some juggling and more than a little flexibility, but even as a part time student you can earn your degree while still taking care of your family.

When you speak with a school counselor to begin the process of going back to school be sure to ask what your options are for part time student life versus full time and whether the choice to be a part time student will affect any of your financial options.

Mothers Living and Learning Community Solves Housing Issues

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Finding affordable housing as a single mom seeking to further your education can be quite a challenge. The program I’m going to tell you about has not spread across the country yet, but it is a unique and wonderful opportunity for single mom students in Omaha, Nebraska. The “Mothers Living and Learning Community” at the College of Saint Mary is a residential option for single moms with as many as two children under ten years of age.

In this program 35 women and their children live in a dorm that is similar to traditional dormitories, but each floor has a playroom and areas for the moms to study. The goal of this sort of family housing plan is to give single moms a traditional college experience and assist them with learning to be the head of a household and live independently after graduation.

Everything I’ve read about the program at My College Guide blog (http://mycollegeguide.org) and the College of Saint Mary website (http://csm.edu) seems to advocate a wonderful program for enriching the college life of single moms and their children.

The Mothers Living and Learning Community contains:

  • Community area with computer lab
  • 4 community bathrooms including bathtubs
  • 2 playrooms
  • 4 community kitchens
  • 2 laundry rooms

Mothers and children are protected and safe with 24-hour security, keys to individual rooms. Codes for community room doors and access cards for the elevator. What better way to go about getting your education than in a great place that allows you and your children to interact with other families while still maintaining your own home area? If only more colleges would get involved in this sort of program getting a degree would be much easier on single moms!

Be sure to visit the two websites above to learn more about this great program and if you think you would like to look into it for your education there is contact information at the bottom of the CSM website page.

If it’s not feasible for you to move to Omaha, consider checking your local colleges to see if they have any sort of single mom family housing resources.

Online Education: The Pros

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While there are some definite drawbacks to an online education, I’m going to focus on the pros, or the benefits. There are a number of reasons why an online education might be the best option for you so let’s explore them.

Geography

Nothing is more disappointing than trying to pursue a degree and not being able to find a school locally that offers the classes you need. With an online education, you are not limited by the constraints of where you live. If you find a nursing program online at a college three states away, you are able to enroll in it, as long as you meet their enrollment qualifications.

Time Savings

Attending school online eliminates the commute to and from class. Many classes meet two to three times a week in a traditional setting. If you are taking more than one class, you might be driving back and forth to school every day of the week or multiple times a day. With online classes, you can use that saved time for other activities.

Time Management

Brick and mortar classes require you to attend classes on their schedule. Miss more than one or two, for any reason – even sick kids – and your grades are in jeopardy. With an online class, you are free to log in on your own time table, providing you meet any scheduled deadlines for assignments, tests and projects. If you are a morning person or a night owl, you can choose the time that suits your lifestyle. And you don’t have to choose the same time, all the time. Have an emergency or an appointment? Log in later in the day or even the next day. Just don’t miss your due dates.

Juggle Work and School

If you are a working mom, finding classes available after work can be challenging. Online classes allow you to keep working, even if you have a schedule that varies from week to week. You can still support your family while taking the classes you need.

Student Interactions

Many online courses have forums where the class, materials and even the assignments are shared and discussed with one another. You can meet others interested in the same field you are studying. This can even lead to some initial networking opportunities. All students are required to interact, often to comment on one another’s work. Outgoing students do not get to monopolize discussions outside of a classroom setting.

Extra Benefits

Just from participating in the online classes, you will gain better computer skills. You will be required to utilize the college’s software and system to submit assignments and correspond with the instructor and others in the class. For those with physical disabilities that make getting to a local school challenging, online school provides the comfort and convenience of learning in your own environment.

A Student Loan For The Scholastic Mom

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Single moms, did you know that you are considered non-traditional students? Of course you may see this as a bad thing when you consider that until recently students beyond college age, nontraditional students, students juggling kids and work and classes were at a disadvantage. That is no longer the case. While you still have to juggle and work out ways to achieve your goal of furthering your education you are now eligible for many financial opportunities that were unavailable just a few years ago.

Now more and more colleges and universities are aware of adult learners and the challenges they face. This has led to more flexible class schedules, online classes, and even real life experience credits toward a degree. The main challenge of a single mom going back to school is the financial juggling. Considering that scholarships and grants are believed to be mostly geared toward graduating high school students who are heading off to college you may think there is no hope of you being able to afford going back to school. You are wrong! Not only are there scholarships and grants for single moms there are also student loans that are specifically designed for adults going back to school.

Federal student loans are available for any college student whether you are fresh out of high school or a single mom returning to obtain a degree at age 25. There are a few different Federal adult learner student loans available to consider.  These are available to students who are working, enrolled in classes part time or full time and are specifically designed to accommodate the situations an adult learner or single mom faces.

Private student loans fill a growing need for adult students, as many times they offer express approval, quick turnaround of funds, and provide nearly any type of financial requirement you may have for going back to school. This includes not only tuition and supplies, but internet costs, housing and child care. However there are drawbacks to these types of student loans because of high interest rates and stringent terms for repayments.

Many single moms know the struggle of having poor credit; sadly this can affect your student loan plans. However with a cosigner you may still qualify. So don’t give up before you even get started. Take the time to evaluate your options research the financial possibilities and don’t forget that if a student loan is not what will work for you there are also grants and scholarships available for single moms too.

Tutoring Programs Help Single Moms Graduate

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Students of all ages and levels of education at times need a bit of help. If you’re a single mom who has been out of school for a few years and are going back to earn a degree you may find yourself in need of a few study resources. Tutoring is a resource that is available in nearly any subject and on just about any schedule. Whether you need a little help with one troubling chapter or a lot of help with a whole course you can find a tutoring program to help you.

The rates charged by tutors vary wildly, but if you are having financial difficulties it is quite common for professors to arrange some sort of tutoring program that you can afford if they know you are struggling.

Teaching Assistant tutors- Often a college professor’s TA will offer tutoring for that class. You may meet one on one or in a group of students. Either way this allows for more one on one attention and clarification of any problems you may be having.

Previous student tutors- Many students who have passed the course you are taking offer tutoring for new students who need a bit of help. This not only allows the student to improve but also keeps the information fresh in the mind of the tutor.

Subject based tutors- Tutors who specialize in a certain subjects can offer individualized help in Math, English, and Languages etc. They may not have any affiliation with the actual class you are taking, but their broad knowledge of the subject will allow them to help you understand and prepare for your tests and quizzes.

General tutors- A general tutor is one who will help you learn better study habits, better note taking and memorization skills. This type of tutor can help you improve your performance in all of your classes as well in other areas of your life. Organization, skills and short cuts are all part of this type of tutoring.

If your child needed a tutor to help with reading you would certainly see that he got help. Do the same for yourself. A single mom who is furthering her education is on the right track, but to succeed it is possible that you need a little help along the way. Tutoring is one way you can ensure your own success.

Free College for Single Mothers?

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Is free college for single moms a reality, or just another fiction that can get your hopes up without delivering anything at all? The answer to that is not simple, but we’ll try to sort it out:

First, you’ve probably heard the saying “There is no free lunch.” That saying is very true, and if someone promises a free ride through college simply because you are a single mother, they are probably trying to convince you of a scam. Free college almost always involves a few strings attached.

But there are options that can help bring down the cost of college, and many of them don’t require that you pay the money back. Here are a few things you can consider to get “free college” for single mothers.

College Work Study is a good option. Do you want to go to college and get work experience at the same time? College work study can help pay your tuition while giving you the skills you need to move into a new job. Those who are in college work study can often qualify for college daycare as well, meaning you might have the best of all worlds. The work study might not pay for everything, but it will definitely make a sizable dent in the cost.

There are many government grants available, such as the Pell Grant, and are available to everyone. There are also special grants available through the government that focus on single mothers, those who want to start their own business, and mothers in other situations that require a bit of help to get started in a college education. Start with the Financial Aid Office and go from there.

The fact that you are a single mother trying to further your education will look very good to those who award scholarships. Many organizations, clubs, schools, and companies offer scholarships, and they are always looking for someone who not only needs the money, but can show exactly what they will do with their degree. Your degree will help out your children, and that will catch the eye of those who award the scholarships. Apply for any you can find and meet the qualifications for — you never know what you might get!

These are the three most popular ways to find “free college” for single mothers. There are other options that can help you. Start with your DHS office, talk to the financial aid office, and scour government sites on the internet for further information.

More College Grants for Single Moms

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So you’re a single mom who wants to go back to school, but you don’t know where to start. No worries! College grants for single moms are everywhere. It might not seem like there are all that many, but the key is in the specialization. General grants might be hard to come by, but if you have a particular career path in mind, specialized grants for single moms might be the way to go. Here are a few you might not have considered:

State-sponsored grants. The state you are in might have several grants available. If you live in a state where the lottery is popular, lottery grants are meant to help those who need a hand up, and are often awarded as scholarships based on need. Check with your state department of education to find out exactly what your state has in store for your educational help.

College-sponsored grants. Those who contribute to the college in a meaningful way might be eligible for college-sponsored grants. These grants are awarded for things like environmental consciousness, highest grade point averages, leading your fellow students, or college organizations that address the need of single mothers.

Situation-specific grants. If you are a woman, disabled, in a minority, a non-traditional student, or a single mother, you can often find yourself eligible for grants that you might not have considered before. Did you know there are even grants for those who have a specific disease or illness? There is even a cancer-survivor fund to help those who have survived through cancer to go back to school. If you qualify for any of these, contact the college or talk to the administrators of the charitable organizations that offer the grants.

Profession-specific grants. This is where you can find the most help with college grants for single mothers. Each profession wants to help its young stars blossom, and to that end, certain professions will offer grants to those who show promise. For instance, if you are into agriculture and intend to work in the farming industry, grants from the Future Farmers of America might help you. National Geographic is known for giving very specific grants to those who have a certain course of study that could lead to scientific breakthroughs. If you are an artist, that perfect gallery showing could be your ticket to a large grant to help pay for the remainder of your schooling.

It’s important to get creative and look into grants that are very specific — who knows? You might qualify!

Help for Single Mothers with Student Loans

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Do you have student loans hanging over your head? In the current economy, jobs are scarce yet student loans still have to be repaid and as single mothers this can be very scary. However, there are options to make repayment easier – and there are programs out there that might offer forgiveness for student loans, if the right criteria are met.

Consolidate Your Loans. If you can consolidate your loans, it might be best to do this. It will take longer to pay them off, but your interest rate could be much less, which equals less money paid in the long run. Consolidating your loans also makes it easier to handle paperwork concerning grace periods, hardship deferments, and repayment plans.

Defer Your Payments. If you go back to school even on a part-time basis to further your degree, you can request a deferment of your loan. It will still have to be paid back in time, but you won’t have to pay for schooling and your loan all at once. Interest might continue to accrue, however.

Extend Your Repayment Plan. Extended payments are good for those who have a great deal of debt and need extra time to pay it off. These plans last for a very long time, up to 25 years, depending upon your loan and your particular situation.

Graduated Repayment. This plan takes into account what you make now, and assumes you will make more as the years go by. Therefore, your payments will be low right now, but will increase over a ten year period. This is a good option if you have a steady job with the possibility of advancement. Income Based Repayment allows you to pay what you can during those years, and if you adhere to the agreement for payment, you might find the remainder of your loan is forgiven.

Hardship Deferment. If you are in a situation that looks hopeless, talk to your student loan counselor about a hardship deferment. Given to those with the most need, these deferments can last for at least six months and give you the chance to get back on your feet before you worry about paying back your student loans.

Loan Forgiveness. Many companies and organizations will work with you on a loan forgiveness plan. If you agree to work in an impoverished area or an area that desperately needs people who are talented at your line of work, the lender might agree to forgive your loan after a period of years. For instance, if you are a teacher, you might agree to teach in an impoverished area in exchange for loan deferment. If you teach for the agreed period of time, your loan is then forgiven.

Student loans are sometimes necessary to go back to school and get your degree, but they don’t have to be daunting! Many financial advisers will be more than happy to help you achieve a repayment or forgiveness plan that is right for you. No one wants to see your finances destroyed by repayment of student loans, so don’t hesitate to ask for help!

More Ways to Get Nursing Grants for Single Mothers

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Are you ready to go back to school to provide a better life for your kids? Many single mothers opt for nursing school. Thanks to the widespread nursing shortage, those with the skills are in high demand. Nursing school can take as little as a year to receive a Licensed Practical Nurse designation, and you can always move up from there. Nurses, especially Registered Nurses, can make a very nice income and still have a flexible schedule to spend more time with their children.

But how do you start? Nursing grants for single mothers are available for those who are serious about going back to school and getting that degree. Here’s where to begin:

Choose a nursing school. Narrow down your options by finding the school that best meets your needs, both in terms of how long it takes to earn your degree, and the methods by which you can earn it. Many schools will allow you to take several classes online and offer practical classes that you have to attend in person. This tends to work out much better for single moms.

Make sure the school is accredited. Only accredited schools are eligible for federal financial aid. If you are unsure about their accreditation, call the school and speak to an admissions counselor. If they give you any answer other than “Yes,” look for another school to meet your needs.

Fill out the FAFSA. The free application for federal student aid determines what grants you can receive from the federal government. Fill this out as soon as you know where you want to go, and in the meantime, look for other grants and scholarships that might bridge the gap if the FAFSA doesn’t provide enough to cover all the expenses.

Fill out your applications. The applications for college are very important. Make sure to mention in your application essay that you intend to use your new degree and training to help support your children. Colleges love to see people who are trying to create better lives for themselves and their children, so if there is a tight admissions process, your application could rise to the top.

Get ready! When the FAFSA comes through and those applications start going out, things will move fast. Be ready to start school as soon as the semester begins. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of the admissions counselors along the way — they are there to help!

Planning For College: A Must For Single Mothers

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As a single mother myself, I can empathize with those of you that are now trying to raise a family, work, and better yourself and your family by going to school. Planning for college is a long and difficult road to travel.

There is so much that needs to be considered. How will you be able to keep up with school and take care of your children and still work? How will your children feel if you have to take some of their valuable time to study? Is there enough time in a day to take care of all the needs of everyone involved i.e.; your children, your boss, your professors, your pets, even the household chores.

It isn’t going to be an easy task. When planning for college, you must schedule everything that is in your daily routine. To be successful with your endeavor to go back to school and get that much needed degree, you must set aside a time everyday to study and stick to it. Studying in a quiet environment when there will be no interruptions by family, friends, pets, phone or TV is the best way to achieve your goals.

One way that is working for me is on-line schooling. I have been able to work on my Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Accounting and not miss out on any of the other activities that occur in everyday life. I am able to work a job that has a schedule that varies from day to day. I am able to attend any and all of the special events that the children have at school or their after school activities. I am able to spend time helping them with their homework. It is also possible to take the children shopping, to a movie or for a walk. I am able to make a good meal and spend time with the children talking with them about how their day went or making plans for the next big outing the children would like to have. There is time to spend with our pets and I even have time to do housework.

Going to college on-line offers me the opportunity to attend class when I want, I am able to do my homework assignments when I find free time, like when the children are at school or they are sleeping. I can accomplish all of this and still find time for myself. On-line schooling is the best thing I could have done for myself. I study at my own pace and I don’t have to report to an in school class structure. My time is my time. Sometimes when I find that there is going to be a special occasion and need extra time in a week, I’ll spend more time getting that week’s assignment done early.

While you’re planning for college, it might seem that going to school and raising children it is an impossible task and that you will not be able to do everything that must be done, but you’ll find it an enjoyable and rewarding challenge.

How great you will feel when you have graduated and are able to advance into a better job or career. With the rewards of having accomplished your schooling and receiving that degree, you will also gain the reward of being able to spend more time with your family and be able to provide for them in the way you wish. Being able to give your children the things they need and want is the greatest pleasure that a single parent can have, for the small sacrifices that you made when spending time going back to school. There is also the satisfaction that you did it your way and accomplished your goal.