As a single mother, the idea of paying for college while supporting a family alone can be daunting. Since you may qualify for a range of federal, state, or private grants, none of which require repayment, the cost of tuition may be more affordable than you think. Take a closer look at some of the best grants and financial aid options for single mothers who want to earn a college degree.
Federal Grants for Single Mothers
While the federal government doesn’t offer grants specifically for single moms, the United States Department of Education does provide several grant opportunities for applicants who demonstrate financial need. Since raising a family while attending college can present significant financial challenges, the following need-based grants are great places to start your search for financial aid.
• Pell Grant: Some of the most popular and most generous forms of need-based federal financial aid available, Pell Grants are great options for single moms. The maximum award for the 2018-2019 academic year is $5,290, and the U.S. Department of Education announces the amount for the upcoming academic year every February.
• Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): If your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form indicates that you have substantial financial need as a single mom, you may also qualify for an FSEOG. Grant amounts range from $100 to $4,000, depending on how significant your level of need is, how much other financial aid you’ve received, and the amount of funds your school has available.
State Grants for Single Mothers
In many cases, your state may also offer grants for single mothers, especially if you can demonstrate financial need. Note that you’ll need to complete the FAFSA® to be considered for most of these state grants:
• Kentucky College Access Program (CAP) Grant: Undergraduate students with financial need can earn up to $1,900 per year in Kentucky.
• MASSGrant: Massachusetts residents with EFCs below a certain threshold can receive grants for undergraduate studies.
• New York Tuition Assistance Program (TAP): Eligible students can receive up to $5,165 per year through the New York TAP grant.
• State of Maine Grant Program: Undergraduate Maine residents can receive up to $1,500 per year.
University Grants Scholarships for Single Mothers
University grant and scholarship funds can also present helpful financial aid opportunities for single mothers. Check with your college or university to learn more about what may be available to you. Some grant and scholarship options to consider include:
• Minnesota State University: The Mary Jane Young Scholarship for Re-Entry Women awards up to $1,000 to eligible single moms.
• Western Governors University: The Single Parent Scholarship awards up to $4,000 to eligible single moms over the course of up to four six-month terms.
• Westminster College: The James E. “Pete” Petersen Scholarship awards $5,250 to eligible non-traditional female students, including single moms.
Private Grants and Scholarships for Women and Single Mothers
Many foundations and organizations across the nation offer private grants for women attending undergraduate and graduate programs. Take a look at some of the most generous private grants and find out if you’re eligible:
• Federation of American Consumers and Travelers (FACT) Second Chance Scholarship: If you graduated from high school four or more years ago, the FACT Second Chance Scholarship could help you pay for college. If you or your family members are FACT members, you can apply for scholarships worth up to $10,000.
• Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship: Designed for low-income women 35 and over, this scholarship offers awards of $2,000. You must be pursuing an undergraduate degree to apply for this scholarship, and the application requires a personal essay.
• Patsy Takemoto Mink Award: This award honors Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color who served in the United States House of Representatives. Low-income women and single mothers who demonstrate financial need and compelling educational goals can obtain awards up to $5,000.
• Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Program for Continuing Education: If starting a family interrupted your first attempt at completing college, the PEO Program for Continuing Education could help you afford college the second time around. This need-based grant offers awards up to $3,000.
No matter what type of grant you’re considering, start your financial aid journey by filling out the FAFSA® form. Taking this step ensures that you can apply for the most grants possible and helps you access the greatest amount of financial aid for single moms.