Single parents devote most of their time with their children, run errands and work long hours to provide for their families. For this reason, they are finding it difficult to attend universities or continue their college education. They might be considering returning to school, but another problem is that they are not sure if they can afford the tuition. Many single parents seek the assistance of college grants.
The following are some of the major sources of college grants for single parents:
The U.S. government specifically the Department of Education provides various college grants to students attending colleges or universities.
The Pell grant is money provided by the US Government for students who cannot afford to pay for their education. It is restricted to students who are in financial need and who do not have a bachelors degree. To apply, each student will need to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) which is used to determine a student’s expected family contribution (EFC). The Pell grant is not a loan and therefore does not need to be repaid!
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education or TEACH Grant
The TEACH Grant Program awards up to $4,000 to qualified students each year. The student should be pursuing a career in teaching, in a high-need field, taking at least four complete academic years.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
To be awarded the FSEOG, each applicant must also complete the FAFSA (as mentioned above), so that administrators can work out what level of financial help you need. Recipients of the Pell grant are usually awarded the FSEOG and like the Pell grants, it is also not a loan and therefore does not need to be repaid.
The FSEOG program is offered by a college’s financial aid office and is therefore referred to as “campus-based aid”. That means that not all college’s participate in this form of college grant.
An eligible applicant can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on their financial need.
Remember: FSEOG is awarded on a first come, first serve basis – so fill in your FAFSA application as soon as possible!
Other Sources of Financial Aid
Financial assistance also depends on which state you are residing. Almost all states in the US have their own college grants and scholarships offered to deserving citizens of a particular state. Some grants are designed especially for women. Here are some of them:
For state specific college grants, be sure to check out the drop down menu on our website.
This is one example of a state scholarships: The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund is commonly awarded to eligible single parents who are residents of Arkansas.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation offers 5 educational awards each year of up to $2000 to low income women with children who wish to get an education or further their training.
Women’s Independence Scholarship Program helps survivors of intimate partner abuse obtain an education that will in turn offer them the chance to secure employment, personal independence and self-sufficiency. Support is also available for full or part-time students interested in attending accredited programs at educational institutions.
What you need to do to qualify for a college grant?
The eligibility requirements for various college grants vary. It really depends on which grant you are applying for.
Here are the different categories of grants to see if you qualify:
Need-Based Grants: Need-based grants often determine if are qualified by examining how much you earn and if you can afford to pay the costs of college. They are often looking for the person who is least able to afford to go to college due to the high cost of tuition and other college related expenses.
Merit Scholarships: Merit scholarships usually require a high GPA (grade point average). So, only apply if you have good grades as competition of these scholarships are usually pretty fierce.
Minority Grants: Minority grants are usually administered by private organizations. They require applicants who have ethnic backgrounds. These people live by their tradition and were not given enough opportunity to achieve higher education.