According to the National Institute of Health, nearly half of all single mothers without a college degree live at or below the poverty line. Mothers with at least a two year certificate or bachelor’s degree face almost no risk of living in poverty. Clearly, mothers (and fathers!) should pursue their dream of higher education, and thanks to private and public scholarships this is possible.
The types of scholarships available to single parents vary from awards aimed at women who are victims of spousal abuse to single moms living in poverty to parents from specific regions of the country. There seems to be a scholarship offer available for every kind of mom on the planet! Many non-profit organizations exist to match moms with college scholarship offers, and plenty of universities and colleges offer scholarships designed for mothers.
Single parents don’t have to apply for single parent scholarships; so called “non-traditional” scholarships are meant to attract people outside of the standard college demographic to go back to school. Non-traditional scholarships are perfect vehicles for students to use to get funding to go back to college. Since traditional scholarships, like the kind applied for by high school students, don’t necessarily restrict the awards by age, there’s nothing stopping students from applying for all sorts of scholarships that they may overlook because they’re not technically single parent scholarships.
Now that a bachelor’s degree or two-year associate’s degree is becoming necessary for many entry-level jobs, moms are going back to school in huge numbers. Part of the reason for the rush back to school is the large number of scholarships and sources of college funding available to mothers and fathers.
Available Grants and Scholarships
Here’s a list of representative scholarships and college grants aimed at moms and mothers. You’ll notice that some scholarships are handed out to citizens of certain states or towns, while others may only apply to single moms or mothers from certain ethnic backgrounds. The trick is to contact your local colleges and universities and ask about any mom-specific scholarships, and do some Internet searching to find scholarship offers for student parents.
- Government Grants
- Private Foundations
- State and School Specific Scholarships
- International Opportunities
Financial Aid at Your University
Your pregnancy and the birth of your child will change how you need to file for financial aid. If you filed for Free Application or Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before you knew you were pregnant, you need to revisit the Financial Aid Office and let them know about your pregnancy immediately.