Mothers Going Back to School – The Best Ways to Find Financial Aid

More and more parents are going back to school, and mothers going back to school are leading the charge. A big portion of those mothers going back to school? Single moms. That’s why finding scholarships for a single mother are so important.

More than 1/3 of single mothers live at or below the poverty line, but single moms with a Bachelor’s degree are much less likely to be in such a financial bind.

An adult going back to school faces challenges. After all, it’s tough to compete with younger kids, and there’s always the worry that you will be older than the professor! However, for many parents, going back to school and getting new skills or a better job is a necessity – not an option.

For an adult going back to school, help with tuition, books, and other expenses can mean the difference between getting a degree and being stuck in a rut.

So where can you find scholarships for a single mother? You need to start by applying for Federal Student Aid. Many scholarships require you to file for federal aid first. Once you fill out a FAFSA application, you can figure out what kinds of financial aid you qualify for and which ones will work best for you.

President Obama created Single Mom Grants, a group of federally-funded grants and scholarships for low-income single mothers.

After that, your individual school is the next best resource. Most schools offer their own scholarships, and scholarships for a single mother are no different. Some scholarships may be need-based; others may be based on your GPA. Talk to a financial aid counselor at your school, and see what they can offer you.

Your employer may even be able to help you out. Big companies realize that more parents are going back to school, and many of them offer assistance. Fortune 500 companies like McDonald’s, WalMart and Starbucks have scholarships for employees.

And, there are specific scholarships geared for a single mother. Some of the biggest programs are:

– The Jeanette Rankin Foundation: to qualify, you must be at least 35 years old and meet certain financial requirements

– Women’s Opportunity Awards: you have to apply through your state or region, and applications are only accepted between July 1st and December 1st.

– Raise the Nation: offers several different scholarships for a single mother. There are scholarships that will help you pay off your student loan debt, pay moms who volunteer, or moms with a low income.