While paying for school in this day and age can be challenging for any demographic group, single mothers are in a class of their own when it comes to grant support for higher education. Single mothers are among the groups most affected by the downturn of the economy in the last decade, with unemployment rates at 7.6%, which is higher than the national average.
urther causing financial strain is that the collective income of single mothers has been reduced by 6%. Many students who are single mothers are dually burdened with school and work demands, unable to afford childcare costs and hold a full-time job while attending college classes.
This is where need-based grants for single moms come in, to help adult and returning students who are single mothers from low-income households to overcome the financial challenges of pursuing a college education. Grants are available from a variety of federal, corporate, and nonprofit funding sources, and do not have to repaid.
If you are single mother, you may qualify for a number of different grant types, depending on your circumstances. The amount of funding you can receive from need-based grants or scholarships for single moms can vary considerably, ranging from as little as $100 to full tuition coverage. Depending on the sources of the free grants for single moms, award amounts may also change from year to year. Additionally, some colleges and universities offer separate tuition discounts for single mothers.
o qualify for school grants for single moms, you will need to verify that you are a single parent by demonstrating head-of-household status with at least one dependent under the age of 18 on your most recent federal tax return. You will likely also need to document your income and financial need by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), particularly if you are applying for a government-funded scholarship or grant.
Though specific requirements vary according to program, your federal tax-filing status can be used as a general guide for this process: if you are divorced, or not married but living in a state that recognizes common-law partnerships, a good rule of thumb is to submit the same filing status and income information on both your tax return and grant application.
Private grants for single mothers typically prioritize applicants with the greatest financial need. Some grants may simply include single mothers in their range of eligible applicants, among other requirements, such as being over a certain age, being a returning student, or planning to pursue a degree in an in-demand field. Although many of the following examples are called “scholarships,” they function as need-based college grants for single moms as well as scholarships for single moms, which are both gifted funds based on financial need.