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Scholarships And Grants For Single Mothers

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Higher education is an exorbitant cost even in the best of circumstances, but single mothers confront even more financial difficulties. Mothers frequently put their educational goals on hold to care for their children.

Those with a bachelor's degree are five times less likely to be in financial trouble, so it's important for returning single parents to find ways to get a college education and complete their degrees. Single moms getting paid to go to school seek financial aid for college because of the high cost of raising a family.

Apply For Scholarships 

Fortunately, numerous organizations recognize that single parents require financial assistance to pay for their children’s education. As a result, many educational scholarships and fellowships have been established expressly for single moms, some of which even offer support programs that include benefits of a free laptop, making it more feasible for them to pursue their education while managing their responsibilities.

Scholarships and grants are non-repayable forms of financial assistance. The grants allow you to continue your education while reducing your work hours. There are no restrictions on how many scholarships you can apply for.

Here are some alternatives that help single moms getting paid to go to school.

ANSWER Scholarship

The ANSWER Scholarship Endowment is open to women 25 and older raising pre-K through grade 12. There are three categories of returning students:

  • Those seeking to earn a four-year undergraduate degree in their field of choice may receive a minimum award amount of $4,000
  • For a two-year nursing degree, they may receive a minimum award amount of $2,000
  • For a two-year degree in CPCC's Health Careers Program, students may receive a minimum award of $2,000.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be female students who are 25 years old or older at the time of the deadline.
  • Applicants could be married or unmarried.
  • Applicants must be the primary caregiver to at least one school-aged child, including natural-born children, legally adopted ones, or those under legal guardianship.
  • The applicant's children must live with them.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens, including foreign-born citizens, and legal residents of one of the following counties in North Carolina or South Carolina: Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Stanly, or Union.

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund

The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund (ASPSF) was established to provide supplementary financial aid to single moms in Arkansas who are working on going to school and who wish to pursue studies to enhance their earning potential.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must reside in Arkansas or Bowie County, Texas, and meet the definition of "single parent" (all three categories) as follows:
  1. Marital Status: You're either single (never married, widowed, divorced, or legally separated) or married but living apart with your divorce finalized when the scholarship is awarded.
  2. Parenting Status: You have physical custody (50 percent or more) of at least one dependent kid as the custodial parent or guardian. A dependent child is someone under 18, someone above 18 who is still in high school, or a seriously disabled adult who lives with and is reliant on you.
  3. Living Situation: You're the only adult in the house with the kids, you live with your parents or relatives, or you share a room with someone who isn't your partner, significant other, or co-parent.
  • Applicant must be a legal resident of the United States (or a resident with DACA status) who is applying in the county where they live and possesses a high school certificate or GED but have no bachelor's degree. You must have a 2.0 cumulative GPA and a household income of less than 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • You must have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or be in the process of doing so (not required for DACA students or those in an approved short-term training program).

BYU Marriott School Single Parent Scholarships

The Spouse Association of the school's National Advisory Council has granted several scholarships to help single-parent graduate BYU Marriott students with educational expenditures. The following requirements must be satisfied to be eligible for this scholarship:

  • The applicant is a single parent with custody of a dependent child
  • The applicant must be accepted into one of BYU Marriott's graduate programs.
  • Students must maintain high academic status and be re-evaluated on an annual basis.
  • When a student marries, they lose their scholarship eligibility.

Capture the Dream, Inc. Single Parent Scholarship

The purpose of this scholarship fund is to assist in eliminating one of the most significant barriers to single parents and minorities attending college: rising tuition costs. They feel that society benefits when students have the option to attend college. The organization also provides talented children with opportunities for further education, helping to develop the Bay Area's - and the world's - future leaders.

Financially challenged students can choose from two different scholarships:

  • The Single Parent Award is a $1,000 scholarship for low-income single parents who live in the Bay Area and will be enrolled at a non-profit, accredited university in the fall.
  • The George Geng-On Lee Minorities in Leadership Award is a $1,000 scholarship for low-income minority students from the Bay Area who will be enrolled full-time in a non-profit 4-year university in the autumn.

Eligibility Criteria

Scholarship recipients are selected based on the following criteria:

  • Need for funds
  • History of leadership
  • Community service
  • Professional recommendations
  • Academic achievement

Kathleen McVey Memorial Scholarship

The Kathleen McVey Memorial Scholarship is given to a continuing college student at College of the Redwoods who is enrolled in the LVN or RN program. This scholarship has additional requirements, which are given below.

Eligibility Criteria

The following are the criteria applicants must fulfill to receive this scholarship.

  • Students who are still in college can apply.
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in Licensed Vocational Nursing or Registered Nursing
  • They must establish a financial need.
  • Must have graduated from a high school in Humboldt or Del Norte counties, preference for Fortuna High School alumni.
  • Must be a single parent
  • A parent with younger children seeking to pursue a long-term profession in nursing will be given priority.

LouEllen Dabbs Scholarship

The LouEllen Dabbs Scholarship is for a single-parent student who wants to pursue a profession in business, banking, or finance. The students must be enrolled in business administration or banking programs, be a single parent, be registered for at least nine credits, and have a 2.35 GPA. 

Park Foundation Scholarship

One male and one female student will receive the Park Foundation Scholarship. A single female head-of-household student with dependents, a single male head-of-household student with dependents, or a Vietnam veteran who no longer has access to educational benefits and has a GPA of at least 3.0 are all eligible. The student must be a custodial parent and show financial need. 

Soroptimist's Live Your Dream Award

The Live Your Dream Awards program, sponsored by Soroptimist International, is a one-of-a-kind education prize for women who are the primary breadwinners in their families. They provide women with the tools they need to advance their education, talents, and job opportunities. 

Soroptimist offers about $2.8 million in education awards to about 1,700 women worldwide every year. Since 1972, they've given out more than $30 million in education grants to 30,000 deserving women.

Awardees can use the cash prize from the Live Your Dream Awards to pay any expenditures involved with pursuing higher education, such as books, laptops, childcare, tuition, and transportation.

Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarships

Women who are 35 or older and demonstrate financial need are eligible for unrestricted Scholar Grants from the Jeannette Rankin Foundation. This organization, named after Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the United States Congress, transforms lives through education.

The Jeannette Rankin Foundation's policy is to give financial awards to women who self-identify as such, regardless of race, creed, religion, color, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression, national origin, or physical or cognitive disability.

Federal Pell Grants

Women who are first-year students and single mothers paid to attend school are eligible for Pell Grants. Pell Grants have been the cornerstone of college finance since 1972, with four different factors used to calculate grant amounts:

  • A financial need that exceeds your expected family contribution.
  • The total expense of your education.
  • An academic year's worth of enrollment.
  • Whether you are a full-time or a part-time student.

Each year, the Congressional Finance Committee determines the maximum Pell eligibility amount, which is currently over $5000 This typically depends on whether you are a full-time or part-time student.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The United States Department of Education administers this need-based award for students experiencing the most financial difficulty due to college expenses. College is a substantial additional expense for families—especially single parents—who are already struggling to make ends meet. 

As a result, some EFCs calculated with FAFSA applications are zero. FSEOG awards are given first to these candidates, then to the next most disadvantaged groups, etc. Time is of the essence with this grant because no more grants will be issued once the cash is depleted. Qualified applicants may be eligible for a grant of up to $4,000 per year.

Grants and scholarships assist single mothers in advancing their education and upward mobility. Public and private funds are available to help you succeed, whether you are a first-generation college student or a single mother returning to school. 

If you are interested in learning more about grants and foundations that can help you with your education, check out the rest of Gov-Relation's resources today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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