Financial Aid For Single Moms For College

Financial Aid For Single Moms For College

Grants and scholarships are similar, in that they are not repaid, but distinctions exist between the two.  Grants are usually issued based on the financial need demonstrated by recipients.  Scholarships, on the other hand, are tied to performance indicators like grades and test scores. 

In practice, many organizations responsible for issuing student aid to single mothers use the terms indiscriminately.  A wealth of scholarships are in place that does not require applicants to prove their worthiness beyond financial need.  For all intents and purposes, these are grants.  Don’t allow semantics to limit your search for financial aid.

Federal Grants

Federal Grants represent one of the most enduring and often-used pillars of student financial aid. Most federal grants are considered to be need-based forms of college aid, but some funds have a merit-based component attached.  That is to say, some awards also use performance matrices to determine eligibility.

The Federal Government issues more grants than any other entity, so this should be the first stop for all college students requiring financial aid-including single mothers.

Financial Aid For Single Moms For College
Financial Aid For Single Moms For College

Pell Grant – This is the proverbial grandaddy of free federal college money. Whether you are a first time student or a single mother returning to college following an absence; if there is financial need present, then you are eligible for Pell funding. Since 1972, need-based Pell Grants have been the cornerstone of college funding, using four distinct criteria to determine grant amounts:

  1. Financial need that goes beyond your EFC
  2. Total cost of attending your school
  3. Enrollment for an entire academic year
  4. Status as a full or part-time student

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) – U.S. Department of Education administers this need-based grant for students who display the greatest levels of financial hardship related to college expenses. College is a significant additional expense for families-and single parents-who struggle to meet customary living expenses. 

As a result, some EFC scores drawn from FAFSA applications stand at zero.  These candidates are considered first for FSEOG awards, followed by the next most disadvantaged groups, and so on down the line.

Merit Based Grants

Merit-based awards from the Federal Government are tied to performance standards that must be maintained by grant recipients.  Two grant programs specifically promote academic excellence in science and technology subject areas.

  • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) – To encourage students to maintain high academic standards during high school, the ACG program distributes up to $750 to qualified first-year college students and $1300 for second-year students. Eligibility considers high school GPA and financial need, as determined by an applicant’s FAFSA.
  • National SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grants – This merit-based grant program picks up where ACG leaves off.  The gist is the same-to promote excellence in STEM education, but SMART speaks to the financial aid concerns of third and fourth-year candidates.  Applicants pursuing degrees in engineering, science, math, and certain foreign languages are eligible for up to $4,000 worth of assistance, beyond Pell and other awards, each academic year.

Other Financial Aid For Single Moms For College issued by the U.S. Department of Education include:

  • Iraq and Afgahnistan Service Grants go to students who have lost a parent during military service.  There is no financial need determination or performance criteria attached to this grant; it is issued in respect to the service of American soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice defending U.S. liberty.
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants illustrate a unique form of financial assistance for college students, which requires a service commitment for eligibility.  In exchange for help paying tuition for teaching-related majors, recipients of TEACH grants agree to apply their skills at specific schools, following graduation.  The initiative addresses teacher shortages in areas that serve low-income families. Applicants are eligible for up to $4000 worth of annual free grant money, provided they commit to teach for at least four years in a high need school. If you accept TEACH funds but fail to honor your obligation to the program, your grants revert to unsubsidized student loans, requiring repayment

State Grants for Single Mothers

In most cases, state financial aid opportunities for single mothers mirror those put forth at the federal level.  Need-based aid is available to general student populations, but some states also reserve funds for the most disadvantaged applicants.  Economics is a primary consideration, but financial hardship isn’t the only disadvantage taken into account by state granting agencies.  Individuals whose social circumstances severely limit their access to higher education are also targeted for state college aid.

Other Grant Opportunities

Corporations and private advocacy groups sponsor college grants for single mothers exhibiting financial hardship.  This cross-section of grant providers illustrates the diverse scope of organizations that support education for single moms.

Capture The Dream is a California Bay Area organization committed to helping single moms overcome financial obstacles that prevent them from seeking higher education.  Need and performance are considered when awarding each $1000 scholarship to deserving mothers.

The Sunshine Lady Foundation provides assistance to single mothers who are coping with abusive relationships.  Access to education is a cornerstone of the organization’s effort to help victimized women.

Grant money for college costs is awarded by businesses, the government, and private and charitable organizations. Not only is it a polite gesture to help a young student with college costs, but in many cases, it is a wise investment in the future. Helping those with specific talents, interests, and needs is betting on the future, and that’s what successful organizations do! So helping you succeed in college is in the interest of many people, whether you know it or not.

How do I qualify for a college scholarship?

There are college scholarships for everything. If you like underwater basket weaving, you might even find a grant for you. There are grants for sports, business, and creative activities. Your race, your height, your home state, and even your hair color may qualify you for a grant. Did you know that there is even a scholarship for left-handed students?

Here are some of the more serious characteristics that businesses, community groups, clubs, sports organizations, universities, nonprofits, and government agencies might consider when awarding grants:

-Are you interested in computers, agriculture, the arts, business, hospitality, music, photography, religion, African studies, or science?

-Are you a minority, a woman, do you have a disability, are you a non-traditional student or do you have a serious medical condition?

-Are you planning to major in social work, nursing, law, cosmetology, medical school, teaching, engineering, or a trade school?

If so, you could be on the radar of one or more benefactors who want to help you with your education.

Where can I find a college scholarship?

Start with a Google search. Enter something like, “College Grants for Social Work Majors” or “College Grants for Agriculture Majors” or “Nursing Student Needs College Grant.” You will probably find some unexpected rocks to look at underneath.

But my favorite website is called the College Grant Database, run by a website manager who constantly updates the site as new grants become available. Do a Google search for “College Scholarship Database” and you will be directed to the site. The website administrator is Chloe Trogden. She will not only offer a wealth of information but will also respond to personal messages on the site.

Remember that the most frequently awarded college grant is the federal government’s, Pell Grant. It is primarily for children who show severe financial need. To complete a FAFSA application online, simply Google “FAFSA Application Online” and you will be directed to the government site and can submit your application from the comfort of your home or bedroom computer room.

You can also apply for Hardship Grants For College Students.

Pell Grants

Pell Grants are the heart of education grant programs. A Federal Pell Grant is also the basis for financial aid. This large grant was previously called: Basic Educational Opportunity Grants (BEOG). It is your first funding when it comes to financial aid for college.

Other types of financial aid and other subsidies complement this subsidy. As with most grants, this award does not have to be repaid. This grant program has the most money and is the first grant you will be considered for when you submit your FAFSA.

In 2009-2010, the average award for an academic year for the Pell Grant was $ 3,611. President Obama has proposed increasing the grant budget. The new proposal would increase the maximum Pell Grant award by $ 200 to $ 5,550 for the 2010-11 academic year. This would make an additional 260,000 students eligible for this program.

The grant amount for this scholarship depends on: student’s expected family contribution, cost of attendance, student enrollment status, whether the student is in attendance for a full year or less.

TEACH Scholarships

The TEACH Scholarship, also known as the Teacher Education Assistance Scholarship Program for College and Higher Education (TEACH), is an entirely new grant for those who want to become teachers. This program was created through the Law of Access and Reduction of University Costs. The purpose of this program was to find more teachers. Students must agree to teach after graduation.

In this category, the average award is $ 2,941 per academic year and the TEACH Grant provides funding of up to $ 4,000 per year to applicants who wish to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school with one important condition: the school has to serve students from low-income families.

Students who graduate but do not complete the required teaching service must cancel the scholarship as it will become an unsubsidized loan, where interest must be paid from the date the TEACH scholarship was disbursed.

College students who want to receive this grant must agree to work as full-time teachers. Teaching must have a duration of 4 academic years and must be carried out within the 8 calendar years following the graduation date. Applicants do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for this program.

National SMART Scholarship

The National Smart Grant is also known as the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant. The National Smart program was established by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act as a primary program to meet the growing need for math and science instruction.

SMART scholarships are available only during the third and fourth year of undergraduate study. The purpose of this program was to support students majoring in physics, mathematics, technology, engineering, life, computer science, critical foreign language, or a minor liberal arts program. National SMART Grants are only available as a supplement to the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant must be received first, before you can receive SMART Grant money.

The maximum award in this grant is $ 4,000 in academic years: three and four. Applicants must meet the Pell Grant eligibility requirements, in addition to a high GPA score of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

ACG Grant Established by the Higher Education Reconciliation Act has the function of a complementary grant to the Pell Grant. This is a sister grant to the National SMART Grant. Academic Competitiveness Scholarships are available to students for their first and second academic years of college.

Subsequently, students can use SMART scholarships for their third and fourth academic years. This is a fairly new program that helps applicants taking challenging high school courses and those pursuing challenging college careers. Students must receive the Pell Grant first, before being eligible for the Academic Competitiveness Grant.

Approximately $ 790 million has been allocated to the program in the 2006-07 academic year and this program will have 4.5 billion in the next few years. The top award in this grant is $ 4,000 and in 2009 the average award per student per year was $ 787. To qualify for this grant, students must meet the rigorous requirements of the high school curriculum. It is worth noting that not all students who receive Federal Pell Grants are eligible for this ACG Grant.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, or sometimes abbreviated as FSEOG, is a federal financial aid program for students with exceptional financial needs. As with most other scholarships, the money does not need to be repaid as long as the student remains eligible. Since this grant is based on financial need, students who apply first will have the first opportunity to be awarded. If you are a Pell Grant student and have the lowest expected family contribution, you will be considered for the program first.

The top award in this grant is $ 4,000 and in 2009 the average award per student in an academic year was $ 787. This particular grant is designed for undergraduate students only. Grant funding is very limited. Make sure you are one of the first applicants to be considered.

Other College Grants

In addition to the famous free government grants mentioned above, students can apply for other grants to help pay for their education. Some of the institutions that award scholarships to students are states, colleges and universities, public institutions, and private organizations. Check with your school or state for more information on the programs they offer.

Financial Aid For Single Moms For College.