Single mothers are hard-working women who manage to provide their children with everything from emotional support to financial support— a challenging feat even when there are 2 parents, especially in the current economic climate.

Single Mom graduates from collegeMotivated by the changing U.S. economy, many adults, including single mothers, are heading back to school for degrees that will help them improve their future.

If you’re a single mom thinking about getting a college degree, the thought of adding this expense to your budget may feel overwhelming, but there are single mothers’ grants and scholarships out there to help you. The question is how to find them and which ones to trust.

For single mothers, grants are an excellent financial aid option, since grants are generally need-based and, unlike student loans, do not have to be repaid. The federal government, private companies, and nonprofit women’s organizations all offer financially strapped single mothers grants and scholarships for college and career school programs.

Single Mothers’ Grants: U.S. Government

Most single mothers will qualify for these grants from the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant
  • National SMART Grant
  • TEACH Grant

To apply for federal grants, you must file a FAFSA. (See our Grants section for more eligibility details.) Pell Grant eligibility and award amounts may soon increase dramatically due to federal legislation now in negotiation in Washington. Stay tuned.

Single Mothers’ Grants: State & Private

State higher education departments, colleges and universities, and private institutions such as nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses also offer grants for single moms.

Individual states have separate financial aid programs with their own set of eligibility requirements, application processes, and award amounts. Find the contact information for your state’s higher education department on the State Higher Education Agencies website. The Internet can also help you find institutions that offer education grants for women, and for working single mothers, grants from your employer are another possibility worth investigating.

The FAFSA and Federal Grants Are Your First Source

So, single mothers, grants are your first stop on your path toward receiving financial aid so that you can achieve your dreams of earning a college degree and improving your quality of life for you and your children!

Still not sure how to get started with finding Financial Aid? Start here:

1) 4 Ideas for Single Moms Going Back to School offers a basic back-to-college plan.

2) How to Prepare for the FAFSA: 3 Pre-FAFSA Steps provides a basic introduction to the Federal Application for Pell Grants and other federal financial aid.

3) The EducationGrant Guide to Grants & Scholarships has tips and information on:

  • Understanding the difference between grants and scholarships
  • How to apply for Pell Grants and other federal financial aid
  • Searching for state and private grants and scholarships appropriate for you
  • Successfully applying for state and private grants and scholarships
  • More than 80 scholarships that you may be interested in applying for