Grants for Single Mothers

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Grants for single mothers may have once seemed like an unusual form of college financing, but with all the moms returning to school, many organizations have stepped up to help with financial aid. Single mothers can find grants through the federal government, state government, and private institutions, including colleges and businesses.
Federal Grants for Single Mothers

  • Pell Grant: The Pell Grant is a need-based grant offering between $400 and $5,350 to eligible applicants. To apply for a Pell Grant you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must qualify for a Pell Grant in order to qualify for other federal grants.
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  • Academic Competitive Grant (ACG): The ACG is a merit-based grant available to first- and second-year college students who have performed at a certain academic level in high school. An ACG awards up to $750 (for first-year students) and $1300 (for second-year students). To apply you must file a FAFSA.

  • Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): The FSEOG is a need-based grant designed especially for students with the greatest financial need. Eligible students can receive awards between $100 and $4000. To apply you must file a FAFSA.
  • National SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grant: The National SMART Grant is a merit-based award available to 3rd- and 4th-year college students pursuing a degree in math, science, engineering, or one of the foreign languages designated as crucial for homeland security. Eligible students can receive up to $4000. To apply you must file a FAFSA.

State Grants for Single Mothers

Your state may also offer grants for single mothers. Different states have different aid programs with their own set of eligibility requirements, application processes and award amounts. To find what is available in your state, go to your library or the Internet to research your state government’s higher education resources.

Some examples of state grant opportunities (from coast to coast and in the middle) include:

  • New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) that awards up to $5,000 to eligible New York state residents.
  • Kansas Comprehensive Grants awards between $100-$1,100 to eligible Kansas state residents.
  • New Mexico Student Incentive Grant awards between $200 and $2500 a year to eligible New Mexico state residents

To find financial aid information for your state of residence, check out the government website listing of State Higher Education Agencies.

School Grants for Single Mothers

These days, single moms are such a substantial segment of the college student population that many schools have their own grant programs for single mothers. In fact, your school is probably your best bet for a single mom grant after the federal grant program.

Tip! You MUST file a FAFSA (the federal application) in order to qualify for just about everybody else’s need-based grants and scholarships, including your state’s and your school’s. Try to file your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as you possibly can.

Private Grants and Scholarships for Single Mothers

Many private corporationsa nd not-for-profit organizations also offer grants for single mothers. Talk to the financial aid office at the schools you’re considering to see if they can tell you which organization’s grants you may have the best chance of getting.

For working single mothers, grants and tuition reimbursement from employers is another possibility worth investigating, especially if the education you want to pursue will make you a more valuable employee to your employer.

You might also be interested in our list of single mom scholarships and grants from private institutions.

Grant Scams: Look Out!

In your search for legitimate grants for single mothers, beware of Internet scams promising to send you grants information “for a shipping fee” of a couple of dollars! If you give your bank or credit card information to one of these websites, you are opening yourself up to being charged for services that you did not agree to or know about.  Stick to the sources listed above, the federal government scholarship database, and the websites of legitimate institutions only. It may take a little research on your part, but there is plenty of free information regarding grants and scholarships for single mothers.

Read more about grant and scholarship scams here.

Grants for Single Mothers Are A Good Investment For Everyone

Single moms rule! As the number of women as the single head of household steadily rises, the importance of grants for single mothers also grows.  Completing a career training certificate, diploma, or college degree program is a goal that benefits every student.  With the right education, working moms can open doors for themselves and their families, and grants for single mothers can help.

Don’t Know How to Get Started with Your Financial Aid Process? Start here: