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Information For Single Mothers About Financial Aid For College

By Denise Bergeron

Looking for student loans and financial aid for single moms not easy. Take solace in the-college-prosknowing that you are not the only one in this situation. Many single mothers want the opportunity to go back to school as they see their own children growing up and
going to school as well. Whether the reason for going back to school is to update your skills to keep up with changes in the workplace or a career change, the benefit of continuing your education is a worthwhile endeavor. Sometimes it’s not as easy to make the transition back to school if you are older but there are plenty of others doing the same thing.

It’s a known fact that the majority of single parent women work full time while at 45, so do not let age deter your quest to return to the classroom. As you may be aware, the costs associated with returning to school are not cheap. And as a single mother, you have other costs to consider in addition to school related fees. Moms with younger children need to consider childcare costs. These costs are often 1/3 of a woman’s weekly pay and if she has two children the cost nearly doubles. In spite of these difficulties many single parent women return to school while working full time. So now, you will be faced with the same questions that other incoming college students face – how will you pay for your education? Here are some ideas to help you find the funding you need.

One way to start to virtually open doors to many different student loans and scholarships for single mothers is by filling out and submitting the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). This can help determine sources of financial aid such as Pell Grant, Cal Grant, scholarships and low interest student loans. After submitting your FAFSA you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) which includes the answers you put in your FAFSA but will also include your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is a measurement of your financial strength, and is used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The school you are attending will use this number to figure out how much aid you will get based on the fees associated with the school.

If you are working, discuss your intentions to return to school with your employer. Many employers have put programs in place to help pay a portion of tuition for employees provided certain criteria are met. The Wal-mart Foundation is one such example. They provide a scholarship program for employees which is very popular. Chances are if your company is a Fortune 500 company they would have similar programs. Either way, it’s worthwhile to talk with your employer about it.

Pursuing other scholarships and grants is a good idea as well. Some of these are more competitive to get than others but it can’t hurt to apply for them if you qualify. How do you find out about other grants and scholarships? Start by doing your research online and possibly making a trip to the local library. In addition, stop by the financial aid office at your community college campus and seek out assistance with the process by speaking with a financial aid officer. They can help uncover other possible options available to you.

Another option to consider is to pursue continuing your education online. Online degrees have become more popular over the last few years due to the low cost factor and the convenience of working on it on your own time in your own home. Online degrees are highly regarded, so don’t think that you are getting any less of an education by studying online. Even Yale and other top universities are offering free materials online.

Keep in mind that while student loans and scholarships for single mothers are available, some qualifications and eligibilities do exist and are in place to protect the funds from abuse. Nevertheless, this process is just a stepping stone to help fulfill your educational endeavors and no doubt you will reap the benefits later in life.

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Filed under: Admissions, Applications, Banks, Career Path, College Financing, College Planning, Parental Guidance, Scholarship, single parent families, Tuition, Universities, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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