Single Parent College Grant Money – What Options Are Available?

With the high jobless rate, especially among single mothers, many single parents will be looking to boost their incomes or even simply find employment. Single parents face additional challenges in raising their children and providing a good home environment. There are welfare grants available, but these do no more than provide the bare minimum. Children growing up in families on such restricted budgets are statistically less likely to do well in life and better their circumstances.

Improving one’s education is the one of best ways of boosting income and enhancing opportunities of finding employment, so escaping this poverty trap But people on such restricted incomes certainly cannot afford or even qualify for many loans, so the need is to find single parent college grant money or a scholarship which does not need to be paid back to fund the improvement in one’s education.

In the USA, the basic starting point for many government education assistance programs is to qualify for a Pell grant. This would therefore be a starting point to find single parent college grant money. In order to apply, one would need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it as early in the year as possible, because applications are decided on early the year. One would need to determine a suitable course which would suit your abilities and provide enhanced access to employment. Then research the cost of the qualification as well as other expenses, so you have an idea of how much to apply for before completing the application. The application can be downloaded at http://www.ed.gov. There is a maximum amount (currently ($5550) that will be granted in any one year.

After the FAFSA is reviewed you will be sent a student Aid Review (SAR). This details the kinds of aid you qualify for, and how much.

Many students who would qualify never submit a FAFSA. Don’t make this mistake yourself.

The Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSOG) is available to those who qualify for a Pell grant. You would need to complete a FAFSA. The institution you attend would determine the amount of the grant.

A SMART (Science and Mathematics to Retain Talent) is available to 3rd and 4th year college students studying mathematics or science. This grant can be obtained in addition to a Pell grant, but would depend on your grade averages. You would need to complete a FAFSA.

Apart from the Pell and other Federal grants, there are State and Local grants available. Your chosen college will probably offer grants as well to deserving cases. Contact the Financial Officer at your College for advice on grants offered by the college or private organizations. They should also be able to advise on the availability of other sources for single parent college grant money. An internet search would also help you find financial assistance. For information on assistance available from your State, you should contact the Higher Education Agency for your state.

If a single parent is currently employed, then the employer may be prepared to pay for further education which would benefit the company. The employer might require such a person to work for a specified period after qualification. The Human Resources Department would have details of any programs.

If you are employed, you may qualify for the American Opportunity tax credit which applies to students in their first 4 years of college (up to $2500 per year) or the Lifetime Learning credit (up to $2000 per return. These credits may not be available to those claiming deductions for tuition and educational expenses. Find out details from your local IRS offices.

It is a good idea to apply for as many grants as possible. This will assist in finding suitable single parent college grant money.