While you may have a hard time finding grants specifically for single mothers, single moms still have plenty of options when it comes to paying for school. Grants are need-based scholarships that come from a variety of funding sources, from federal programs to corporate and non-profit organizations, and they do not have to repaid. Grants and scholarships for women, low-income households, and adult and returning students are all designed to help overcome challenges that many single mothers face. If you are single mother, you may qualify for a number of different grant types, depending on your circumstances.
The amount of funding you can receive from a need based grant can vary considerably. Depending on the source of the grant, the award amount may change from one year to the next based on the funding available. Some grants and scholarships for single mothers may offer as little as $100 while others will cover your tuition and fees. Also, some colleges and universities offer tuition discounts for single mothers.
In order to qualify for a single mother grant, you will need to verify that you are a single parent. You may also need to document your income and financial need by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), particularly if you are applying for a government-funded scholarship or grant. However, private grants also prioritize applicants with financial needs. For example, The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation is a private grant that awards $3,000 scholarships to low-income mothers. However, grants that are not specifically for single mothers can have a range of eligibility requirements. Some may require that you be over a certain age, returning to school, or be pursuing a degree in an in-demand field. (Although many of the following examples are called “scholarships,” they function exactly as need-based grants, as they are gifted funds based on financial need.)
Types of Single Mother Grants
- Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund: Since 1990, this fund has helped more than 33,000 low-income, single parents attend college in Arkansas.
- Capture the Dream Single Parent Scholarship: This $1,000 funding opportunity from Capture the Dream is available to low-income single parents planning to enroll in two-or four-year college programs who are also residents of California.
- College of DuPage Foundation Single Parent Scholarship: Ten awards of $1,000 are granted each year to financially needy single parents at this Illinois community college.
- Dick and Marlene Cable Single Parent Scholarship: The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire funds a number of single-parent scholarships, but this one is specifically for single mothers who are returning to college.
- Education Support Award: The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation awards $3,000 grants to low-income mothers pursuing a skills training program, vocational or associate, degree, or first bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree.
- Emerge: Though not strictly for single mothers, many of the 70 women this charity has supported since 2002 have been moms returning to school and/or the workforce. In 2013, the organization awarded 13 scholarships of $5,000 each.
- Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: Women over 35 years old from low-income households are eligible for this award as long as they are pursuing a first undergraduate or vocational degree.
- Kaplan University Single Parent Scholarship: Single parents enrolling with Kaplan University can receive a $500 per term reduction in tuition on select degree program offerings.
- Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women: Linda Lael Miller Women’s scholarship is only for female students who are over 25 years old.
- Mary Jane Young Scholarship: Minnesota State University Mankato offers this award of $1,000 to single re-entry students who have custody of children.
- Women’s Independence Scholarship Program: WISP, Inc. seeks to assist single mothers with young kids and low income in pursuing their education.