At Safety Girl, we know that being a single mother is a challenge that is only understood fully by other single moms. Single mothers face the daily struggle of working to provide for themselves and their children as well as caring for their children. Single moms are often stressed financially and forced to make difficult compromises for their children’s well being.
When confronted with the idea of going to school to get a better education, many single mothers may think this is an impossible idea. What single mothers need to know, however, is that, based on their situation, they qualify for many types of financial assistance on the federal and state levels. Check out the following information, courtesy of The School Grants Blog:
To apply for most grants, applicants must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Federal Pell Grant
The Pell grant is one of the most common federal grants that can be used to pay for educational expenses. In order to be eligible for the Pell grant, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED, be a U.S. citizen, demonstrate financial need, and must not have earned a bachelor’s degree. Because Pell grants are awarded based on financial need and expected family contribution (EFC), single mothers are great candidates to receive this grant because they have children dependent on their income.
Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is awarded in tandem with the school the applicant applies to for admission. About 75% of FSEOG funding comes from the government and 25% usually comes from the school the applicant attends. To be eligible, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, demonstrate financial need, and must not have earned a bachelor’s degree.
Science and Mathematics to Retain Talent Grants
The Science and Mathematics to Retain Talent (SMART) grant is awarded to college students who have completed two or three years of college and are majoring in math or science fields. SMART grants can be combined with Pell money or other grant money.
FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR BASIC NEEDS
Aid to Families with Dependents and Children
Aid to Families with Dependents and Children (AFDC) was founded in 1935 and is the main federal welfare system. AFDC assists single mother by providing federal funds to state agencies that provide assistance to needy families. Single mothers can use AFDC funds for five years and eligibility criteria vary from state to state.
Local Non-Profit Organizations
Single mothers who cannot provide for the basic needs of themselves and their children should investigate local non-profit organizations that may provide meals, food, or personal care products for free or at a very reduced cost. Singlemoms.com is a good starting point for single mothers looking for these resources.