Grants for Single Mothers Going Back to School

Educational Grants for Single Mothers

For single mothers looking to provide a better future for their family the option of getting a higher paying job through education is very enticing. However, the incredible cost of a college degree and the additional debt burden they would put on themselves puts the dream of a college education out of reach for most single moms. Yet, there are grants for single parents to both help them afford school while they are in and and help them pay it off once they have graduated.

In this article I will share with you...

1. Federal Grants available to single moms
2. How to find state specific grants
3. 5 Private grants of up to $10k/year
4. Success stories of single mothers

2 Best Ways to Pay Back Student Loans Faster

  1. Consolidate -
  2. Forgiveness -

Where Can You Find Education Grants For Single Moms?

There are lots of grants available to single parents, in the section below I have compiled the biggest resource on grants.

  • Federal Grants
  • State Specific Grants
  • Private Grants
  • School Specific Grants

Download The Complete List as a PDF


Why are there College Grants for a Single Parent?

There are many societal benefits to giving a single parent help to further their education and lower their debt burden. By providing financial assistance early to a single mother they will likely be able to earn more money in the future and be less reliant on government subsidies later on.


    Federal Pell Grant (nicknamed “Single Mother Grant”)

    The Pell Grant program is a need based grant program that has favored single parents. If you are single parent looking to be able to reduce your student loans than this is definitely the first program you should apply to.

    These Federal Grants have helped many single parents be able to afford College. The Pell Grant does not need to be repaid. This program used to be called BEOGs which stood for Basic Educational Opportunity Grants.

    By applying for a Federal Pell Grant you can save $5,550.


    Many states also offer grants to single parents with student loans or who are looking to return to school. State assistance programs exist for single parents for both education and living expenses. Some of the application processes can be difficult to understand but with some research they can be easy to find.

    Great Resource – Click Here – This is a full directory of the Higher Education Agencies for Each State

    Here is a sampling of some of the best state specific grants for single moms.

    Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)

    FESOG is much like a Pell Grant and offers grants on a need basis. The purpose of this state administered grant is to help low-income students attend College.

    This grant is open to anyone in financial need but if you are a single parent than your likeliness of receiving this grant is greatly increased.

    Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund

    The Arkansas single parent scholarship fund is created to help enable single parents to attain self-sufficiency through post-secondary education. This scholarship is not a grant but can help single moms attend College. The scholarship was established in 1990 due to chronic poverty of single-parent households in Arkansas.

    California Grant Program – CalGrant

    The CalGrant program does not just consider financial need but also your grade point average. With a Cal Grant you can receive over $12,000 per year. In the Cal Grant eligibility criteria it defines financial need

    March 2nd is the annual application deadline for submitting the FAFSA and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form to get a Cal Grant.

    New York Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)

    A TAP grant is for students attending College in New York state and if eligible you can receive up to $5,000 in grants. The TAP program is a need based grant program and as such is a great opportunity for single mothers in New York to receive an education grant.

    Kansas Comprehensive Grant

    This grant is given by the state government of Kansas based on financial need. To receive this grant you must be enrolled full time in an in-state university. To apply you must complete and submit the FAFSA.

    The deadline for applying is April 1st of each year and you can be eligible for up to $3,500 per year.

    For More States – Click Here – This is a full directory of the Higher Education Agencies for Each State


    The Jeanette Rankin Foundation Scholarship Program

    The Jeanette Rankin Foundation Scholarship Program

    The Jeannette Rankin(JRF) scholarships are given to low-income women 35 and older. The goal of these scholarships are to break the cycle of poverty by giving women an education that will benefit herself, her family and her community.

    Giving a scholarship in a friend’s name is a meaningful way to honor someone who is special. It’s very important for us to do things for people while they are here to enjoy it. The positive effects of a Jeannette Ranking scholarship are like ripples in a pond. Women who receive support from JRF go on to help their families and give back to their communities.

    JRF is set up to show women that they have supporters, people who are willing to help provide other with the training and confidence that they will need to improve their lives and their communities.


    Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation for Low-Income Women and Children

    Patsy was a was a US Congresswomen who served for over 20 years. Her foundation was created in 2003 and provides educational grants of up to $2000 for low-income moms who are wanting to attend college.

    To qualify you must be a mom, 17 years old, attending school and have annual family income of under $17.5k.


    Womens Indepence Scholorship Program (WISP)

    Women's Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)

    This scholarship was founded in 1999 and meant to help women overcome physical violence through making post secondary education accessible.

    To be eligible for this program you must have suffered domestic violence, been operated from their abuser for a minimum of 1 year, demonstrate a critical need for assistance.

    Being a mother is not a requirement to receive this scholarship but you are eligible and your dependents will be considered as part of your financial need assessment.

    PEO Educational Grants for Single Parents

    Philanthropic Educational Organization

    The Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) is an organization created by women to help advance other women. This advancement typically involves education.

    As part of the PEO program there are grants, scholarships, awards and loans available to women.

    “I look back with profound admiration to you who have followed in our plans, laid down in the happy yesterday so long ago and trust each succeeding year may find you recording a living monument to be handed down to our daughters throughout all time.”

    Talbots Grants Women

    Talbot Scholarship Foundation

    The Talbot Scholarship Foundation offers money to women who have been out of school for at least 10 years. The awards can range from $1,000 to $10,000. There is a minimum age of 27years for this award.

    Although this grant is not specifically for mothers returning to school it is able to help many because of the financial need many single mothers are in.

    Since the scholarship was founded in 1997 it has distributed over $1.6 million in scholarships. The Talbott Foundation empowers mothers to go back to school by providing financial assistance.

    Talbot Scholarship Recipient

    Mother attending University

    Other Private Women Grant/Scholarship Opportunities


    Many schools will have single parent scholarships to help make education more accessible. Often times these programs are not as well advertised as there other more common assistance programs. At Harvard financial aid officers have gone out of their way to help mothers, full story here.

    Illinois College

    At the Illinois College of DuPage if you are a mother with a GPA of greater than 2.0 you are eligible for a $1000 per year grant.

    Learn More

    Contact Your Student Aid Office At Your School


    Furthering your education is a commitment to your child’s and your future. Your degree can be the tool used to break the cycle of poverty in your family.

    I hope that this resource will prove to be useful for you in your journey to a brighter future!

    7 Inspirational Stories about Single Mothers Who Attended University

    1. Single Mom’s Journey Through University
    2. Single Moms Succeeding at University
    3. Comprehensive single parent programs at universities
    4. Mother at 15, Cambridge University at 22
    5. Advise for single-parent college student
    6. Single mother in university and entrepreneur after
    7. NetMum Discussion – Single Parent at University

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