Education Grants for Single Parents

Getting Started
Educational grants make it possible for thousands of single parents to continue in or return to college each semester. An educational grant is an amount of money given by the government or an organization which is intended to help cover the cost of attending college or training school. One of the best things about it is that, as long as you follow the guidelines, it never has to be repaid.

Grantors may look for any number of life factors when they determine who will receive their awards.

One form of government grants is need-based, meaning that a student must demonstrate that financially he needs the assistance. Single parents with low incomes would generally fall into this category.

The federal government, colleges, companies, and private organizations also offer merit-based scholarships. Most notably, educational grants are available to veterans. Some scholarships are available for students with outstanding achievements such as a superior grade point average in high school or excellence in a particular area such as technology or athletics.

When you are looking for financial aid here are some steps to follow.

Make a short list of your top 2-4 preferred colleges or training centers.

Read up on student aid from reliable sources such as the US Department of Education found here.

Complete a FAFSA, Free Application for Student Aid. A FAFSA is the in-depth form that records the personal and financial information needed by the U.S. Department of Education in order to process your grant request. Even if you're not sure if you'll qualify, you should complete this form because it is the gateway to all federal aid programs. Additionally, some schools use FAFSA information to inform their other student aid choices. The form can look intimidating, but millions of people complete the task each year. It's free; it can have a big payoff. Learn more here.

Meet with a counselor in financial aid department at the school you're interested in. This counselor will be able to direct you to the grants and scholarships that you are most likely to qualify for and to the types their school accepts.

Meeting with the financial counselor at your school of choice is indispensable. Only they can confirm everything you are eligible for. It is a common practice for schools to automatically consider students who meet eligibility for certain merit scholarships. Scholarships may be available to in-state freshmen for up to eight semesters; then, with a 3.2 or higher GPA, the scholarship may be renewable for additional semesters.

Many colleges offer departmental scholarships for sophomores and upper classmen. Receiving the scholarship may be as simple as completing the paperwork and demonstrating success in current classwork.

After you have met with the financial aid counselors for your chosen schools, you can compare the total costs of tuition and fees minus grants and scholarships. You can evaluate the programs, and make a final selection.

Listed below are some program for which you may be eligible. Each institute of higher learning can determine which they will accept.

Popular Educational Grants
Pell Grants are need-based and made available to low- and moderate-income students through the federal government. The maximum amount is $5,775 per year. The grant amount depends on the student's expected family contribution, the cost of schooling, and the student's enrollment status. It should not vary depending on the school you choose. For more information visit here.

TEACH Grants provide up to $4000 per year for students who are pursuing a high-demand field in education and who are willing to teach in a low-income area school for four years. Some single parents find particular interest in education careers because of the perk of having a schedule that runs similar to their child's school calendar. Learn more here.

Help for Military Families provides financial aid to veterans and to specified groups of children of veterans who served in specific areas. Single parents who served in the military are entitled to certain education and training benefits. If you have a parent or grandparent who served, you may be eligible for a scholarship through a private veteran organization.

GI Bill provides benefits toward payment of tuition and fees, housing, and books and supplies. Benefits are available after honorable discharge from service. For more info click here.

ROTC, Reserve Officers' Training Corp, is available through the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. This program is different from the GI Bill in that students can take classes full time while training to be an officer. To learn more visit here.

Additional programs are presented through the following organizations. We recommend searching their websites for more information: American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants.

War Orphans Educational Program provides funding for children of service members who were killed in active duty. This program has various eligibility guidelines, depending on the state of residence. It is a state initiative and not available in all areas.

Educational and Training Vouchers (ETV) for Current and Former Foster Care Youth> are available to students who are in foster care at age 16 and are likely to continue in foster care. The program specifically targets students ages 18-21 and have aged out of foster care. For more information visit here.

Additional Grants and Scholarships
Employer-sponsored Scholarships A handful of employers offer scholarships to employees or employees' dependents. Some of the better known companies are Starbucks and Chik-fil-A.

STEM Scholarships Because STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) jobs are considered to be high-demand positions, a number of scholarships are available through various organizations. For instance, AFCEA offers a STEM scholarship for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing cyber security and intelligence and homeland security-related disciplines. For more info go here.

Healthcare Scholarships In addition to the scholarships in nursing, medicine, and pharmacy, scholarships are available for allied health professions such as diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, direct patient care, and support services. Take a look at the opportunities here.

Whether you are finishing off training started earlier or launching out on a new career, maximizing the grant and scholarship funds you can receive just makes good sense. If you're like most single parent students, your income while you're in school will be very limited. Landing the best grants possible can mean maximizing your education while minimizing your costs.