I, too, have considered going back to school and finishing my degree. I just haven’t decided which path I want to take yet. I know for some single mothers continuing education can be the ticket to financial stability.
Going back to school can, however, be extremely expensive. That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to find scholarships and grants before taking out student loans.
(Note: This post was originally published in 2013. It has been updated as of May of 2017. Some of the original opportunities are no longer available and have been deleted from the post.)
10 Places Single Moms Can Apply for Scholarships
I want to free you from the spam! I have spent hours compiling this list of 100% legitimate places where you can apply for scholarships or grants.
Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity
This organization gives out over $1.5 million dollars to over 1,000 women to help them achieve their dreams. Award amounts vary from $3,000, $5,000 and $10,000. Here is a brief overview of the qualifications:
- must be woman who provides primary financial support for her dependents
- must be in financial need
- must have not have previously been awarded through the organization
- must be enrolled in a skills program or an undergraduate degree
This sounds like one of the best organizations I have read about so far. If you want to read the full qualifications or fill out an application, you can do so here.
The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation
This foundation will award five single mothers a $3,000 scholarship this year. Here are the qualifications:
- must be a women, at least 17 years old
- must be a mom, must have minor children
- must be enrolled in a degree,GED, or skills/vocational program
- must be low income
You can read the full list of qualifications and apply here.
Emerge offers scholarships to women in the amount of $2,000 – $5,000 dollars. They have a detailed list of qualifications, but here are a few basics:
- must be a resident of Georgia
- must be at least 25 years old
- must be enrolled or accepted to a continuing education program
- must fill out the application and essay form
To view the complete list of qualifications and apply for this scholarship, you can visit Emerge Scholarships Website.
The Jeanette Rankin Foundation
I could not find a specific scholarship amount for this foundation but they have helped a lot of women go back to school. Here are the qualifications:
- must be a woman, age 35 or older
- must be low income
- pursuing a technical, vocational, associates degree, or first bachelors degree
- citizen of the US
- accepted to ACICS regionally accredited school
To see the full set of qualifications and apply you can visit their website here.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
This organization gave out more than $3.7 million dollars in funding to women in the 2017-2018 school year. They have a variety of grants and fellowship programs available. Here is a complete list:
- American Fellowships
- Career Development Grants
- Community Action Grants
- International Fellowships
- International Project Grants
- Selected Professions Fellowships
You can visit their website here. You will be able to check out the fellowships and grants you are interested in and learn about the qualifications and application process from there.
The Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting
As it sounds, this scholarship is awarded to women pursuing accounting degrees. There are a few different scholarships you can apply for. The award amounts range from $1,000-$5,000 dollars. Here is a brief overview of the qualifications.
- Must be a woman who is the primary source of support for her family
- Must be pursuing a degree in accounting.
To view all of the available scholarships and learn about the application process, you can visit their website here.
Related tip: If you currently have student loans (or need a private loan) I recommend checking out SoFi to see if you can lower your rate by refinancing. It only takes about two minutes to find your rate (no obligation, of course) and what I really like about SoFi is that 1) they offer lower interest rates than traditional banks and 2) they consider many factors – not just a credit score! You can get a rate quote here.
I received this grant when I was enrolled in community college. It paid for all of my tuition and all I had to cover was books. Even if you are applying for scholarships, don’t forget to apply for the FAFSA. It can be a great help.
If you need help filling out make an appointment with the financial aid department of your school.
You can fill out a FAFSA application here. (You can also check out the other grants for single moms going back to college.) There you have it. 10 places single moms can get scholarships or grants to go back to school. Be sure to apply to all that you qualify for. Best of luck to you!
*Updated* I’ll continue to update the list as I see more scholarships. So, here you go:
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Single Mother Scholarship
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers will be awarding two single mothers a $1,000 scholarship.
In order to apply you’ll need to write a 500+ word essay on the advantages of going back to school while being a mother. Five finalists will be chosen. The finalists essays will be posted on the RIL website and social media. The two essays with the most tweets will win the scholarship. Here are some other requirements:
- Enrollment in an accredited high school, college or university in the U.S.
- Must be a mother who is attending school
- Maintain a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of a minimum of 3.0
- Applications must be received by December for the following school year
Read further details and apply here.