Single mothers have the formidable task of providing for their children, all on their own. A college education can go a long way in helping them fulfill their commitments since a good education can open up a world of opportunities. Grants for college students can be very helpful to those who are desirous of pursuing higher education.
Single mothers who are financially constrained can apply for this option since these are need-based grants that are awarded to deserving students. Students are expected to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The same application form may also be used in order to apply for loans and college grants sanctioned by the Federal Government. Although this program is meant for undergraduates, students enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs may also receive it.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the cost of tuition, and the enrollment term are the important factors that are used for determining the student's eligibility for the same. For the academic year 2013 - 2014 and 2014 - 2015, the maximum amount of money that can be disbursed to students in lieu is USD 5,645 and USD 5,370 respectively. Since this is a direct college grant, money is awarded by the participating schools to eligible students. This money is payable at least twice a year or once per term.
Generally, it is awarded to students whose annual family income is up to USD 50,000. Students can receive one for a maximum of 12 semesters, assuming that they received their first one on or after July 1, 2012.
The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant
Students who are in the third and the fourth years of their undergraduate study are eligible for it. It is also known as the SMART Grant and provides a sum total of USD 4,000 for the third and the fourth years of undergraduate course work. Students who are pursuing one of the following courses are eligible for these: Agriculture & Natural Resources, Computer Science, Engineering, Critical Foreign Languages, Physical and Life Sciences, Mathematics, Technology, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
FSEOG supplements the Federal Pell Grant; it is also disbursed on the basis of financial need. Students with exceptional financial need can receive between USD 100 and USD 4,000 per annum. The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is again the most important criterion for obtaining this grant. The EFC is the sum of the following items:
- A percentage or portion of the net income that remains after subtracting allowances for basic living expenses.
- A percentage of net assets arrived at after taking into account an allowance for asset protection.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
Although the Pell Grant is the stepping stone for receiving it, merit-worthy performance is a must for ACG. This was instituted during the 2006 - 2007 school year.
In addition to the Federal Government, the state government and private entities also provide grants meant for a single mother. Those for college students are also provided by lenders like Sallie Mae and Nellie Mae. These private lenders provide both federal student loans and private loans to eligible candidates.