It is a fact that single mothers who have not completed their college education commonly end up with low wage jobs. But is also a fact that anybody who does not have a college degree in today’s world can hardly find a decent job at all especially if we talk about corporate jobs or white collar jobs that anyone wants to have.
On the other hand, it is doubly hard for single mothers to find good paying jobs if they lack the education. According to July 2013 National Women’s Law Center report, out of the 4.1 million single mothers in America, 30 percent of them live in poverty while 10.7 percent are unemployed. That means even those who are working are experiencing hardships in life and the main reason for this is basically the lack of education.
Single Mothers and Education
Single mothers are actually the most underprivileged individuals in our societies. They have mouths to feed, bills and rents to pay, never ending loans to settle and yet they are obliged to resolve these all by themselves. And with meager income while spending so much to survive, there could hardly be any decent jobs that they can get if they are under educated.
Incidentally, what causes poverty and financial instability to single mothers is the lack of educational attainments. Without a college degree, they don’t have the passport to be eligible for jobs that require technical skills. Without education they lack the knowledge to work on corporate jobs. So being a single mother and doesn’t have a college degree, what awaits you and your kids can only be an unstable life.
Looking at it, it would seem impossible for single mothers to go back to school. There are many factors that can hinder their goals to finish their college degrees. First, they have children on the side. Second, they need to earn money to pay their expenses and third, college education is now extremely expensive. So by way we see it, it is virtually impossible for single mothers to come up with their degrees. But then, there is no problem with proper planning and balancing. Every problem has a solution. In other words, single mothers can always find ways to complete their college education.
First, when it concerns about kids, once the kids grow up single mothers can get few college units at a time until they finish their degrees. They can schedule their studying time when kids are in school and when they have free time from their work. There are also online school programs today that anyone can take and can earn you a certificate. When it concerns wrangling with jobs and education that can also be taken cared for with proper planning as well. There are single mothers that go to school during Saturdays or during their reserved time-off from work.
Now the only problem left is sustaining the college education. However, we have good solutions to that as well and that is finding school grants for single mothers.
School grants usually come from the government designed to help individuals including single parents so that they can continue their college educations. And when we say grants, these are financial supports that don’t generally need to be repaid. These are not loans but supporting finances given by the government for those who deserve to be supported financially in terms of attaining college education. Some of the most authentic grant programs are as follows:
Need-Based Education Grants
- The Federal Pell Grant Program
The Federal Pell Grant program is offered not only to single parents but for everybody who wants to go back to school but can’t afford it. Those who are eligible for it are undergraduate students but the amount of financial support given will depend on the financial need of the applicant. Your first step in applying for Pell Grant is by filling up the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form which you can find at FAFSA web site.
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)
Unlike the Pell Grant that comes from the government, the FSEOG programs are managed by individual states but its guidelines is almost the same as the Pell grant. However, the FSEOG is only given to those who are in dire need of it. So if you are a single mother, unemployed and only depends on welfare, you are strongly eligible for it.
- State Grants for Single Mothers
State Grants are run by many states. So each state can have few to many study aid programs that are offered to single mothers. You can check your state’s financial aid website to know these and see which can provide you the utmost assistance and which you are best qualified.
Merit-Based Education Grants
- Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
The ACG is awarded based on academic merit. That means only those who have graduated from high school during 2005 to 2006 are eligible and will be supported from first year up to second year in college. Eligibility also depends on single mother’s income and economic status.
- The National SMART Grant (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent)
The National SMART Grant can be given to single mothers who want to continue their college studies from third year to fourth year. However, you must be excellent in any of the technical subjects such as mathematics, computer sciences, physics, biology, technology, engineering or foreign language to be eligible in this program. You must also have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in order to be considered as potential applicant. You can also be eligible for fifth year if you are within a five-year degree program like engineering.
For single mothers who are not lucky with federal study grants but have outstanding student loans that they cannot take another loans, the best program for them to try is the Raise the Nation Loan Repayment Grants for Single Mothers. This program will provide the students the loans so that they can pay their unpaid student loans. They don’t have to pay it back but they must provide professional services back to their community on predetermined periods. For instance, a single mother who has finished her education degree through the Raise the Nation program must provide free teaching services to the community based on the amount of the loan given to her.
So don’t think that because you are a single mother it becomes impossible for you to finish your education anymore and can only wallow in hopelessness. If you really want to finish your college education, go on your way so that you can boost your profession and increase your income potential. You can also check the web and find many grants available. Most of them are designed to assist single mothers out of their needs for education.