The group of people that probably have the hardest time – or at least think they will – going back to school to pursue higher education are Moms. These days most Moms are already juggling work, raising children and running a home, often with very limited financial resources, and the thought of being able to go back to school is one that while it’s a good one it can be hard to see how to make it work.
Federal and state underwritten student’s loans are usually available to those whose income levels qualify them. It is rare however that these loans cover all the costs of college. Grants and scholarships can help bridge the financial gap, but you will have to put a little effort into finding the right ones.
What are Grants and Scholarships?
Unlike student loan funds grants are scholarships are essentially ‘free money’ as these are fund that never need to be repaid. As this is the case, as you can imagine the competition for many of these offerings is rather intense.
There are some grants available to almost anyone. The Federal Pell Grant, for example. The Pell Grant, which began life as the ‘Basic Educational Opportunity Grant Program’, was drafted by a Rhode Island Senator, Claiborne Pell. The program was created in 1972 and it is one of the most common grants available to students who demonstrate a financial need. Pell grants are usually offered for every post-secondary educational program.
Some colleges and universities themselves offer grants and scholarships to students, usually based on past academic performance. When Moms are looking for a school asking about such programs is a must, as some schools offer scholarships and grants that are reserved specifically for women.
The largest source of grants and scholarships for Moms are those that are provided by private individuals and organizations. Some are based solely on academics while others are geared towards a specific ethnic population (Hispanic, African American etc.) or provided for a special skill a candidate might possess, not always traditional academics skills either.
A Word of Warning
For some reason, perhaps because so many Moms realize that higher education is the key to a better future for themselves and their families and so therefore they are one of the largest populations looking for grants and scholarships, a great many scams have sprung up around the concept.
When researching grants and scholarships you should exercise extra caution. Never pay to apply for a grant or a scholarship, no genuine opportunity will ever ask for such things.