Education Grants for Single Mothers and Fathers

Going Back to School is Within Reach

Students sitting in classroom
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Do you ever wonder whether ads promoting free “Grants for Single Mothers” are authentic? Unfortunately, many of the ads for single mother grants or single parent grants are not genuine, cost-free grant programs. Some of them lead to lists of financial aid programs that you can purchase, and others are simply scams aimed at taking money from those who most need the assistance.

However, there are some authentic programs offering grants for single mothers and fathers, including those listed below. There are also merit-based educational grants for single parents and programs to help repay borrowed funds.

The Federal Pell Grant Program

The Federal Pell Grant Program is not limited only to single mothers, but it is often touted as a “single mother grant,” because government Pell Grants have helped many single mothers—and fathers—to go back to school and increase their income potential. Federal Pell Grants are offered primarily to undergraduate students and are based on the applicant’s financial need. The first step in applying for a Federal Pell Grant is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which you can do online through the FAFSA web site.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants

FSEOG programs are run by individual states and operate much like the Federal Pell Grant. They are generally awarded to students who demonstrate the most need, based on their FAFSA application.

State Grants for Single Mothers

Many states also offer their own education grants, which single mothers and fathers can take advantage of. These grants are designed to encourage students to seek higher education. Like the Federal Pell Grant Program, state grants are not limited to single mothers or single parents. However, some state programs—like California’s CalGrant program—take each applicant’s family status into consideration, with the greatest aid going to disadvantaged and low-income families. To determine whether your state offers a similar grant program for students, visit your state’s financial aid web site.

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

A merit-based educational grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant is aimed at first- and second-year college students who graduated from high school during or after 2006 or 2005, respectively. ACG money is awarded based on academic merit. Students who wish to be considered for an Academic Competitiveness Grant should complete a FAFSA application.

The National SMART Grant (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent)

The National SMART Grant is a merit-based award to third- and fourth-year students who are enrolled in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, or engineering programs, as well as some foreign-language and non-major liberal arts programs. Applicants must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 to be considered. Fifth-year students participating in five-year degree programs are also eligible.

Raise the Nation's Loan Repayment Grants for Single Mothers

Finally, Raise the Nation is a repayment program that also offers a student loan repayment program to assist single mothers who have outstanding student loans. Individuals who are awarded student loan repayment grants must also give back to the community by sharing their professional services. For example, a lawyer and single mom granted this award, would be expected to provide pro-bono legal services within the community, for a predetermined period of time, based on the amount of student loan repayment.