There’s nothing to be ashamed of if you can’t pay for your education as a single mom. It shouldn’t limit you from getting the degree that you want and providing a better life for you and your children. If your income isn’t where you’d like it to be, and you can’t see any way you’d be able to pay for college, there are programs and systems in place for situations just like yours. Especially since President Obama has been making changes to provide more and more resources to working single mothers.
Perhaps you think that because you don’t make much money you won’t be able to get any free money for college. This is one instance where the rich don’t get richer. Federal grants are reserved for those that have financial need. In fact, they calculate how much they think you should be able to pay for school and subtract that from the estimated budget. This becomes the amount that they calculate as how much you need. They will then offer you as much as possible in the form of grants that you don’t need to pay back. Whatever is left they will give you the opportunity to take out low-interest student loans so you’ll be able to go to school right away.
The whole process is initiated by filling out the FAFSA. This is a free application that anyone can fill out and submit. What they are looking for is a way to calculate your financial need. This means that they will want to know how much you have in your checking and savings accounts, any investments you have, any assets you own, any large pieces of property you own, and so forth. They want to make sure you’re not sitting on any assets that could be easily liquidated to pay for your education. If you are a low income single mother, you probably only dream of having assets such as these that you could use to fund your schooling.
In the expenses portion of the FAFSA make sure you don’t leave out any expenses that you pay regularly. They will be knocking these expenses off of your monthly income and figuring out how much you’d be able to contribute to your tuition and other school fees. If they see that you could afford a large monthly payment it could increase your financial ability and decrease your financial need, therefore lowering the amount of grants you’d be eligible for.
The last piece of advice is to not be deterred if you get denied grants by the government. There are plenty of other foundations and organizations that provide assistance to mothers with the ambition to get the schooling they need. Don’t give up and fill out as many applications as it takes in order to get the funding you need.