7 College Grants for Single Mothers

College Grants for Single Mothers – Overview

College grants for single mothers are awarded to help moms pursue their education and earn a degree to better their financial situation.

A college degree improves earning power, increases job security, and helps meet career goals.

However, mothers across the U.S. find it challenging to cover higher education costs or restart an interrupted college career. Getting a college grant can be a lifesaver, especially if you are an unemployed single mom.

This is especially true for single mothers raising a little one (or two). Fortunately, these grants for single mothers can provide an extra boost and get education plans on track.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

College grants for single moms make it financially possible to return to school. A few grants can reduce the costs and debt burdens after college.

While the money is out there, locating and researching these grant opportunities takes time.

Single mothers, considered a disadvantaged group, are eligible for several grants. After understanding grant eligibility, apply for them with patience and good skills to obtain them.

Completing and Submitting Grant Application

There are a few things to consider when completing a grant application.

  1. Read the rules and requirements carefully.
  2. Give extra time to complete the application to avoid last-minute problems.
  3. Lastly, before submitting your application, revise it.

College Grants for Single Mothers – Federal Government Grants

Single mothers should first start by investigating the available government grants.

Pell Grants

Pell Grant for single moms is a federal government assistance program that helps single mothers get their degrees by covering education costs. The best part of this program is that it does not have to be repaid.

Many single mothers live at or below the poverty level and struggle to meet living expenses, household expenses, and child’s expenses.

What are Pell Grants?

With skyrocketing college expenses, one major concern for single mothers is to pay for higher education. Not surprisingly, the burden is heaviest on single moms with lower incomes.

The Pell Grants for single moms are America’s best source of financial aid provided by the federal government. It is an entitlement program that offers up to $6,345 to any student with financial need, regardless of income.

The great thing about the Pell Grant is that it places zero restrictions on the number of grants the students can apply for.

However, the Pell Grant is the foundation of the financial aid package onto which other aids are added.

Also, if there is any money left over from the Pell Grant award, one may use the refund to help with expenses that have fallen behind while attending school.

Certain restrictions exist on how much funding one can receive for a Pell Grant. It may not cover your post-secondary tuition’s total expenses.

However, it covers a significant portion, depending on the type of school selected.

Some schools do not participate in federal aid programs. So, be sure to check with the prospective school before filling out an application.

The maximum Pell Grant available is $6,345. Single moms are evaluated like other students when determining award limits and eligibility. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant but only attend school part-time, you may still receive the amount equivalent to the hours attended.

Roughly 5,400 post-secondary institutions throughout the United States participate in the Federal Pell Grant Program. The eligibility comes down to the following major components:

  1. The expected family contribution (EFC)
  2. The enrolled school
  3. The cost of attendance for the school
  4. Enrollment status (degree program)

These components determine financial need, determining whether you qualify for a Pell Grant.

How to Apply for Pell Grants?

The Federal Pell Grant program can help single moms pay higher education expenses.

To receive awards, they are required to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online.

The last date for filing the application form is June 30 each year. For any queries, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

After submitting the FAFSA form, a Student Aid Report advises whether you are eligible for a Pell Grant. Students may be paid directly, or their student accounts may be credited with the Pell Grant funds, depending on how their institution regulates the grant.

It is recommended to complete the application once a school year. It allows them to continue receiving aid with fewer out-of-pocket expenses.

Some Single Mothers Automatically Qualify for Zero EFC

The U.S. Department of Education provides a standard formula to evaluate FAFSA information. This formula produces the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which determines how much aid you’re eligible for.

It implies the lower your EFC, the more financial aid you’ll be awarded. Zero EFC is the best-case scenario to get maximum aid eligibility.

Some single mothers automatically qualify for a 0 EFC score, where they are not expected to contribute anything to their education costs.

You will receive an automatic zero EFC calculation if you have a dependent and your household income is less than $25,000.

It means you will qualify for the maximum Pell Grant available, whether full-time or part-time, based on your enrollment status.

Pell grants for single moms make it possible to earn a degree that otherwise is difficult to afford due to the rising cost of college.

Being a single mother does not guarantee you will get a partial or full Pell Grant. However, filing as an independent student increases your chances of receiving these grants. So, apply today and reduce your education expenses.

Other Government Grants for Single Mothers

There are other government grants available to single mothers. These include:

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

The FSEOG Program offers between $100 to $4,000 yearly, depending on financial need. Interested applicants can get these grants by enrolling at participating colleges.

Single mothers in low-income households are strong contenders as their adjusted gross income on tax returns is often significantly less than other students in their estimated income range.

The FSEOG program is available to individuals who have applied for the Pell Grant.


Previously known as The American Association of University Women, AAUW offers several grants to help single mothers.

These grants aim to help women attain a college education for better careers and upward workplace mobility. For more information, visit www.aauw.org.

Academic Competitiveness & National SMART Grants

Single mothers can apply for ACG grants if they have a 3.0 GPA in their first college year.

The grant offers $750 for first-year students and about twice the amount for second-year students. ACG is only offered to Pell recipients and has stricter eligibility requirements.

The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant awards up to $4,000 and continues the ACG. It is available to students in their third and fourth years of college.

These grants encourage single mothers to take more challenging courses.

What are the Other Available Options?

Besides applying for grants from the federal government, single mothers can search for available state and local governments, private organizations, colleges, and non-profit organizations.

State and Local Governments

There are several state and local government programs to help single mothers return to school. The grants vary from place to place. Visit your state’s educational board to find information on available grants.

The U.S. Department of Education is an excellent resource for single mothers returning to school. To download available applications and to search for new grant opportunities, visit https://www.ed.gov.

Public Assistance Organizations & Private Organizations

College grants for single mothers are available from non-profit organizations or private organizations. Here are a few websites to get started:

Organizations that provide grants specifically to mothers are the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation and the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program.

Universities & Colleges

Your chosen school’s financial aid office has information about any available financial aid opportunities for attending students. It is an indispensable resource where you can find funding for your education.


Thinking about going back to school? The financial aid you require to turn your dreams into reality might be just an application away.

College grants for single mothers can help you decide to return to school. It can lead you toward building a better future.

It is a brilliant idea to apply for several grants to maximize your chances of getting the college education you’ll need.

Never get discouraged if you don’t qualify for college grants, as several healthcare scholarships exist for women.

Examine your options thoroughly! Remember, as a student.

See Also

Pregnant, No Insurance and Don’t Qualify for Medicaid

Emergency Housing for Single Mothers

Current Version
August 15, 2023
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.
February 22, 2021
Written By
Shubham Grover

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