What are Grants for Children of Single Parents?
Grants for children of single parents provide a means of furthering their education or job training through financial support. Grants differ from loans because they do not need to be paid back. "Billions of dollars in government grants are allocated each year to help US citizens afford college tuition, seed new business ideas, aid homeowners, provide job training and protect the most vulnerable in our communities," according to Grants.com. However, Federal grants as well as nonprofit and private grants provide specialized assistance to children of single parents. These grants can help fund educational costs for college students, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for low-income financial need.
While grants differ from student loans, they can act as a scholarship program for children of single parents on a part-time basis while they are pursuing education after high school, like a college education or professional training. Grants can be received by the student’s financial aid office, or they can be distributed to the student in other ways. Some grants require a certain maintained GPA throughout the use of the funds in the student’s educational program, as long as they are a full-time student.
While there are many different providers for financial aid, these grant aid programs allow flexibility in who they can serve funds to. For example, someone with a single mom, or a single dad, may differ than students with divorced parents who can be eligible for a different grant. Educational programs funded by grants can be colleges, community colleges, nonprofit organizations, state universities, trade programs, or other educational programs. There are different scholarship opportunities for single parent families, depending on the student's degree program, academic year, expected family contribution and interest rates. Single-parent household High school seniors can start to apply for these grants once they are eligible to in their scholarship search and need to fit the category of a low-income family member.
What are the Types of Grants Available?
The largest educational federal grant is the Pell Grant, given to recipients by the federal government. According to the U.S. Department of Education, "The Federal Pell Grant program provides financial aid money to students on a need-basis. These grants do not have to be repaid". Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov. The maximum awarded amount for a Pell Grant is $5,550 per year and provides college-bound students with assistance with tuition and living expenses. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is another need-based federal program for financially disadvantaged students, which is also applied for by filling out the FAFSA.
Another source for Government-based grants is Grants.gov, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The advanced search function helps children of single parents find specific grants for their requirement and needs. However, Grants.gov does not offer money for personal financial assistance or debt.
The State Higher Education Agency provides information on state education programs, including grants. Programs vary by each state but most provide special grants to children of single parents. For example, New York provides Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and NYS Educational Opportunity Program to financially and academically disadvantaged students.
Raise the Nation awards grants and scholarships to single mothers and their children. The specific program geared toward the children of single parents is the "Child of a Single Parent Woman Scholarship." "This scholarship is designed to reduce the financial burden of paying for college that single parent women face when they still claim their children as dependent on their taxes." Raise the Nation says, "We recognize that dependent children are only offered minimal amounts of financial aid due to the calculation being dependent on their mother's income."
Many schools also offer private grants to financially disadvantaged students, including children of single parents. "Most colleges and universities offer tons of money in need-based grants to students. Without it, many colleges would not have the diversity of the student bodies they enjoy," according to College Scholarship Org. Private grants can be based on many factors, including: course of study, gender, minority and profession.
Based in South Florida, Susie Kim-Carberry has been writing environmental focused articles since 2007 and also serves as a site editor for an online media company. Her work has appeared online at Green Options, Simple Earth Media and Important Media. Kim-Carberry studied print journalism at the University of Georgia.