Scholarship Awareness months draw single moms to opportunity

January 9, 2013

There are specific times during the year when securing financial aid for moms is more critical than others. These periods are usually when most scholarship opportunities become available, granting moms the most time to research and complete the application process before scheduled deadlines. If they should miss out on these valuable chances, it could make going to college difficult on the whole family, if not impossible, and awareness campaigns at the state and federal level help them avoid these pitfalls.

Regional options and programs
January is Scholarship Awareness Month in New York, with public forums and online reminders for prospective students to start thinking about applying for these awards. State-backed funding is also just opening up for applications, though many may have to wait until after they've filed their taxes to complete Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) forms. These scholarships provide eligible students with either full-time or part-time enrollment with up to $5,000 per school year to go toward tuition and books.

WBNG Binghamton reported that HESC, the state office that processes TAP applications, has started a statewide program in order to help people learn more about its assistance offerings, provide information on other college scholarships and give advice and support to those with misgivings about the process.

"Financial aid is critical to increasing college access and success," HESC president Elsa Magee told the source. "It's most effective when students and families learn about it early enough to make the right choices and plans to prepare for college."

National possibilities
For single moms outside New York State, February is National Financial Aid Awareness Month, with similar programs and informational drives to connect mothers and other students with applicable funding opportunities. The U.S. Department of Education announced that it will coordinate its programs with state campaigns for similar initiatives to ensure that all pupils, regardless of where they reside, receive the same financial aid chances.

The federal student aid option, FAFSA, can be stacked on top of regional options like TAP, making these powerful tools in tandem for single moms. Other information will also be disseminated by the Department of Education informational seminars and online resources, the source stated, giving more details about Pell Grants and financial opportunities outside the scope of scholarships and loans.

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