The difference between single mom colleges scholarships and grants

February 13, 2013

When it comes to securing financial aid for moms, there are plethora options on the table for them to choose from. Scholarships, loans and grants are only some of the many kinds of funding mothers can try to secure, but knowing the caveats and complications of these various monetary allocations is essential for choosing the ones that work best for every woman's personal economic picture. Whether it's a matter of time or money invested in the overall procedure that slows moms down, focusing on getting financial assistance with college can make the process much easier to go through.

Grants are available on the state and federal level, though some private organizations may offer them as well. The United States Department of Education provides grants to those with low income without any stipulation for repayment. Unlike a scholarship, these funds are given to a wide variety of people based on personal need but, while more reliable in delivery, may not provide the same amount of money a scholarship could provide.

On the plus side, as Exforsys pointed out, grants are more readily available to single moms and other students who really need money for school. Some scholarship programs are highly competitive or have waiting periods that don't correspond with all of a single mom's career and education goals, so applying for grants is a great way to supplement the search for college scholarships.

Scholarships are offered at the state, federal and private level by a myriad of organizations. Many of these are created based on a central theme, so college scholarships for single mothers, for instance, would be an ideal search topic for a mom trying to get back into classes.

Qualifying for these programs is only the first step, though. Unlike a grant application, which requires a modicum of basic financial information, scholarships may require essays, letters of recommendation and myriad other obstacles just to qualify. Once all that time and money has been invested in putting an application together, it could be weeks or months before winners are announced, and there's no guarantee a single mom will come away with anything to show for her efforts.

As stated, however, the kind of money a single mom can get from college scholarships can far exceed the basic stipend a grant can offer. On the flip side, usage restrictions may only make these funds applicable for school purposes, so applying for both kinds of funding is still the best approach.

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