Variety of sources offer grants for parents

October 17, 2012

Coming up with funding to cover all of the college experience may seem like a daunting task. The average price for a four-year degree keeps going up, with the U.S. Department of Education reported recently that, in some areas, higher education costs more than $40,000 per year. College scholarships alone may not be enough to propel a single mom through the entire degree experience, but there is alternative funding to be had.

Grant money
Getting extra financial assistance for free is not as complicated as it sounds. A scholarship may be earned on the merits of a student's performance, but grants are given to those who can prove they need it. Just like a scholarship, though, these funds can be lost in the future if academic performance is not good enough, but by and large, it is simple to procure these funds.

There are a variety of outlets on the government level that provide grants for parents, including federal and state organizations. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as state-run programs like the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and other Pell grants provide tuition money based on economic need.

Based on finances and fields
More than just how much money a family has, single moms may find that certain career paths offer more grants than others. For areas of employment with the highest employment needs, extra grant money and more college scholarships may be available to entice single mothers to fill these positions. Nurses and teachers, for example, may get more free benefits than those seeking art or communications degrees, as there is greater public call for one field than another.

Regardless of the kind of funding a single mom pursues, it may be wise to consider which pursuits offer the richest rewards. Once a degree is received, the earning power of a mom's intended profession will be a major deciding factor in how well she can provide for her family, so picking a high-demand, high-pay career may be the best bet. What's more, choosing one of these fields will provide more free college assistance, meaning less loan money to pay back and fewer debts.

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