- Step 1: File the FAFSA File the Free Applications for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, form. FAFSA uses your tax dependency and income information to determine your need and ability to receive federal aid. Be sure to check out websites that offer help on filling out the FAFSA form.
- Step 2: Look into federal grants Use your FAFSA results to determine your eligibility for federal grants like the Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant, the National SMART Grant, and the TEACH Grant. Each has its own requirements you must fulfill.
- Step 3: Contact state and college departments Go to your state grant departments, higher education departments, colleges, and universities, and contact them for specific information on how to apply for their specific grants.
- Step 4: Turn to private resources Turn to private groups like nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses that offer private grants. Check with the financial aid office at the colleges you are considering for a list of organizations they would recommend for you. Private grants for women include the Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund, the Linda Lael Miller Scholarship, and the Business and Professional Women Scholarship Program.
- Step 5: Do an internet search Do an internet search on websites like scholarships.com for scholarships and grants that fit your criteria.
- TIP: Look for scholarships for women, not just for single moms.
- Step 6: Contact your employer Contact your employer to see if they offer any sort of grants to help you get a higher education. There are plenty of options available for single mothers -- you just have to find the ones that fit you and your needs.
- FACT: In 2009, the unemployment rate for mothers without a spouse present was 13.6 percent.
You Will Need
- FAFSA form
- Internet access
- Federal grants
- State grants
- Higher education grants
- Private grants
- Employer grants