If you want to go back to school,
obtaining a student loan is easy. However, if you're a single parent, paying back the money is
a terrifying prospect.
How will a hefty loan payment 6 months after graduation fit in with all
the other bills you have to pay?
Free Grants for Single Mothers
There is another way. You could qualify to receive free grants for single
mothers, and if you are a minority, you could qualify to receive free grants
for single black mothers among other grants for different ethnicities as well.
If you can fund your return to school entirely through
grants, then you will not have a student loan payment to make and you can spend the free
money on what's really important – your family.
Step One: Get Your Taxes in Order
You need to dig out your old tax records for this step. If you have saved copies of your old
returns, that's great! If not, contact the IRS to obtain a
copy. You only need your return from the prior year in order to fill out your Free Application
for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Read over your old returns to spot any inaccuracies. If
you find them, submit an "amended return" to the IRS immediately. The sooner you submit it, the
better your chances of qualifying for aid - once you have filed your FAFSA. You'll need the
corrected tax information to file.
You should also check to make sure
you do not report an ex-spouse's income on your taxes
if you were divorced or separated for the majority of the year in which you filed. This is
critical because the income reported on your taxes directly affects the award you receive.
From this number, the U.S. Department of Education calculates your Expected Family
Contribution (EFC). If that figure is flawed, it may affect your ability to qualify
for free grants.
Step Two: Fill Out the FAFSA
The second step to qualify to receive
free grants for single
mothers is to get your FAFSA filled out and filed right away. You can do this
online in less than an hour by stopping by the U.S. Department of Education's web portal. This step is crucial when qualifying to receive
scholarships and free grants for single parents because the government bases
your award on the following factors:
- Marital status
- Number of dependents
- Work information
- Enrollment status
If you are single and you have children for whom you provide primary care, then chances are
you will meet or exceed the eligibility requirements to receive free grants for single
Step Three: Stay Enrolled
If you secure grants for college and you change your enrollment status in the middle of a
semester, you may be in serious jeopardy of losing your aid. Check the terms of every grant you
receive and make sure you are fulfilling the requirements on your end. These requirements are typically maintaining full-time enrollment
and a certain GPA while in school.
If you find that you are struggling to balance a full course load while keeping up with your
household, get in touch with someone at your university's student services center. Most
universities offer free tutoring for students. If this does not work, try telling your
professors about your situation. Most of them will be willing to work with you to help you