If you have been researching ways to pay for your education and you are confused, read on.
Many have a hard time figuring out what steps they should take to pay for school when there is
so much information out there. Single mothers are least likely to return to school because the
need to maintain full-time employment and care for children can render them unable to dedicate
time to learning about these options.
However, single moms are in luck. The federal government
offers Pell Grants for single moms, and chances are that you will qualify for
one. Just follow some simple steps to apply for a Pell grant, and soon you will be back in
school without having to worry about how you are going to pay for it all.
What is a Pell Grant?
A Pell Grant is a federal "gift" that you do not have to repay. Although undergraduates are
the primary recipients of this award, some graduate students may qualify under special
circumstances. A Federal Pell Grant is the cornerstone of any financial aid package, and
other aid is built on top of this award.
A Pell Grant is for people who come from low-income backgrounds. This makes it the perfect award for a single mother. If your income is
low or even moderate, then you will most likely qualify to receive Pell Grants for
single mothers. The federal government bases your award on responses that you give in
your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. You can fill one out on the U.S.
Department of Education's web portal
How the Government Determines Financial Need
The U.S. Department of Education
has a standard equation that it uses to determine a student's need for grants and
scholarships. The Congress established the formula when defining student aid and the key
element is the determination of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The
components of this formula are as follows:
- Income and assets of parents, if you are still a
- The income of the student
- Number of people in your household
- Number of people in your household enrolled in
Since the Department of Education places different weight upon certain areas of the
equation, single moms get a great benefit. There is more mathematical preference placed upon
individuals who are the head of household and alone caring for dependents. This means that if
you are a single parent, the likelihood is that you will qualify for
Pell Grants for single
mothers if you file your FAFSA accurately and on time.
How Do I Get My Money?
To get the money that your school awards to you, a few different things may happen. Your
school may apply the grant directly to your tuition and fees. The school may also pay you
directly, and your university will usually issue a paper check if this is the case.
It is the law for your school to inform you in writing
about the exact amount the government has awarded to you. The school must also issue your money
at least once every term. If your university does not have a system of semesters or quarters,
your school must issue your aid to you at least two
times each school year.