As a single mom, it can be hard to manage school, work, and children.

“It’s important to get that education so you can better provide for yourself and your children,” said Sarah Bettencourt, a single mom and founder of Mother of Marketing, a digital consulting firm. “But paying for college as a single mom can be a struggle.”

One way to get help is to apply for scholarships for single moms.

Most scholarships for single moms won’t pay for your entire education, Bettencourt pointed out. But they can help close college funding gaps you might have. Here are seven scholarships available for single moms.

1. Beatrice F. Kroesche Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship for single moms is available at the University of Utah for students enrolled in the College of Education or English department. Fill out the university’s general scholarship application to be considered.

  • Scholarship amount: Varies
  • Deadline: To be announced for 2019-20
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Carry a minimum of 12 credit hours

2. Bernice Murray Scholarship

Named after a longtime aide to U.S. Sen. James Jeffords, this scholarship is meant for single parents who are residents of Vermont and who demonstrate financial need. The scholarship stipulates that the award is used for child care expenses.

  • Scholarship amount: $2,000
  • Deadline: To be announced for 2019-20
  • Be a single parent with custody of at least one child 12 or younger
  • Fill out the Unified Scholarship Application
  • Provide a recommendation letter from a nonrelative detailing your qualifications
  • Complete a general essay of at least 250 words describing your course of study, financial need, and how you’re unique
  • Give child care information

3. Bethel Foundation Grace Scholarship Fund

These scholarships for single moms are available to full-time and part-time students, and can even be used during the summer session. Single mothers can reapply each semester for help paying for books or tuition.

  • Scholarship amount: $1,500 maximum each semester for full-time students
  • Deadline: Oct. 15 for spring, March 15 for summer, June 15 for fall
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be the head of household with sole custody of at least one child younger than 18
  • Pursue a career-oriented course of study
  • Can’t have an undergraduate degree
  • Receive a Pell Grant
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4. BYU Marriott Single Parent

If you’ve been accepted to the Marriott School at BYU, you’re eligible to apply for a number of scholarships, including one aimed at single parents. There is one application for all BYU Marriott students. With this scholarship, if you get married, you lose the funding.

  • Scholarship amount: Varies
  • Deadline: To be announced for 2019-20
  • Have custody of dependent children
  • Remain in good academic standing (to be evaluated each year)

5. Ford Opportunity Program

Designed for residents of Oregon or Siskiyou County in California. This is one of the rare scholarships aimed at struggling single parents that can actually pay for a large part of your unmet need as a college student.

  • Scholarship amount: Up to 90% of unmet need as calculated using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), not to exceed $25,000 a year
  • Deadline: March 1 each year
  • Be the head of household with at least one child younger than 18
  • Complete high school or receive a GED (or be close to doing either)
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Have at least one full year left in an associate or bachelor’s program
  • Complete a full interview

6. EFWA scholarships

While these aren’t scholarships for single moms per se, the Educational Foundation for Women in Accounting offers a number of scholarships aimed at women who are primary sources of support for their families. Single moms definitely meet that criteria.

  • Scholarship amount: $1,000 to $16,000 a year
  • Deadline: April 30 each year
  • Pursue an accounting degree at a U.S. school
  • Have an aptitude for accounting and business, based on previous experience or coursework
  • Meet financial need requirements
  • Provide evidence that you’ll continue pursuing career goals
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7. Single Parent Scholarship Fund

If you’re a resident of Arkansas or Bowie County in Texas, you can apply for helppaying for school through this fund.

  • Scholarship amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Varies by county of residence
  • Be a custodial parent or guardian of at least one dependent child
  • Can’t live with a significant other or co-parent
  • Be a legal U.S. resident
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Can’t have a household income exceeding 250% of the federal poverty guidelines
  • Pursue a course of study that will lead to a job with family-supporting wages

Where to look for scholarships for single moms

“There aren’t a lot of scholarships for single moms out there, really,” said Bettencourt. “Instead, in addition to applying for these niche scholarships, you also need to make other plans.”

Bettencourt recommended checking out other scholarship resources such as Fastweb and Scholly. You might find other scholarships for which you qualify, based on criterion beyond your single-mom status.

Don’t forget to check with your school’s financial aid office. You might qualify for more need-based scholarships awarded through endowment and alumni funds.

Bettencourt also suggested looking for single-mom resources at CoAbode.

“This network of single moms helped me with resources beyond just scholarships,” she said. “You can find support and access programs that can help you in other areas of your life. That’s a necessity when you’re trying to raise children and go to school.”

Other ways to pay for school as a single mom

Bettencourt made it through her own undergraduate experience with the help of the Pell Grant.

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“Single moms are often low income when they start college and can qualify,” Bettencourt said. “That’s really your best bet if you want to make school more affordable.”

Make sure to fill out the FAFSA to qualify for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. All these resources, besides scholarships, can help you put together a college funding plan.

And, if you’re still struggling to pay for school, consider applying for private student loans. Just keep in mind that you might need a cosigner to qualify, depending on your situation, and you could end up with higher interest rates and fewer protections than with federal loans.

Chances are, you won’t be able to cover all your college costs from just one source.

“Pull from different resources and networks to get help,” Bettencourt said. “Scholarships are just one piece of the puzzle.”


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