7 Worthwhile Scholarships for Single Parents

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Scholarships for Single Parents
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Juggling kids, work and college as a single parent is no easy feat, especially when you’re faced with high tuition costs. Fortunately, there are scholarships for single moms and dads that can help you pay for school.

Although they might not pay for your entire education, they can help close a gap in funding. Before taking out additional loans, find out if you can score one or more of these scholarships for single parents:

1. Beatrice F. Kroesche Memorial Scholarship
2. Bernice Murray Scholarship
3. Bethel Foundation Grace Scholarship Fund
4. BYU Marriott Single Parent
5. Ford Opportunity Program
6. EFWA scholarships
7. Single Parent Scholarship Fund
Plus: Where to look for more scholarships for single parents
Plus: Other ways to pay for school as a single parent

1. Beatrice F. Kroesche Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship for single moms is available at the University of Utah for students enrolled in the university’s College of Education or Department of English.

  • Scholarship amount: $1,000 to $2,000
  • Deadline: Feb. 1
  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Attend classes full time

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: Up to $4,000
  • 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 mothers 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

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
  • 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. The Ford Opportunity Program is one of the rare scholarships aimed at struggling single parents who can actually pay for a large part of your unmet need as a college student.

  • Scholarship amount: Up to 90% of unmet needs as calculated using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), not to exceed $40,000 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 parents 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: Up 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

7. Single Parent Scholarship Fund

If you’re a resident of Arkansas or Bowie County in Texas, you can apply for help paying 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 more scholarships for single parents

To find additional scholarships for single moms and dads, check out other scholarship resources like Fastweb and Scholly. You might find other scholarships for which you qualify, based on criteria beyond your single-parent 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.

You might also join online networks or find other single-parent resources and ask the community for guidance. Not only might others have recommendations for single-parent scholarships, but they could also provide support that will help in all areas of life.

Other ways to pay for school as a single parent

If you have financial need, you could qualify for federal grants, such as the Pell Grant. 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. But while scholarships may just be one piece of the puzzle, they are well worth the effort of applying.

For more information on paying for college, head to this guide on student loans and financial aid for single moms and dads.

Rebecca Safier and Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.

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