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The Scholarship Process for Single Parents

- Submitting the Documents: The manner in which you present your documents is also important. Make sure everything is typed. Most libraries and universities have computers that you can use free of charge. If any of your references can’t type their letters for you, type them yourself and have them sign the letter. Send all your documents in a 9 x 12 manila envelope so you will not have to fold your documents. Once you send the package off, start on the next one. Remember, the application that is not submitted cannot be considered for an award.

Returning to college, raising children on your own, and supporting yourself and your family is not always a bed of roses, but it can be an adventure. I have found that not only has my knowledge increased, but also my self-confidence, independence, and love for live has been augmented. Children also benefit from seeing their parents conquer new realms of study. Besides, they think it’s cool when mom or dad has more homework that they do!

Kathleen Marie graduated from the University of New Mexico with a major in English (Professional Writing Concentration) and a minor in Psychology. She currently resides in Oregon and in addition to writing, has become a professional indexer. This article previously appeared in the print edition of The Single Parent (July/August 1990.)

Sample Scholarships and Services for Single Parents

- The most common source of scholarships for single parents is the college or university. Check with the school you plan to attend, and inquire about grants for single parents or adult students. Many community and four year colleges and universities provide scholarship programs for single parents and offer support services as well. For example, Brigham Young University Single Parent Scholarships - from The Marriott School are offered to a single parent (mother or father) with dependent children going back to school after at three years;
The Univ of Wisconsin-Eau Claire -Richard & Joan Fleming Single Parent Scholarship is offered to single parents demonstrating financial need not met by the usual forms of financial aid. The Green River CC Foundation provides single parent scholarships to students who have at least one dependent child living at home.

- The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to single parent residents of Arkansas to help pay for education.

- Raise the Nation Foundation. The Raise The Nation Foundation provides scholarship awards to single parent women to help complete their college education or pay off student loans. The mission of the foundation is to assist single parent women to achieve financial independence for their families.

- The Jeannette Rankin Foundation. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation awards grants to low-income women seeking to a college education.

- On-Campus Child Care Services. Because of the rising need for child care services on college campuses, Congress has approved a significant increase in program funding that provides child care for single parents in financial need. The Child Care Access Means Parents In Schools (CCAMPIS) budget rose in 2001 to $25 million from $5 million in the year 2000. In its first two years, CCAMPIS
supported child care centers at 87 colleges, and includes nearly 300 additional
college programs.

- State Higher Education Agencies. Many states offer financial aid to students for need or other criteria. A well known example is the Georgia HOPE Scholarship, which guarantees students tuition-free college if they maintain a B grade point average. Check your state's higher education agency to learn about offered programs.

- Many community organizations and foundations offer aid to to minorities or women returning to school. To find these opportunities, check with your financial aid office or research financial aid guides in your college or public library.

See also Going Back to School: Funding Your Dream and Financial Aid.

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