Everyone who plans to go to college will have heard about the pell grants. If you are a single mom, pell grants can go a long way towards paying for the college tuition but fact is that not many students are able to fund their full college tuition despite grant opportunities. Fortunately, it is not just the federal grants that you might qualify for but a load of other financial aid if you happen to be a student of financial need.
How to apply for free pell grants this year?
1.To qualify for this federal college aid, make sure to fill out the FAFSA – free application for federal student aid – through the online application here:Click link. Application is open for students from January 1st of any year to June 30th of the following year, and has to be filed every year while in college in order to continue getting the aid. Filling out the form early in January is recommended for any student, considering the fact that schools tend to have deadlines for FAFSA application submission. Many, unfortunately, think that the deadline set by the federal government applies to state as well as all the schools. Be warned this is not the case. Check with the schools you are considering to get accurate deadline details. As a student needing college aid, the last thing you want to do is missing out on it because of not meeting deadlines. Also make sure to look at your State Financial Aid Deadlines in the FAFSA official website,
2. What has to be filled in the FAFSA online form?
Before you begin the process, we warn you that you will be taking considerable time to complete the entire application. But do not let that deter you. Thousands of students miss out on aid by not filing for FAFSA each year. As a single mother, this aid could give you room to breathe while you are in college. Although the award amount would be considered little by some, each aid you qualify for adds up to a significant amount at the end. We suggest readers to check out the step-by-step process for online FAFSA application to know beforehand what to expect during the process.
Note: If you want somebody else – other than your parents or spouse – to fill the form for you, you are allowed to do so. But as the FAFSA website states, the person must list him or herself as a “preparer” at the end of FAFSA and must also give out his Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number (EIN),
3. Other grants and aid:
As a single mother, pell grants is not all you are going to qualify for. You might be able to get approved for receiving other college grants as well such as the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant[FSEOG] and Academic Competitive Grant. Note that while the former is a financial need grant, the latter is a merit based grant for which eligibility will be based on your high school performance. Your eligibility status for all the federal grants will be informed to you as a result of the FAFSA application.
Besides free grants, FAFSA will determine your eligibility for government loans that includes both subsidized as well as the non-subsidized loans. Both these loans would have low interest rates and will be more affordable to you when compared to the private student loans,
4. The work study program:
Aside from grants, loans and scholarships, another opportunity that could help is the federal work study program. As self-explained by the name itself, this federally-funded program offers an opportunity for the student to work in school and get paid by the hour. As a single mother, managing to keep a job and putting yourself through school will bring up new challenges. These challenges could be frustrating, or worse yet, could affect your school performance. Wouldn’t it be easier if you get to work in school? That is exactly what becomes possible through this federal program.
Note: You could apply for this federal aid only if the school you attend participates in the program. As thousands of institutions participate, it is likely that the school you consider joining might, too. Check out the institutions’ official sites to get more details on the same.
5. Make use of the assistance for single moms while in college:
School grants and scholarships help you inch closer to a college degree. No doubt they are not going to cover your living expenses. On the other side, your state’s financial assistance programs can help you with expenses while you are in school. To know the various programs available for single parents, visit our page here:living assistance
What if a single mother still falls short of money?
You are not alone if you find that the despite the aid received, the finances are still hard to manage. If grants, scholarships and state aid do not cover everything, the last option would be taking a loan. Although getting loans will not be as appealing as pell grants for single mothers, which is basically free money from the government, many students dreaming of a college degree have no choice but to resort to private loans at the end. In case you are about to face such a situation, make sure to do a thorough comparison shopping before you accept an offer from a private student loan lender. The extensive research will be worth it.