With literally thousands of Grants For Moms Going Back To School available, the financial aspect of going back to school doesn’t have to be so difficult.
While the terms scholarship and grant are often used about funds for education, they are slightly different and should be approached differently.
A grant is available not just for education but also for disaster relief, business startup and more.
A scholarship, however, is something intended to pay almost always only education.
As you navigate what you need and want in your education, the choice of grants and scholarships to pay for your education will come into play.
Often a grant will be more desirable for those who are unsure about meeting certain grade points or number of hours per semester.
They tend to be less restrictive, thus more desirable overall. Check out our extensive list of grants and read what it takes to qualify this year.
GRANTS FOR MOMS GOING BACK TO SCHOOL
1. FAFSA OR PELL GRANT
The most widely known and used grant is provided by the government for students within select income guidelines. This grant does require a student be enrolled a select number of hours per year and maintain certain grade points.
Applications available on the FAFSA website are fairly simple to complete. You will need your most recent tax return. Depending on which tax return service you use, you might be able to automatically import your financial information right in to the FAFSA form.
What if I miss the FAFSA deadline? Can I still get a grant?
A lot of people don’t realize that the FAFSA does have a deadline. If you’re planning to go to school in the fall, you typically need to complete it by the end of March.
However, if it’s now April, May, June, etc, don’t just assume that you’ve missed out. You can still fill out the application for the spring semester. In some cases, even if you fill it out in July, you may still be able to get the money for the fall semester.
Also, even if you did miss the deadline and there is zero chance of getting the grant in time for the fall semester, you still want to fill it out. Many schools have money set aside for grants, but require students to have a completed FAFSA before they’ll allocate the money to you.
2. STATE GRANTS AND STATE LOTTERY PROGRAMS.
Many states have their individual grant programs. Some of which are even part of in state lottery programs.
For most state grants, you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA. The information gets forwarded to the applicable agency. This is another reason why you’ll want to fill out that form even if you miss the deadline, as your state may have a different deadline.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant is one that is provided by government financial aid that is in place for those with extreme financial needs. Those who qualify can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year, depending on need.
Once again, the first step to applying for this grant is…you guessed it- filling out the FAFSA. This grant allocates a set amount to each participating school. Once that money is gone, no one else can receive it.
On the other hand, not everyone who qualifies for a Pell Grant will qualify for the FSEOG. This one is not as widely available and much more restrictive on who is accepted. Check the limitations on the FSEOG page and determine if you are eligible
American Association of University Women offers scholarships and grants each year reaching the millions of dollars. With dozens of categories to qualify in, this is a great place to look for substantial grants to supplement your education budget.
Some of their grants include:
- American Fellowships for women going for their PHD.
- Career Development grants for women looking to advance in their chosen field.
- Selected Professions Fellowships for those seeking degrees in fields where women are underrepresented (think STEM jobs).
Applications typically open in the fall, with most deadlines varying between November and January.
5. EMPLOYER GRANTS:
Many companies these days offer grants to their employees who are returning to college. With brands like Walmart and JCPenny on the list of business providing education grants, you may find it easy to have provisions right through your employer.
Even if you work for a smaller company that doesn’t typically offer grants, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Many employers pay to send their employees back to school to advance in their careers.
Just make sure you understand what is expected of you. For example, don’t expect your boss to pay for your schooling just so you can quit the day after you get your degree! You’ll most likely have to agree to continue working for them for a certain amount of time.
How to maximize your chances of getting a grant
Want to maximize your chances of being selected for a grant. Try these tips:
1. Apply on time!
Read the directions for the grant before the application time begins. If it requires an essay, start that early. Get everything ready so you can apply as soon as applications open up. For some grants, like the FSEOG, you really NEED to be at the front of the list.
2. Follow the directions to the T
Read the directions very carefully. Don’t skim them, don’t just “wing it.” With thousands of people applying for the same grant, forgetting to cross just one “t” or dot one “i” (figuratively speaking) could cost you.
3. Write a compelling (yet truthful) essay
While the FAFSA is all numbers-based, some grants require an essay letting them know why they should give you the money. Be compelling, but don’t exaggerate or outright lie.
For example, don’t say that you plan to join the Peace Corps and build homes in undeveloped nations with your degree unless you actually plan to do that. Write a rough draft, refine it, edit it, edit it again, then have a friend go over it for you!
No matter what your financial situations is there are tons of grants for moms going back to school this year. Spend some time asking around, doing research and applying for as many as you can locate that you could be eligible for. Going back to school doesn’t have to be stressful or a financial burden on your family.
Do you know of any other grants for moms going back to school? Share them in the comments!