Scholarships for single moms make second chance easier

mom smiling at her little boy wearing a backpack
mom smiling at her little boy wearing a backpack

My friend Mae is 29 and just entered college for the first time. She got married and had her daughter right after graduating from school, then became a stay-at-home mom. But after the marriage ended a decade later, Mae was on her own for the first time.

The fact that her 10-year-old daughter was in school for most of the day, and that her own mom offered to babysit, made it easier for Mae to decide the time was right to go back to school. "The hardest decision though is coming up with the money to pay for it," Mae told me. "Where do I find it? Are there any scholarships for single moms like me?"

Actually, there are. Governments, nonprofits and corporations recognize that single parents need help to pay for school, and have created scholarships and grants specifically to help single moms get through college. Here are some good scholarships for single moms to research:

  • Jeanette Rankin Foundation Women's Scholarship Fund. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation has awarded scholarships for single moms since 1978 to "single women 35 and older," who are low income. That could easily apply to many single moms, as nearly 40% of them live near or below the poverty level. The application time is between November and February, and scholarship winners are announced in July.