Single parents are one of the largest demographics of adults who are returning to school. They do this to get a degree to secure a higher paying position that will better provide for their family. However, the strain of being a single parent and the financial problems that many single parents face makes it difficult for them to attend and finish a higher education program. Luckily, many programs offer financial aid for single parents, to allow them to attend the school of their choice and get their preferred degree without causing additional strain on their financial situation.
Federal And Local Grants
One means of financial aid for single parents who wish to return to school are federal and local grants. These are often the most sought after and cherished financial aid measures, because a grant does not ever have to be paid back. The Federal Pell Grant, for instance, offers up to $5350 per year for individuals who will be enrolled full-time in school. Single parents qualify for the maximum amount more often than others though, because their income is often outweighed by the cost of caring for dependent children.
In addition to the Pell Grant, there are also local and school-related grants which are offered to single parents and those who are less fortunate as well. These grants may have further stipulations, including maintaining a certain grade point average, having an income that falls into particular parameters, or even being within a certain age range. Regardless, there are a wide variety of additional grants that can be found to help offset your educational costs. Asking about such grants at your financial aid office will allow you to get the required information on any available programs.
Federal And Private School Loans
Another common type of financial aid for single parents, which can be used to return to school is Federal Student Loans and privately given school loans as well. Almost everyone regardless of credit is qualified to receive the Federal Stafford Loans.
There are two different types of these loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized and if a single parent has an adequate need they can apply for both. Subsidized loans have their interest paid while the student is enrolled and unsubsidized do not have the interest paid by the government at all. Both are low-interest loans, which do not require that you enter repayment until six months after you exit the school.
Federal Perkins Loans are low-interest loans that are reserved for those students with the greatest financial need, which often includes single parents. These loans do not start repayment until nine months after a student leaves school or graduates, but they are reported to the credit bureau, so if you fail to make payments on time it could negatively affect your credit.
Some banks will offer private loans for schooling based on a single parent’s credit rating and income level. While these are harder to obtain, they are available for those who need additional funds to be able to return to school.
Financial aid for single parents is available to help them return to school and realize their dreams of earning a degree that will give their family a better way of life. The examples above are some of the most popular forms of financial aid which are available to help you realize your goals.