Many women today are making the decision to attend college and work toward a higher education degree. In many cases, these are women who are either married and raising children at home, single mothers, or pregnant mothers.
Attending school is an expensive prospect for most individuals today, and it can be rather cost-prohibitive for mothers who also have child-related costs in their regular expenses. Student loans can provide student mothers with some funds needed to pay for the cost of a higher education.
However, there are also many scholarships and grants available for pregnant mothers and mothers with children. Unlike student loans, scholarships and grants provide students with the money for college that does not need to be repaid in the future. Taking time to explore the many scholarships and grants available for pregnant women and women with children can make earning a college degree a more affordable endeavor.
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarships
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarships are available to women who are U.S. citizens and who meet the following criteria:
- are age 35 or older
- are low-income
- understand how a college education may benefit them
- are enrolling in or are enrolled in a program that leads to a technical or vocational certification or either a Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree.
Interested candidates should apply directly to the Jeannette Rankin Foundation between November and February. The application can be completed at the foundation’s website at www.rankinfoundation.org or submitted via mail.
SWE Scholarship Program
Women who are enrolled in a program focused on computer science, engineering or engineering technology may consider applying for an SWE scholarship. There are several different scholarships and grants awarded each summer to prospective students who are either sophomore, junior, senior, or grad students in an accredited program. The financial support options include endowed scholarships, corporate-sponsored scholarships, and grants.
Interested candidates can learn more about the scholarships and grants available to women by visiting www.swe.org.
Emerge Scholarship Program
The Emerge Scholarship program has been helping women pay for a college education since 2001. The program is designed to help women who have already had significant real-life experiences such as stay-at-home mothers, women who are considering switching careers, those who graduated from high school years ago and did not have the opportunity to attend or finish college earlier in life, or who otherwise are non-traditional students.
These scholarships are generally not awarded to those who already have received financial aid, and funds can only be applied toward tuition and fees rather than supplementing living-related expenses. More information can be learned about the program by visiting www.emergescholarships.org.
Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund
This scholarship program is available for single parents living in over 70 counties in the state of Arkansas. The program is designed to help lower-income single parents find the financial assistance they need to attend college and find a better job to support their families after graduation.
Over 30,000 scholarships have been awarded since 1990, which equates to over $16 million in scholarship funds to those students and prospective students in need. You can learn more about this program and apply for a scholarship by visiting www.aspsf.org.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Scholarship for Low-Income Women
This scholarship program was founded in 2003 by Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink. Throughout her career, Congresswoman Mink has worked to promote education and support resources available for low-income women and their children. Her foundation provides financial assistance to low-income women enrolled in a higher education program or a specialized training program.
The number of awards and the amount of the awards will vary from year to year. In 2012, five scholarship in the amount of $2,000 each will be awarded. If you are interested in learning more about this program, you can visit www.patsyminkfoundation.org.
The R.O.S.E. Scholarship
Single mothers and pregnant women who have been affected by domestic violence can consider applying for the R.O.S.E. Scholarship. This source of financial assistance is designed to help survivors of domestic violence improve their lives by promoting a higher education.
The scholarship program is suitable for those who are enrolled in a higher education institution in the New England region and who have completed a year of courses at the undergraduate level. Scholarship funds will be applied only to tuition and related fees. If you are interested in this program, you can learn more at www.rosefund.org.
Pell Grants are available to all college students who can demonstrate financial need, including single mothers and pregnant mothers. This is a need-based program offered through the federal government, so it is best suited for low-income individuals. Reward amounts may be as high as $5,000 per semester for those who qualify.
Applications can be conducted online by completing the Free Application for Financial Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Students should research application deadlines to ensure that funds are received for the upcoming semester as needed.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
The federal government also offers students with the opportunity to obtain needed college funds through the Academic Competitiveness Grant, or ACG. This grant may be used in conjunction with Pell Grants. Unlike Pell Grants, however, the ACG is performance-based. It is designed for those who are enrolled in the first or second year of their college education. Application is open to all students who submit a Free Application for Financial Student Aid.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
This is another grant offered by the federal government. It is a need-based grant like Pell Grants, and it is designed to be used as a supplemental financing option in conjunction with Pell Grants. As with the previous two federal grants, interested candidates can complete the Free Application for Financial Student Aid to be considered for this program.
Scholarships For Moms
Scholarships For Moms is scholarship program that is available to single or married women who are mothers or who are pregnant. Essentially, any college student or prospective college student who is a mother may apply.
The program will award up to $10,000 in money to be used for higher education costs to the recipient of the scholarship. More information about the program can be found at www.scholarships4moms.com. The scholarship application can also be completed online at this website.
Scholarships For Working Adults
This is a popular scholarship program that is open for application by all working adults. It is ideal for those married mothers, single mothers and expectant mothers who are struggling to work to support their family while also attending school. The financial award provided to successful applicants may be as much as $10,000. These funds may be used to pay for the cost of college education for those enrolled in a Bachelor’s program or a post-graduate program.
Since 1869, P.E.O. Sisterhood has been providing women with the financial assistance they need to attend college and improve their lives. Scholarships are mostly awarded to mothers. In addition to scholarships, the organization also helps mothers fund their college education through grants and loans.
In total, this organization has provided over 77,000 women with financial assistance, and this assistance has totaled over $200 million dollars over the past 150 years. More information about the financial assistance available to mothers through this program can be found at www.peointernational.org.
Women’s Independence Scholarship Program
The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, otherwise known as WISP, is designed to help women obtain the money they need to attend college and earn a higher education degree. The program is suited for survivors of domestic abuse from an intimate partner such as a spouse or a boyfriend.
The program prefers to award scholarship funds to those enrolled state community colleges, state colleges or universities, and technical or vocational schools. Those enrolled in other programs may also apply. The application for the WISP fund as well as more information about this program may be found online at www.wispinc.org.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
The United Negro College Fund is designed to help African Americans, including mothers and expectant mothers of African American descent, obtain funds needed to attend college and work toward a higher education degree.
Some scholarships are sponsored by specific corporations including Intel, Google, and others. More information about the different scholarship programs available can be found on the UNCF website at www.uncf.org.
Women’s Opportunity Awards
This is a funding program provided through Soroptimist, an organization that promotes improving the lives of women and girls through a variety of efforts. While the organization encourages and actively promotes the betterment of women’s lives in many different ways, those mothers and pregnant women who are interested in seeking higher education can apply for the Women’s Opportuunity Awards.
Applications for these awards are accepted between July and December 1 each year, and they are accepted through the local Soroptimist chapters. You can learn more about this scholarship opportunity by exploring www.soroptimist.org.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The American Association of University Women offers scholarships, grants, financial awards, and fellowship opportunities to women across the country. The organization aims to promote equal education for all women, so it is a great resource for funding higher education endeavors made by women with children or who are currently pregnant. Information about scholarship and other financial awards can be found online at www.aauw.org.
Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund
The Talbots Women’s Scholarship Fund is provided annually through Talbots Charitable Foundation. Only the first 1,000 applications are considered each year. Of these 1,000 applicants, five scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $10,000 and fifty scholarships will be awarded in the amount of $1,000.
These scholarships are designed for non-traditional female students. Only applicants who graduated high school or earned a GED at least ten years prior to the application date are considered. More information about this program can be found online at www.talbots.com.
The Julianne Malveaux Scholarship
African-American women, including mothers and expectant mothers, can consider applying for the Julianne Malveaux Scholarship. This is a scholarship opportunity for women who are currently in their second or third year of high education studies. Those studying journalism, economics, public policy, and other related areas may apply. More information and the application may found at www.nanbpwc.org.
Women in Defense Horizons Scholarship
The Women in Defense (WID) organization provides women who are considering a career in national security in the United States with the Horizons Scholarship program. The scholarship is open to all women who are US citizens and who have a GPA of at least 3.25.
Applicants should be interested in a career in national security or in the defense industry, and they should be majoring in a related field such as engineering, law, business, economics, political science, physics, or other similar fields.
Application deadlines are November 1 and July 1 each year. Each scholarship awarded will have a value of at least $500. More information about this scholarship can be found at wid.ndia.org.
Paying for a college education can be difficult to accomplish even when personal expenses are minimal. Married mothers, single mothers, pregnant mothers today are challenged in their efforts to pay for college by the increased expense of raising children. Many mothers today have been able to find a considerable amount of funding needed for their college education by applying for these various grants and scholarships.
In addition to the opportunities mentioned here, mothers may find additional options that are available through their local or state governments, through their school, designed for their specific major, ethnic-specific scholarships and grants, and more. These, combined with student loans, can help make college more affordable.