Kuddos to you, Mama! It’s tough (and rewarding) work being a mother, and now you are looking to expand your education and go to school. It is a large undertaking, but well worth the sacrifice. Leveling up your education can lead to higher earnings, more choice in career, and a great example to your kiddos. Your kids will see you getting out there and going for it- a priceless lesson that will teach them that anything is possible. As a mother, your goal in life is to provide your children with the best opportunities available. And that starts at home with your example. When contemplating further education, the inevitable question of “how to pay for it “ will come up. Of course, there are costly student loans, but there is another way- scholarships and student aid. While scholarships can be hard work to obtain, so is working to pay off your loans (and the interest accrued.) So again, why not set the example for your kids that you do not have to go steeply into debt to get educated and get ahead. The point of going back to school is to improve the future for your family, not to cause more financial stress and burden at home. And being a single mom, there are special Scholarships that can apply to you:
Deblinger Family Scholarship
This scholarship awards up to $10,000 specifically to single mothers going to school to improve their lives and the lives of their families. There is some specific criteria for this one based on where you reside (In California Alameda County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, and San Mateo County. Preference will be given to residents of East Palo Alto, Oakland, San Jose and Watsonville), your financial need, and GPA. The application will be available on April 17, 2019. Visit https://www.siliconvalleycf.org/scholarships/deblinger for more information or to apply.
Toby Merrill Scholarship
This scholarship was founded to help change the lives of children through education. It honors his legacy and provides assistance to those awarded with it. While this one is not exclusively for single mothers, it is for those who have maintained kindness and strength in times of adversity. A single mother can be a great example of those traits. Special consideration is given to those who have been affected personally or within their family by cancer or bereavement. This scholarship can be awarded up to $9,700 a year and can be renewed yearly for 4 years, totaling $38,800. For a list of requirements and steps to apply, visit https://tobymerrillscholarship.org/about-the-scholarship/.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation Scholarship
This foundation was established in 2003 to carry on Patsy Takemoto Mink’s legacy and assist in providing “educational access, opportunity, and equity for low-income women, especially mothers” per the website. In 2018, five $5,000 scholarships were awarded. This year’s application will be opening up late April or early May of 2019. This scholarship is for mothers of minor children and based on financial need as well as other criteria. For more information, visit their website at https://www.patsyminkfoundation.org/education-support-application.
In addition to these scholarships, there are thousands more out there based on various criteria. Don’t forget to also apply for financial aid through FAFSA ( https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/ ). You
may be eligible for additional grants and aid to help you get back to school and pursue your dreams. With diligence, hard work, and planning, it is possible to get a portion or even the majority of your school paid for without relying on costly student loans that can get in the way of moving ahead.