Grants for single fathers come in various shapes and sizes; from housing, new business development, personal and financial aid to education as well as for food. Perhaps single fathers need support in the event that they do not have the mom to assist, whether they have been widowed, are unemployed or by any other circumstances.
The Student Loan Network offer a 10k Scholarship which can be filled out online allowing you to be entered into a once a month draw for $10k. In case you are wondering how they afford it, they simply make enough money through advertising from the thousands of the visitors to the site who wish to enter. When researching similar education grants online, be careful of scams though.
Beware Of Scams
There are many sites, Sholarship Zone is one of them, offering opportunities for grants, but to be sure that you are safe, CollegeBoard.org has a list of sites to be wary of. According to the Federal Trade Commission’s Scholarship Scams, the following are tell-tale signs to watch out for:
- “The scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.“: Of course no one can guarantee that they can get you grants or a scholarship. Refund guarantees often have conditions or strings attached so make sure you get any refund policies in writing, before you pay any money.
- “You can’t get this information anywhere else.“: There are many free lists of scholarships available. CollegeBoard’s scholarship search is a good place to start. Anyone can do research online to find lists of scholarships and they are freely available.
- “I just need your credit card or bank account number to hold this scholarship.“: Never give out credit card or bank account numbers on the phone without getting information in writing first. This has signs of being an unauthorized withdrawal; grants for single fathers should not need to be obtained at your expense.
- “We’ll do all the work.“: Application is hard work, don’t fall for this one, ever.
- “The scholarship will cost money.“: Don’t pay anyone who claims to be “holding” a scholarship or grant. A scholarship means that you get money, not pay money. Free money is free money and that means “no cost”.
- “You’ve been selected by a national foundation” to receive a scholarship or “You’re a finalist” in a contest you have never entered: Before you send money to apply for a scholarship, make sure the foundation or program is legitimate. Grants do not often appear in the form of competitions but be sure to remain alert.
Government grants are much like free money you can receive from the government as a taxpayer. When you have settled on suitable grants you need to begin the application process. Applying for these grants usually start with filing a Free Application for Federal Student (FAFSA) with FSA (Federal Student Aid).
The Role Of The FSA
Federal Student Aid (FSA) is an office of the U.S. Department of Education, which ensures that all eligible individuals can benefit from federally funded financial assistance for education beyond high school. They champion the promise of post secondary education to all Americans. Federal Student Aid plays a central and essential role in supporting post secondary education by providing grants and money for college to eligible students and families. They collaborate with post secondary schools, financial institutions and others to deliver services that help students and families who are paying for college.
Federal Student Aid Performs The Following Critical Functions:
- Educating students and families on the process of obtaining aid;
- Processing millions of student financial aid applications each year;
- Disbursing billions of dollars in aid funds to students through schools;
- Enforcing financial aid rules and regulations;
- Servicing millions of student loan accounts and securing repayment from borrowers who have defaulted on their loans; and
- Operating information technology systems and tools that manage billions in student aid dollars.
Single father grants can be attained by understanding the dynamics of the FSA who serve a complex, multifaceted mission requiring a range of staff skills and demands coordination by all levels of management. The Pell Grant for example is a need-based grant offering between $400 and $5,350 to eligible applicants. To apply, you must first file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you qualify for a Pell Grant, you automatically qualify for other federal grants also.
The Academic Competitive Grant (ACG) is a good example of potential grants for single fathers who did well in school, being a merit-based grant available to first and second-year college students who have performed at a certain academic level during high school. An ACG awards up to $750 to first-year students and $1300 for second-years. A FAFSA needs to be filed to qualify.
The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant awards eligible students between $100 and $4000 also requires a FAFSA filing to apply. The National SMART (Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent) Grant is a great example of grants for single fathers who enjoy math and science. It is a merit-based award available to 3rd and 4th year college students pursuing a degree in math, science, engineering or one of the foreign languages designated as crucial for homeland security. Eligible students can receive up to $4000 and once again require a FAFSA to be filed.
Try to file your FAFSA as soon after January 1st as you possibly can. Also, watch out for scams, there are websites who dedicate themselves to assisting you to spot the red flags when you see them. State grant opportunities include:
- New York State’s Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) that awards up to $5,000 to eligible New York state residents.
- Kansas Comprehensive Grants awards between $100-$1,100 to eligible Kansas state residents.
- New Mexico Student Incentive Grant awards between $200 and $2500 a year to eligible New Mexico state residents
- To find financial aid information for your state of residence, check out the government website listing of State Higher Education Agencies.
How To Broaden Your Scholarship Selection
Don’t stop at just one scholarship opportunity, you can apply for several grants in education. Scholarship amounts may low individually but in the end it all ads up. Be careful not to pin all your hope on one application, rather apply for many and diversify your risk. Once you have your application ready its easier to duplicate the information as per the requirements of that particular application. Depending on your course of study, there may be many or few scholarship opportunities.
Grants in education can be found under the following guises;
- The Harry S. Truman Library Institute sponsors the Undergraduate Student Research Grant Program, awarding $1,000 to a student who is working on a thesis or research paper on topics relative to Truman.
- The Hitachi Foundation funds $5,000 grants to graduating high school students who stand out in their communities for community involvement, service to others and in leadership roles.
- Grants are even available to budding rocket scientists. College tuition is available through the Team America Rocketry Challenge, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry. Thousands of dollars in prize money are available, as well as receive travel grants to a NASA event.
- Enterprising young seamstresses (female OR male) may win one of the more unusual grants in a contest, offered first on a state level in the Midwest known as the; Make it with Wool contest. Winners advance to a National level where contest prize money is $1,000.
If you are thinking about becoming a teacher, there are grants out there known as the teacher education assistance for college and higher education grant or known as the acronym TEACH. This grant can enable you to get up to $4000 a year if you plan to become a teacher in lower income areas. Single dads or any single parent considering a teaching degree should consider this a tailor made program. Here you will also meet other single fathers in your position and know you are not alone.
Other Types Of Grants
One of the great things about scholarships and government grants is that they never have to be paid back. If you are trying to make ends meet a good place to go is your closest Department of Health and Human Services office. They can inform you about criteria for qualifying for grants for single father programs such as food stamps, welfare and medical coverage among other. Eligibility is determined based on how much you make and what your financial obligations are.
Note, as with college scams they there are many advertisements on the internet claiming to offer free grants to single parents. Government will provide you assistance for food and financial help, designed to make financial ends meet but is not setup in the form of grants. Make sure the grant source is legitimate.
Government programs like WIC are designed for single parents with children five and under providing food such as milk, cereal, cheese, juice, beans, peanut butter and eggs. Each month food grants for single mothers and fathers are provided in the form of vouchers which are to be use at any time before the expiration date. This program is offered by the Department of Children and Families.
Temporary financial assistance for needy families (TANIF) is also a good source of assistance and grants for single fathers who meet its income and need criterion. Grants and housing vouchers are available at you local housing authority for a fraction of the cost of basic apartment. Medicaid can cover needs if the children are ill and depending on the single parent’s, a small co-payment may be charged. Once again for medical grants, your local Department of Children and Families will be able to help.