Single mothers and fathers in need of financial assistance to make ends meet can apply for single parent grants. These programs can provide supplemental funds that may be used to help moms and dads on a low income to afford the necessary expenses that come with raising a child.
These grants are offered by both government and local charities and can be intended to provide help under several different pretenses. The following will provide you with some essential information concerning the best grants out there for improving your life as well as the life of your child.
It may require some research in order to go about finding available grants. First you will have to determine just what expenses are giving you the most trouble. On average, this is typically food, medical care, and day-care services. Fortunately, there are now programs available for each of these areas and anyone 18 or older is able to apply for them. Younger individuals are still able to apply but will need to have a parent or guardian to apply along with them. There are typically certain terms that must be agreed to before any money will change hands.
When applying for grants, eligibility is going to be a big concern to most single parents. While each program has its own different rules to determine who will be able to collect from them, in general the following guidelines consist of the following:
You will have to be either a divorced or abandoned parent. There are exemptions however, such as when your spouse is seriously injured or disabled. If you find that you do not qualify to receive money from these programs based on your marital status, you may still qualify if you and your spouse have a significantly low income.
Some grants focus on providing much needed funds for single moms and dads who would like to go to college. Federal programs are the easiest to qualify for and include the Pell Grant and the Academic Competitiveness Grant. These are typically offered based on income and expected family contributions which single mothers and fathers qualify for. In addition, there are programs that have been developed to specifically help individuals in your condition. In order to learn more about this type of grant, the best place to go is to the financial aid office at your college.
In order to put in an application for single parent grants you will have to contact your local office of Health and Human Services. They can answer any additional questions you may have and can give you the application forms to fill out. In most cases you will have a follow up meeting with a social worker. In most cases the effort required to complete an application will be well worth considering this is a great an accessible way to provide you with additional income to pay for the needs of your children.
Single Mother Grants
Single mothers need to scenario plan when it comes to their financial commitments and being aware that the benefits of financial assistance can add peace of mind to stressful circumstances. There are a number of private funds and grants for single mothers available to apply for, which can become the light at the end of the tunnel, providing hope in stressful and confusing times.
Programmes funded by the government, private institutions and NGO’s are designed to assist single mothers. This kind of aid can not only assist to fund their own, but also their children’s educations as well as rent and medical expenses. Going back to school can be a daunting thought, considering the cost of education, the time required to study – as well as building up toward a career. There are plenty of grants that can alleviate these concerns.
Grant options are all tailored to various needs for example some criteria require single mothers to be under 25 to qualify while other grant types consider various realistic restrictions on income and circumstances. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarships is specifically for women over 35 years of age. The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program on the other hand, is tailored for single mothers who have experienced living with abusive partners. Be sure to double check the authenticity of the website and organisation.
When applying for selected grants, even if you are financially secure, your application may be denied. However, you can still prove to a financial officer that you need the money by filling out an ‘Application of repeal’ form. When you do receive approval, you must then approach an institution who will lend you the finance you required. Many single moms choose a national institution specialising in college aid or a local bank. Financial institutions however have terms and conditions when paying back finances such as withholding tax refunds and lowering credit scores.
Food Grants for Single Mothers
Since grocery shopping forms a huge expense for single mothers who have to ensure their children are not undernourished. Discount coupons are not always a practical option however Angel Food Ministries, a non-profit organization exist to provide food relief & financial aid to single mothers. The program tends hundreds of thousands of families across 45 US states and aims to provide $60 worth of fruits & vegetables for $30 to eligible single moms & families. A single unit of food is shown to feed a single mother for a whole month or a family of 4 for 1 week. All the food is supermarket quality.
In the case of food grants, Women, Infant and Children (WIC) is a government program offered by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) offering food vouchers via an EBT card. This works much like a credit card which is topped up each month allowing single moms to purchase food for their families. The program provides supplemental foods, health care options & nutrition education with a target population which includes;
- Low income pregnant women
- Breastfeeding women (up to the 1st year of the child)
- Infants (up to the 1st year).
- Children (up to their 5th birthday)
An additional option, depending on your annual income and the size of your family may make you eligible for government food stamps. These programs assist low income single mothers with buying decent food to nourish their children. Additional single mother grants include the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Food Stamps Stamps Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
College Grants for Single Moms
In 2009 President Obama turned his focus to grants for single mothers and fathers via the federally funded Pell Grant of which the maximum amount has been increased from $5,350 to $5,500. In the next decade it is predicted to climb $6,900. These grants are awarded based on income and number of children in the single mother’s family. Low income single moms can research the Department of Education’s website within their State to find a fitting match for their needs.
With the demands on single mothers time there is little left to attend school online courses are offered by the government as a supplement to busy but ambitious moms. The screening procedures are effortless and mothers can do it from home. Proof that you are a single mom is required and you will be prioritised. Pell Grants for single mothers is such an example, available for learning online.
Minority groups can consider the National Black Nurses Association or Hispanic College Fund. There is also the Association on American Indian Affairs Displaced Homemaker Scholarships and when seeking grants for mothers of Hispanic origin, Denny’s Single Parent Student Scholarship can be approached. The MLA scholarship exclusively meant for minority citizens of US and Canada can provide up to $5000 in financial aid.
For additional grants one can also visit the FAFSA website and fill in their “Free Application For Federal Student Aid” which requires Social Security Number, Driver’s License, Income Tax Returns, Bank Statements and Investment Records to create an online application. To approve and sign your online application you will receive a personal identification number (pin) for verification or you can maul your authorised page to them. There is also the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation helps in purchasing books and study materials for single mothers going back to college.
The Difference between Grants and Loans
People often confuse grants and loans with each other. As a single parent, or any other consumer for that matter, it is important that you understand exactly what it is you are committing to before taking up a grant or a loan. The most basic different between grants and loans is that grants do not have to be repaid, while loans will have to be repaid, often with interest over a period of time.
In deciding who receives a grant the organization that allocates the money will place more emphasis on the circumstances and special needs, conditions and requirements of the grant applicant. While there are almost always some form of criteria that you will have to pass before becoming eligible, the single parents’ ability to repay the money will seldom if ever play a role.
In allocating loans on the other hand the financial institution or loan organization will also consider the person’s ability to repay the loan. While special circumstances like the fact that you are a single parent may get you a reduced interest rate, additional time and more convenient terms under which to repay the loan you will still have to repay the loan amount at some point. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions of your loan. Know what the interest is and the impact that any repayment schedule will have on your budget. Don’t let this deter you from going out and finding a loan that can help you support yourself and your children. There are great loans with very decent and flexible terms available to single moms and dads.
Sources Of Single Parent Grants
Grants for single mothers and fathers are primarily available through 2 sources:
- Government grants, and
- Private grants an loans
Government Grants – The US government have extensive support and grant processes in place to support needy single moms and dads. The Federal Government manages some of the best known grants – like the Pell Grant – while state governments and even local authorities often provide their own financial support to people in their jurisdiction. Government grants for single parents are focused around some primary areas of need like education, child support, healthcare, food, rental and living assistance. There great resources for government grants and assistance are:
Private Sector Grants – It’s often more difficult to find grants from the private sector. These grants are often only given to a few individuals each year and can therefore be more lucrative if you are able to secure one of them. The best source for finding private grants is the internet or in the case of education grants and scholarships by inquiring through the institution that you are planning to attend. Websites like Scholarships.com can be a great starting point for finding scholarship grants for single parents
Beware of Scams and Rip-Offs – It is unfortunately true that there are a lot of schemes, scams and rip-offs on the internet targeting needy individuals with promises and sales messages that are too good to be true. Beware of sites that require you to pay to apply for a government grant. Very few if any government grant application procedures would actually require you to pay at the point of application. Also, be careful of sites that require that you subscribe to get access to grant information. Many of these sites will re-bill you on a monthly basis until you pro-actively stop the billing – a process which may not be intuitive or easy in itself. Be smart, use your common sense and do your homework before you provide and private or billing information.
Types Of Grants
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
The single mother government assistance program which can be accessed online, will assist in helping single parents seek grants in the housing sector. One again, the forms needed to be completed to assess eligibility though their response time is known to be months. In regard to basic food needs there are voucher schemes run by the same department who drives Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
TANF provides assistance and job opportunities by extending States Federal Funds toward single parent grants and to implement their welfare programs. In essence TANF is a block grant program assisting recipients to turn temporary welfare into a stepping stone for work. Under the welfare reform legislation of 1996, TANF replaced programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) and Emergency Assistance (EA) programs. Now TANF provides States, Territories and Tribes with Federal funds on an annual basis.
The fund provides up to $5 billion and exists with 4 major purposes;
- assisting needy families with grants so that children can be cared for in their own homes;
- reducing the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage;
- preventing out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and
- encouraging the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.
TANF Grant Criteria
Recipients seeking TANGF grants must re-enter the job market as soon as they are job ready, preferably within the span of 2 years after the initiation of the grant period. Single parents are encouraged to work for an average of 20 – 30 hours per week (depending on the age of their children).
Families who cannot find adequate childcare will not be penalised and adults who have received federally funded assistance for up to five years are not eligible for the program. TANF requires that single parent minors must engage in academic activities as well as live with a responsible adult in order to qualify for Federal assistance.
Child Care Grants
In the category of child care grants, if you live the Southern California areas of Greater Long Beach, San Pedro and Wilmington Comprehensive Child Development, Inc. (CCD) offers families with young children ages 4 months to Kindergarten services. Their focus falls on is income-eligible households and single-parent families. The agency is funded through both public and private sector grants, allowing many of the parents in their programs to steer clear from staying on – or returning to welfare.
CCD works closely with the community and local officials as well as the State of California Department of Education to provide affordable early childhood education opportunities via grants to underprivileged families. The organisation currently provides care and quality education for over 525 children whose families working or attending vocational training. Their goals include;
- Providing affordable early childhood education and care for children, enabling families to work and/or participate in vocational training.
- Educating and support families in their efforts toward greater self-sufficiency.
- Promoting and supporting high quality nutrition programs for young children and their care providers.
- Working with parents to provide the best possible care for their children as well as maintaining a nurturing home environment.
- Increasing and supporting the parents’ role as advocate for their children in relation to school and community.
- Advocating with community, corporations and public agencies to increase the overall quality of child care.
Single Parent Grants For Minorities
More graduates under African-Americans and other minority groups leaving college with four year degrees now than before in history. African American women rank among some of the most impoverished people in the USA and many wish to uplift themselves through education. Single moms in this category are driven by the desire to free themselves from having been in this state for so long. For these individuals there are plenty of grants tailored to their hopes and visions.
These minority group grants include Hispanic women whose numbers have overtaken African American women. South Western states have recognized the need to supply grants which will assist in equipping Hispanic-American women with opportunities for academic achievement.
While Native-American women make up the smallest ethnic group in the USA, many still only consider a high school diploma as their final educational goal. Isolation on reservations has contributes to these tendencies. Asian-American women are the fastest growing ethnic group in the country and women who are from disadvantaged, ethnic backgrounds as the first person in their family to attend college may be eligible for the Sallie Mae and Coca Cola grants for higher education. Single parents living in the USA who fall under these categories can thus consider these options when applying for grants as an opportunity to further their education in the interest of their families.
Grants And Resources For Day-care
Day-care expenses are a necessity in any single parent’s life and this can incur expenses that the parent is not able to carry. As a result of this need, there are plenty of support groups from government grants to employer supported programs for covering these costs.
The more common source of day-care financial help is at the local county Human Services office and Department of Health. In order to qualify parents need to be employed fulltime. Each state has different eligibility criteria limited to a year or two by some and varying in others depending on requirements. Child care facilities include offerings of single parent grants, flexible payment terms and scholarships.
“Head Start” is also a good source of grants for day-care and they are easily found online. This organisation will help you even if you have already received assistance form another program. For babysitters or nannies care.com is a great resource for single mothers. Daycare Bear is one of many options available to mothers providing a network of services in your area.
Under the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), Child Care aware was established to help families, a website that provides resources childcare provisions and help with grants for day-care. There is also childcare.org for information on government related programs for single mothers which offer services such as: Child and Dependent Care Credit where you can get an income tax return if you paid a nanny while you were working or job hunting. In addition, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&R) will help you find special funding or aid day-care.
Grants For College
With the economic downturn there has been a rise in students applying to colleges and universities to embark on or continue their education. This has included an increase in financial aid for single parents many of which are female, tending children as well as a career. Frequent numbers of single mothers, older than traditional students are seeking academic education.
As a result, federal, business and local governments have created grants to attend the special needs of the single mother. Whether to better their chances for future careers or holding down jobs while caring for their children, these single moms attend classes. As a result, online education is becoming more convenient.
Some mothers have had to apply for state assistance or EBT benefits due to sudden unemployment EBT is the method by which the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) delivers cash and food stamp benefits to New York State’s recipient population. In this system, cash and food stamp benefits are deposited into electronic benefit accounts.
These forms of grants are accessed using a Common Benefit Identification Card (CBIC) and Personal Identification Number (PIN). The Card can be used at EBT participating ATM machines and Point of Sale (POS) terminals throughout the state and New York food stamp recipients may access their EBT food stamp benefits anywhere within the United States at participating EBT locations. Cash benefits may also be accessed at participating ATM and POS locations throughout the country. Cash Access locations can be found online.
Overview of Some Available Grants
A single mom or single parent living in the U.S. has access to many grants, and can find grants through the federal government, state government, as well as accessing the private sector, colleges and businesses. You have to meet certain criteria to succeed in obtaining a grant for all of them. What should be established is that there is a difference between a grant and a loan. Grants do not have to be repaid. Loans have to be paid back over a period of time. It is better to secure a grant than apply for a loan as you don’t have to worry about payments and interest. The following are grants benefiting single parents and their children.
The Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is free provided you qualify. It is available to single moms and also their children to assist in further education to obtain a degree. The purpose of the Pell grant is to offer scholarships to deserving single moms in order that they can improve their level of education and secure a job. It allows single moms to study without worrying about refunding the money. To qualify for a Pell grant you need a computer and an internet connection. Pell Grants for moms are awarded up to $5,500. You may also qualify for a $10,000 scholarship.
The National Smart Grant
The National Smart Grant is a merit-based award available to third and fourth 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 $4,000. You have to file a FAFSA. This is the Federal application. File your application as soon after January 1st as you can.
The Teacher Education Assistant for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
The TEACH grant was created to provide students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families, with upwards of $4,000 per year.
Academic Competitive Award (ACG)
The ACG award is available to first year college students who graduated from high school after January 1st 2006, and for second year college students who graduated from high school after January 1st 2005. This award is in addition to the student’s Pell Grant award. An ACG grant provides up to $750 for the first year of undergraduate study and up to $1,300 for the second year of undergraduate study to full-time students provided they qualify.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
The FSEOG grant is for undergraduates with exceptional financial need. Pell Grant recipients with the lowest expected family contributions will be first in line for a FSEOG. This grant too does not have to be repaid. Recipients can receive between $100 and $4,000 a year.
An institutional grant is where the college makes up the difference between college costs and what a family can contribute. Under this category there are also merit awards offered to students whose families need assistance.
Other Grants and Awards to Research
- peaChic Grant – designed for women in business.
- International Fellowships and Grants – support postgraduate research, study and training for women.
- The Sister Fund – gives voice to women working for justice from a religious framework.
- Women’s Fund of Central Texas – funds to benefit women and children through arts, culture and education.
- Rockefeller Family Fund
- Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF) – awards educational grants to women from developing countries.
- Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) – for formerly battered women for the purpose of getting an education to get stable employment.
- Jeannette Rankin Foundation Scholarships – for mature women over 35 with low income. You must be in pursuit of an associate’s or first bachelor’s degree.
- Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) – $2,000 need-based grants to women who return to school to support themselves and their families.
- Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards – for women who are the main breadwinners for their families – scholarships up to $10,000 each. Conditions apply.
- Talbot’s Women’s Scholarship Fund – 60 scholarships of $1,000 each and 6 scholarships of $10,000 each for applicants seeking a bachelor’s degree.
- Possible Woman Foundation International Scholarships – scholarships approx $2,000 to $5,000 for stay-at-home moms entering the workforce.
- American Association of University Women Career Development Grants – for women with a bachelor’s degree preparing to change or advance their careers.
- Accounting Scholarships for Women in Transition – $16,000 paid over four years.
- Royal Neighbors of America Scholarships for Women – life enrichment scholarships for returning students – $500 each awarded to returning students over 21 and pursuing short term coursework.
- New Horizons Scholarships for returning students – $5,000 each one-time scholarships for up to four years, awarded to a woman over 35 who goes above and beyond to volunteer in her community and achieve financial security.
American Association of University Women (AAUW) is a nationwide network of more than 100,000 members and donors, and has a long history of helping women in the United States and around the globe. Currently, it is providing more than $3.6 million in funding for more than 230 fellowships and grants to outstanding women and nonprofit organizations in the 2011-12 academic year. AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.
The above-named grants should be enough to get you started. Be aware of people who ask you for money to make application. You don’t have to pay to apply for a grant. Take note of eligibility requirements when you find a program that fits your needs and be honest in your answers. Every program has its own rules and requirements. Some grants focus on providing funds for single moms and dads who want to return to college. Other grants require you to be divorced or an abandoned parent, or from a low income group, or seriously injured, or disabled. A great majority of the grants are to help women. Research the grants or programs you are interested in. Take note of deadlines. Federal grants and programs are the easiest to qualify for.
Statistics show that more than 10 million mothers and fathers are trying to raise their children on their own. The purpose of single parent grants is to help with day care, housing, schooling and basic family needs. The current USA economic climate is pressing for families with both mothers and fathers, for single parents access to financial aid can be of great assistance. Grants are commonly available to single parents over 18 years of age and unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid.
25% of single parent families exist below the Federal poverty level while 83% are women-centred families. Some of these grants are given in exchange for community work which can be enriching and assist the parent in building important networks and resources within their community to fill gaps and needs they may not be able to in their child’s lives.
Grants can most easily be accessed in college. Scholarships for mothers are available to assist single parents to further their academic careers and optimise their opportunities to support their families. These include scholarships for women over 30 or Obama grants, to assist single moms with college education. The Federal Pell Grant allows you to claim $ 5,500 and submitting one may be worth assessing whether you fit the criteria. Single dads can consider on campus aid officers to assist applying for student loans or when applying for the Pell Grant. In addition to the government options, private organisations also finance single parent grants.