You might have heard all the talk in the press about Obama’s educational goal of encouraging working mothers to seek a post-secondary degree. The Pell Grant is designed to help enrolled students who come from low-income families afford a post-secondary education. This aid extends to individuals who have one or more dependents and earn less than $50,000.
Many single mothers are in dire need of financial aid in order to earn a post-secondary education. An alarming 38 percent of single mothers are living at or below poverty level. These moms may feel like college is too expensive a venture to pursue, considering they are struggling daily to make ends meet. But what they might not know is that single mothers who have earned a bachelors degree are five times as likely to earn a salary large enough to support their families.
Attending a degree program at a community college is ideal for single mothers because they both typically cost less than a traditional 4-year college or university. Earning a certificate or associates degree is encouraged, as these programs only last two years, as opposed to the four it takes to earn a bachelors degree. This means that attending two year certificate or associate degree program, such as nursing or medical assistance, allows you to obtain gainful employment directly out of college. It is important to note that a Pell Grant may only be used towards a first degree, so those considering a masters degree program must look elsewhere for financial aid.
Pell Grants may be used towards an online degree. Single working mothers often already have their time and resources stretched thin. Juggling a career with children can prove to be a difficult feat. If this describes your life, an online degree might be your best option. Online school caters to individuals who need a flexible school schedule and cannot afford to take time off from work in order to pursue a degree.
Another great fact to keep in mind about the Pell Grant is that they may be combined with other types of funds to complete your financial aid package. The Pell Grant places zero restrictions on the number of grants and scholarships that you can apply to. If there is any money left over from your Pell Grant award, you may use the refund to help out with expenses that you may have fallen behind on while attending school.
There are restrictions to the amount of funding that one can receive for a Pell Grant. Although the Pell Grant will not cover the total expenses of your post-secondary tuition, it may cover a significant portion, depending on the type of school selected. Currently, there are over 8,000 schools that accept the Pell Grant application, however some schools do not participate in Federal aid programs so be sure to check with your prospective school before taking the time to fill out an application.
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