Many different government grants are available to assist single parents who are looking for college financing. Besides federal grants, government grants to assist single parents with their educational costs are also available at the state level. Some municipalities may offer their own government grants to local residents. You can often learn about local assistance programs by dialing 211.
In order to qualify for any other federal grant, you must first qualify for a Pell Grant. This need-based grant offers between $400 and $5,550 (as of 2011) to low-income college students based on cost of attendance and an income threshold which is updated each year. The maximum grant amount is also updated each year. Pell Grants do not need to be paid back.
To apply for a Pell Grant, you need to be a U.S. citizen and an undergraduate college student who has not yet achieved a bachelor’s degree. You will also have to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which doubles as your Pell Grant application.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
This need-based grant is awarded on the basis of greatest financial need. Its value ranges between $100 and $4,000. The FAFSA doubles as the grant application for the FSEOG.
To be eligible for an FSEOG, you must be a U.S. citizen and an undergraduate student who has not previously defaulted on a student loan. You will also have to meet the required Grade Point Average.
Academic Competitive Grant (ACG)
This merit-based grant is limited to first and second year undergraduate college students. You must also be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. The maximum award is $750 for first year students and $1,300 for second year students. The FAFSA doubles as the grant application for the ACG.
National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant
This merit-based grant is for undergraduate students who are majoring in mathematics, technology, engineering, a critical foreign language, or in physical, life, or computer sciences. To be eligible, you should hold a GPA of at least 3.0 in the course major. You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen to apply. The FAFSA doubles as the grant application for the National SMART Grant.
JRF Scholarship Program
This program gives educational grants to single mothers who belong to low income families. To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 35 years old. The JRF Scholarship Program is limited to a maximum of 500 single mothers each year.