Happy Mother’s Day! For all you ladies who have children or have given birth to children but don’t want to let that stop you from achieving your academic dreams, there is money out there specifically for you. Aside from applying for federal student aid and checking for institutional scholarships, you can also consider applying for the scholarships for moms listed in this blog post.
The scholarships listed do not require students to be residents of a certain county or to be attending a certain institution, but there are many other institutional and local scholarships that are aimed at helping mothers return to school or go to school for the first time. The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, for example, offers the Frances M. Dunn Memorial Scholarship to single mothers. Talk to your school’s financial aid office to learn more about its specific opportunities.
Minimum GPA Required: 2.0
The Lifetime Adoption Foundation Scholarship aims to honor the women who have made the difficult decision to give up a child by helping them pursue higher education. Applicants must be women who legally gave up their child for adoption after 1990 and who have been accepted to or are pursuing a credential at an accredited institution in the United States. Students are required to write a 400-word essay that addresses their challenges as a birth parent and student and why they deserve this scholarship. There is no set application deadline, but the foundation requests that applications be received at least three months prior to the start of classes.
Award Amount: Up to $5,000
Application Deadline: August 1, 2019
Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman of color elected to the House of Representatives, serving for a total of 24 years. Throughout her life, she was committed to giving low-income women access to education and opportunities that came easily to other people. This scholarship in her name provides up to $5,000 to low-income women who are supporting children while pursuing a college education. Applicants must be female, at least 17 years old, and have at least one child under the age of 18. Furthermore, applicants must be enrolled in a nonprofit, accredited institution and pursuing their first certificate, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or doctorate. Students must not have a household income higher than $20,000 (family of two), $24,000 (family of three), or $28,000 (family of four).
Award Amount: $10,000
Scholarships4Moms hosts a drawing several times each year (the next drawing is mid-June) and awards a $10,000 scholarship to each winner. The drawing is open to mothers or expecting mothers who are U.S. citizens over 18 years old and are currently attending or returning to school within three months. The website states that your chances of winning are about one in 125,000. Obviously, the odds are not on your side, but it doesn’t hurt to fill out the short registration form and hope for the best. If you happen to win, your award can be applied to tuition, room and board, books, or class supplies. This site allows you to request more information from institutions that are affiliated with Scholarships4Moms, but this does not increase your chances of winning the scholarship. Still, having more information about your options is never a bad thing!
Award Amount: Up to $16,000
Application Deadline: November 15
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
This award is intended to help women further their education and increase their employment prospects by doing so. Though a woman doesn’t have to have children, she must have dependents; this includes a child, spouse, sibling, or parent, any of whom she is supporting with her income. Applicants must be the primary provider for their family and must be able to demonstrate financial need. Awards range from $1,000 to $16,000 and must be applied toward education; to apply, students must be accepted to or currently enrolled at a vocational school or bachelor’s degree-granting institution. Students with graduate degrees are ineligible.
Award Amount: $500
Letter of Recommendation: Yes
The National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. administers the Wynetta A. Frazier Sister-to-Sister Scholarship. Dr. Frazier worked in education, human relations, and women’s rights groups in the Chicago area. This scholarship was created to help African American women whose education was interrupted by familial responsibilities afford their postsecondary education. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and have been accepted to or be currently attending a bachelor’s degree-granting institution. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay explaining why they are qualified for the scholarship and how it will help them pursue their education, two letters of recommendation, their high school (or college, if a returning student) transcripts, and a personal statement.
This list may seem rather short and specific. It is. Your best chances of receiving financial aid are going to be with the federal government and U.S. Department of Education, and you’ll receive that award by filling out the FAFSA. There is no age limit and no condition about being a mother associated with the FAFSA. All eligible students are welcome to apply. Remember to contact both your school and your state education department, since they will have a better idea about scholarships tailored to your school or area.