Single Parent Households Essay Scholarships

Single parents made up more than 15% of the undergraduate population in US colleges and universities as of 2012. According to the American Council on Education, more than half of this demographic were first generation college students and in the low-income bracket. Though students who are single parents may be fighting a seemingly uphill battle to fund their college experience, there are significant rewards in higher education. The New York Times recently reported that workers in America with a college degree earned 74% more than those with only a high school diploma. So, low income single parents stand to benefit financially in the long term from obtaining a college degree, but most do not have the funds to enroll. Many find financial assistance through scholarships and grants specifically created for their demographic. After all, it is always advisable for single moms and dads to maximize “free money” through scholarships and grants.

Unique Challenges

While attending college as a single parent can be challenging in several ways, most single mothers and single fathers report financial hardship as the most difficult obstacle. Single parents typically spend at least two thirds of their income on housing and basic necessities, and most do not have extra income to put toward a college education. The USDA estimates the average cost of raising a child in a middle-income household to be more than $200,000, which is more than $13,000 per year for 18 years, with housing and childcare expenses among the most costly of child-rearing expenditures, respectively. This financial difficulty, combined with a lack of time and child care options, can make going back to school after becoming a parent especially hard.

Finding reliable childcare as a single parent with both school and work obligations can be especially difficult. College students are often at the pinnacle of their academic career, and the pressure is on to attend courses, meet deadlines and find time to study in between. Trying to balance work and school schedules and finding affordable childcare to accommodate an increasingly irregular schedule is not easy. Additionally, single-parent students may only be able to work part time, which means they may not have the income to be able to afford safe, clean housing for themselves and their children. As a response to this growing need for reasonably priced child care that can be provided as needed for college students, some states such as Oregon have developed their own grants designed to provide support in the form of child care for college students.

Overcoming the unique challenges of being a single-parent student can begin with researching financial aid options specifically for your demographic.


Scholarships

Scholarships are financial aid that are awarded based on the merit and academic achievement of the student applicant. Anyone can apply for scholarships, as they are offered according to individual merit and not necessarily financial need. There are scholarships available to students within a broad range of income levels, education levels, majors, talents, fields of interest and ethnicity. A variety of scholarships are offered nationally through federal funding but also through individual schools, cultural organizations and private/corporate sponsors. Unlike student loans, scholarships are gifts that typically do not require repayment after graduation.

Though criteria and eligibility vary from case to case, the scholarship application process generally includes some universal requirements. Students will likely be required to submit transcripts to determine current GPA and recent academic performance, as well as letters of recommendation in addition to filling out the formal application. Though scholarships are not based exclusively on financial need, many donors ask that applicants complete the FAFSA and may require additional income-related documentation. Those applying for an especially inclusive and/or competitive scholarship may be asked to attend a personal interview at the school or lending organization. Some scholarships require an essay or other personalized communication from you, indicating your intentions for your academic and/or professional future as well as personal insight into your reason for applying.

Tips and Tricks

Consider the following helpful tips when preparing scholarship applications:

  • Start looking as early as possible. Scholarship application deadlines for the upcoming semester tend to be months in advance. It is never too early to start researching available scholarships and preparing your application materials well before the due date.
  • Follow instructions carefully. Whether you are naturally inclined to be detail-oriented or not, now is the time to make sure you’ve followed the exact instructions to the letter. This process is intended to demonstrate your ability to be disciplined in your approach; assume those reviewing your application will reject your application simply for skipping a step.
  • Personalize your materials. Especially in your essay, if applicable, always tailor your materials to the scholarship and opportunity you are applying to. Generic, uninspired ‘form letter’ essays are a sure-fire way to get your application tossed aside on the spot.
  • Use optional materials to your advantage. If you have the option to include additional materials such as reference letters or recommendations, for example, use this opportunity! The extra information included in your application may improve your chances over another applicant who opted out.
  • Check your online profiles. It is common today for those reviewing your application to search for you online and potentially view any profiles or social media accounts you keep current. Search for yourself first so that you can make sure your online presence is professional and presentable for a scholarship review board audience.

Additional Application Resources

Consider the following resources for more tips and advice on how to fill out scholarship applications:

  • Sallie Mae How to Apply for Scholarships – Not just for student loans, Sallie Mae offers tips on how to make the most of your college scholarship applications.
  • Tips for Scholarship Applications and Personal Essays – This scholarship guide from San Diego City College offers extensive steps to take and how-to advice focused on the essay portion of the application.
  • Ten Tips for Winning a Scholarship – A team of higher education experts and college Board panelists compiled this list of best practices for the World Wildlife Fund’s Education of Nature program.
  • Top Ten Scholarship Tips – Indiana University South Bend posted the combined ‘cheat sheet’ of tips from FinAid and FastWeb for its students on the IUSB website.
  • How to Apply for a Scholarship – This list of tips and tricks on BigFuture by the College Board includes video testimonials from successful scholarship award winners.

Where to Find Scholarships

There are numerous places to look for scholarships, ranging from widely-known to unexpected sources. Below are just some examples of how and where to find the scholarships that are right for you:

  • Your college or university. While this may be the most obvious place to start your search, you may be surprised at how many scholarship opportunities are available. Consider contacting the financial aid office in addition to exploring school scholarships online or in-person, and make sure to explore both federal and school-sponsored options.
  • Foundations. Many non-profit and organizations are devoted solely to providing college scholarships and supporting higher education efforts. Though criteria may vary, foundational funding exists at both local and national levels for eligible college-bound students.
  • Local community organizations. Many local organizations and/or local branches of national organizations provide scholarship information to students in their community. Examples may include charity organizations, community recreation centers and civic/municipal government websites.
  • Religious Organizations. Your local church, mosque or synagogue may have community-sponsored or private scholarship opportunities for students within their congregation and/or studying in a major related to ministry, divinity or religious studies.
  • Local Employers. Many local business and/or corporations offer scholarships to students attending college in the area. Check with your employer, if applicable, or your parent(s) employer for current sponsorship opportunities.

Scholarships are vital option for single mothers and single fathers who need help covering the cost of earning their college degree. All of the following scholarships are available in 2016 and are offered annually on an ongoing basis, though students should consult the website of each individual scholarship for the latest information.


Scholarships for Single Mothers


Altrusa’s Olive Gillespie Scholarship

  • This award is open to female sophomore, junior or senior Western Kentucky University students with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants over 30 who are widowed or divorced with dependent children are given first priority; consideration is given to those demonstrating financial need.
  • Award Amount: One time award of $500

The Frances M. Dunn Memorial Scholarship

  • This award funded by Dunn’s children is open to Interdisciplinary Sciences students in their sophomore, junior or senior year of study at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology who are single mothers with at least a 2.5 GPA.
  • Award Amount: One time award of a minimum of $500

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarship

  • This scholarship named for former Congresswoman Mink is open to students enrolled in or planning to attend an accredited certificate, degree or training program who are at least 17 years of age with minor children. Applicants must be low-income status according to IRS tax codes.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of up to $5,000

The Ellen M. Cherry-Delawder Memorial Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to students at Howard Community College who have at least a 2.0 GPA and are pursuing a degree in Business or a related field. Preference is given to female students demonstrating financial need who have dependent children.
  • Award Amount: Varies, depending on funds available

Scholarships for Single Mothers & Fathers

Capture the Dream Inc – Single Parent Scholarship

  • The Single Parent Scholarship is open to low-income single parents who are Bay Area residents and who will be enrolled at an accredited, not-for-profit two or four-year institution in the fall for undergraduate study.
  • Award Amount: A one time $1,000 award

Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund

  • Access to this network of scholarship opportunities is available to low-income Arkansas residents who are single parents of one or more dependent children, and who do not have a degree or diploma from a four-year college or university.
  • Award Amount: Varies according to county of residence

The BYU Marriott School Single Parent Scholarship

  • One of several BYU Marriott School scholarships awarded by the Spouse Association of the Marriott School’s National Advisory Council; applicants must be a single parent with custody of dependent children and enrolled in a Marriott School program in good standing.
  • Award Amount: Amount varies, renewable annually

The Downer-Bennett Scholarship

  • The Downer-Bennett Scholarship is available to undergraduate students who are single parents studying at the University of New Mexico; applicants must be a continuing undergraduate student at UNM with a competitive GPA, completing at least 12 on-campus UNM credits each semester of the upcoming academic year.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $200-$1,000

The Katz and Phillips Single Parent Scholarship

  • This scholarship offered by Florida law firm Katz and Phillips, P.A. is open to single parents who are either currently enrolled in law school or have been accepted into a law program for the following academic year. Applicants must have at least a 2.8 GPA and submit transcripts for consideration.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $1,000

The Kentucky Colonel’s Better Life Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College students who are residents of Kentucky and single working parents with at least one child under the age of 12. Applicants must be full-time students and demonstrate financial need not met by other funding sources.
  • Award Amount: $2,500, renewable for a second year with continued FT study and by maintaining satisfactory academic progress

The LouEllen Dabbs Scholarship

  • The LouEllen Dabbs Scholarship is open to Holyoke Community College students who are single parents in Business, Banking or Finance majors who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must be registered in a minimum of nine credits and have at least a 2.35 GPA.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $750

The Michael S. and Jeffrey C. Hagler Scholarship Fund

  • This award through the Idaho Community Foundation is open to degree-seeking or certificate-seeking students enrolled in at least nine credits per semester at Boise State University or the College of Western Idaho. Applicants must be single mothers and nontraditional students demonstrating financial need as Idaho residents; substance-abuse history is not a disqualifier and priority is given to veterans.
  • Award Amount: Variable, case-by-case basis; not automatically renewable

The Oakland University Critical Difference Scholarship

  • This scholarship sponsored by the Women of Oakland University is open to both full-time and part-time students who are enrolled in an undergraduate OU program and have completed or transferred at least 16 credit hours, with a GPA of at least 2.5. Applicants must be single, head of household, as defined by IRS tax code; their college education must be interrupted by at least a one year period in their academic history.
  • Award Amount: Variable, dependent on need; not automatically renewable

The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship

  • Designed to provide financial assistance to children of workers killed or permanently disabled in work zone accidents, this scholarship is also open to the spouses of fallen workers and parents with custody or legal guardianship of surviving children. Applicants must apply the award toward higher education at an institution that requires a GED as a condition of acceptance; they must also demonstrate financial need according to the FAFSA application.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of up to $5,000

The ANSWER Endowment Scholarship

  • This scholarship from The Foundation for the Carolinas is open to full-time, degree-seeking students who are legal residents of Mecklenburg County, NC or a contiguous county in North or South Carolina, who have not yet completed a four-year degree. Applicants must be nontraditional female students, age 25 or older, who are primary caregivers to at least one school-age child who lives with them in their household.
  • Award Amount: Variable, dependent on individual need

The Frank Kennedy Vernoy Scholarship

  • This scholarship sponsored by memorial gifts from Esther Nelson and the Western Independent College Fund is open to part-time nontraditional students at Westminster College with a GPA of at least 3.0. Single-parent applicants who demonstrate financial need are given priority.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of up to $1,000

The Kathryn Kyriopoulos Colemere Endowed Scholarship

  • This Westminster College scholarship is open to part-time students demonstrating financial need who are single parents. Applicants must be enrolled at least part time, with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Priority is given to business, education and nursing students.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of up to $1,500

The Peggy A. Stock Presidential Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to undergraduate Westminster College students with strong academic backgrounds who can demonstrate financial need. Applicants must be enrolled at least part-time, with a minimum 3.5 GPA. Priority is given to students who are single parents.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of up to $5,000

The Steven K. Wright Scholarship

  • This Westminster College scholarship is open to students who can demonstrate financial need and are enrolled at least part-time with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Priority is given to nontraditional students who are single parents.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of up to $500

The Park Foundation Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to full-time Tompkins Cortland Community College students who are single, head of household, custodial parents of dependent children or Vietnam veterans who have lost educational benefits. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $2,000

The Scholarships 4 Dads Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to US residents over 18 years of age who will use the award for educational purposes. A drawing from applicants registered on Scholarships4Dads.com determines the award recipient.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $10,000

Scholarships for Minority Single Parents


The Rodney and Patricia Westveer Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to female students who have children and are age 30 or older, entering their freshman, sophomore or junior year at Calvin College. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and have a GPA of at least 2.5. Second preference is given to minority students pursuing a degree in Education.
  • Award Amount: $1,700; renewal is possible if GPA requirements are maintained

The Barnes Gromatzky Kosarek Architects Endowed Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to single Hispanic women with dependents who are enrolled in associate’s degree programs at Austin Community College. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Award Amount: One-time amount varies depending on funds available

The Tuesday Club of Stockton Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to FT female multicultural students at San Joaquin Delta College who are single parents. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
  • Award Amount: One-time amount varies depending on funds available

The Merritt College Business Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to female African-American students at Merritt College who are single and head of their household. Applicants must have completed at least 30 credits at Merritt College and have at least a 2.5 GPA
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $250

Scholarships for the Children of Single Parents

The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship

  • Designed to provide financial assistance to children of workers killed or permanently disabled in work zone accidents, this scholarship is also open to the spouses of fallen workers and parents with custody or legal guardianship of surviving children. Applicants must apply the award toward higher education at an institution that requires a GED as a condition of acceptance; they must also demonstrate financial need according to the FAFSA application.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of up to $5,000

The Naomi Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to first-year and transfer students at Calvin College who are from a single-parent family and have a minimum 3.0 GPA; applicants must demonstrate financial need and Christian character.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $1,700; may be renewable with maintenance of 3.0 GPA and Christian character

White Collar Defense Diversity Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to undergraduate law students who are Hispanic or African-American and from a single-family home, with a GPA of at least 3.0. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $500

The Armstrong Family Foundation Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to US residents accepted to Arizona State University as full-time, degree-seeking students. Applicants must demonstrate financial need; scholarship is awarded to students who have experienced family circumstances beyond their control that have prevented access to educational opportunities.
  • Award Amount: Up to $8,000

The Leon and Ida Finkelstein Memorial Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to students at the University of Minnesota who are children of Jewish parents and have lost one parent due to divorce or death.
  • Award Amount: Varies according to financial need

Post-Baccalaureate Scholarships for Single Mothers & Fathers

The Emporia State University Single Parents with Children Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to Emporia State University students who are single parents with sole or joint custody of their dependent children. Applicants must demonstrate financial need by completing the FAFSA and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.75 for a minimum of 7 graduate credit-hours for the fall semester of the scholarship year.
  • Award Amount: $2,000, renewable for up to four years

The Don Rhoades Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to full-time graduate students in good standing at the University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management. Applicants must be single parents who can demonstrate financial need.
  • Award Amount: Up to $1,000, dependent on spending account funds available; may be renewable, depending on spending account funds available

The Coplon Donohue Single Parent Scholarship

  • This scholarship is open to full-time graduate Minnesota State University students in good standing who are single parents with primary custody of their children.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $1,000

The Eisbrouch & Marsh Scholarship

  • This scholarship from Eisbrouch & Marsh law offices is open to graduate college students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are single mothers.
  • Award Amount: A one-time award of $1,000

The Bruce and Marjorie Sundlun Scholarship

  • This award is open to low-income Rhode Island residents who are single parents in any college-level study program; preference is given to those previously incarcerated or currently receiving state financial aid.
  • Award Amount: One time award of up to $1,500

Grants

Grants are one of the largest sources of financial aid in higher education for single parents. Grants, sometimes referred to as “gift aid,” are different than scholarships in several ways. Unlike scholarships, grants do not have to be repaid and are need-based rather than merit-based. There are numerous types of grants, from federal, local/regional and private sources, all aimed at providing financial aid to single parents. Some of the most common options include:

Pell Grants

The federal Pell Grant program provides financial aid on the basis of need to low-income undergraduate students and select graduate students at over 5,000 participating colleges and universities. Students can apply by completing the FAFSA, which determines eligibility according to the student’s expected family contribution (EFC), the cost of attendance, their enrollment status (FT or PT) and the length of student enrollment (for a full academic year or less). For 2015-2016, the maximum Pell Grant award was $5,775, though awards always vary depending on FAFSA information. Awards are delivered annually, possibly in multiple disbursements; students can receive the Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, or FSEOG, is a need-based grant that is administered by the financial aid office at participating colleges and universities, and is limited to the funds available at each individual institution from federal financial aid each year. Students apply for the FSEOG by completing the FAFSA; students with great enough financial need to be eligible for both the Pell Grant and the FSEOG will receive the FSEOG first, then the FAFSA will determine the potential amount of the remaining Pell Grant award. Students may receive between $100 and $4,000 for the academic year, though they should contact individual schools for details about this program. Schools are limited to one annual lump sum of federal funds for FSEOG-eligible students.

Individual State and School Grants

In addition to federal grants, individual states and schools can provide extra financial aid for single parents. State-based grants are typically limited to state residents paying in-state tuition costs. Most states offer at least one state-specific grant, through state education agencies, non-profit organizations and/or tuition exchange programs. For example, student-residents of California, one of the country’s largest providers of state-based aid, may be eligible for Cal Grant Programs to fund their education. School-based grants may also be a possibility. While many schools offer scholarships based on merit, need-based grants funded by the institution itself tend to be less common, though they do exist.

Private Grants

Private grants for higher education are offered by a variety of companies, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Though it may take some research to find them and they may only offer moderate funds, every little bit contributes to make a college education possible for single moms. Private grants are need based, unlike merit based scholarships, and are awarded according to the policies of the giving institution or foundation. Students may apply for unlimited private grants from numerous sources, provided they meet eligibility requirements. Examples of private grants offering funding and support for single-parents include:

The Ford Opportunity Program

  • Funding through the Ford Scholars Program is open to college students in the state of Oregon or Siskiyou County, CA who are single-parents and head of household. Students must be first-time four-year college applicants planning to earn a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA, and must demonstrate financial need.
  • Award amount varies; intended to cover 90% of student expenses not funded by other financial aid sources

Education Support Award

  • The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation offers support awards to female students, at least 17 year of age, with minor children, enrolling in a vocational degree program, their first bachelor’s degree, or a graduate degree. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
  • A one-time award of up to $5,000

Emerge Awards

  • The Emerge organization helps to empower women experiencing hardship who are in need of corporate or private financial sponsorship to obtain an education. The majority of award recipients are single mothers of low-income families in financial need. Applicants must be residents of Georgia at least 25 years of age, accepted at an accredited educational institution.
  • Award amount varies and is determined on a case-by-case basis according to sponsoring organization and student need.

Other Ways to Save

In addition to the many scholarships and grants available to single-parent students from all walks of life, there are a multitude of other resources to help offset the costs of getting a college education while caring for a family. For many college students who are single parents, supplemental assistance with expenses outside of tuition, such as childcare and/or housing, can make a big difference. Below is a list of resources designed to support single parents as they pursue a college education.

  • Employer tuition reimbursement: Through an employer tuition reimbursement program, employees of a participating corporation or organization may take college courses that are paid for by their employer. Employers may pay up to $5,250 in tax-free educational assistance per student per year. While these funds may be awarded to students who are non-degree-seeking, they can only be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment as related to direct education costs. National financial firm, Deloitte, is among the most comprehensive supporters of the employer tuition reimbursement program in the US, offering its employees full tuition reimbursement for post graduate school studies after two years of employment at Deloitte.
  • Free or subsidized on-campus childcare: Free or subsidized on-campus childcare offers low-income single parents the ability to complete their college education with peace of mind that their children are cared for at a rate they can afford along with tuition and other expenses. There are both public and federal sources that fund on-campus childcare services at many US colleges and universities. The Child Care and Development Fund, for example, is one of the largest national organizations devoted to providing childcare assistance to low-income individuals who are completing vocational training or other educational programs.
  • Childcare grants: Some federal organizations provide grants to low-income single parents in need of on-campus childcare services while they attend classes. These grants, though governed nationally by the US Department of Education, are dispersed locally by each individual college or university to meet the unique needs of single parents on their campuses, and others in the community. The USDE CCAMPIS program offers grant-based funding for childcare assistance according to each student’s income and financial need.
  • Subsidized family housing: Subsidized family housing can help low-income single parents provide clean, safe housing for their family; this option is especially helpful to single parents who are in college while also working to make ends meet. Single-parent students may qualify for housing assistance through numerous national non-profit agencies such as the Public Housing Agency in their state, Social Services and the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Additionally, they may be eligible for Low Income Housing Tax Credits or Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), which gives low-income families the opportunity to live in government-sponsored living facilities.

Additional Resources for Single Mothers and Fathers

  • The Student Parent Success Initiative – This project under the Institute for Women’s Policy Research aims to improve the post-secondary education experience for single parents and build awareness of public education programs.
  • Early Head Start – The Office of Head Start (OHS) provides support in the emotional, social and mental development of students from birth to age 5. Services include nutritional, social, health and educational programs. Single parents from low-income families should seek aid from their local OHS office.
  • Single Parent Program – Single parent programs generally offer academic advising, career counseling, financial aid guidance, educational workshops and other relevant services. Check-in with your school’s academic counselor to find out about local single parent programs.

Of the 12 million single-parent families in the U.S., 80 percent are headed by single mothers, 51 percent of which are living at or below the poverty line. For the 2 million single-parent students out there, finding support to maintain and uplift their families by leading a promising career path is essential.

If you’re a single mother or father looking for ways to help support your college education, use our scholarship guide to find specific scholarships created with you in mind. Regardless of your intended career path, privately owned and funded scholarships offer you the chance to continue your higher education, and provide the support to help you get there.

Entrepreneur Shani is no stranger to double-majoring in single-parenthood and higher education. For her, it all started with the decision to continue her degree despite having a full-time job as a single parent. And now? She Feed Your Wall where she’s a wellness coach, educating individuals on how to find long-term wellness no matter the obstacle.

For Brinkley, becoming a role model for her daughter by continuing her education, studying abroad and starting a successful business possible due to one simple, not-so-secret, secret: support.

Opportunities are out there to help connect single parents with the opportunity to find support in the form of federal funding, state-issued grants, private scholarships and loans, and networks that provide support for other non-educational essentials like medical, housing and other household expenses. This support, as Brinkley says, “creates the space and the opportunity to succeed.”

If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to select if your a single mother, father or child of a single parent, then sort by award amount and if you qualify for need-based aid.

Women in Transition Scholarship

Amount: up to $16,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

Women who are the primary source of support for their families enrolling as a freshman to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. The Board of Trustees this scholarship annually with evidence of maintained 3.0 GPA.

Women in Need Scholarship

Amount: $2,000 per year

Deadline: April 30, 2018

This scholarship is for a woman who is the primary source of income for her family and completing her sophomore year of her bachelor's degree in accounting. The award amount of $2,000 per year for two years will be renewed with evidence of a 3.0 GPA.

Institute of Management Accountants IMA

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

Women working towards a bachelor's degree in accounting will be considered for this award that will cover one $1,000 undergraduate scholarship, among free CMA exam fees and registration.

Michele L. McDonald Memorial

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

This annual scholarship will be awarded to one woman returning to college from the workforce after raising children, with the intention of receiving a degree in accounting. Must be a U.S. citizen demonstrating financial need to apply.

Moss Adams Foundation

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

The Moss Adams Foundation is available to minority women, or women returning to school to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Must demonstrate clear evidence persistence towards personal and professional goals.

Beatrice F. Kroesche Fund Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: January 31, 2018

Region: Southwest

This scholarship is awarded to single women who are visually or hearing challenged, or a single mother in good academic standing who also majors in humanities and/or education. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA.

Ann and Peter Ziegler Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

This scholarship assists women majoring in liberal arts who are single parents planning on transferring to a four-year institution. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours and have completed at least 12 college credits to apply.

Gathering Friends Restore Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

This award goes to one single mother based on the strength of essay response and financial need.

Rhonda J. B. O'Leary Memorial

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

One woman demonstrating aptitude in accounting and business will be selected for this scholarship. Undergraduate and graduate students may apply. Must be a U.S. citizen demonstrating financial need for consideration.

Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Amount: $1,000-7,000

Deadline: Varies

Women of any age pursuing a business degree in an accredited business program who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Must be entering at least the second year of program and demonstrate initiative, ambition, and commitment to in business for consideration.

The ANSWER Scholarship The Andersen Nontraditional Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Region: Southeast

Scholarship applicants must be "nontraditional" female students ages 25 and older, and be the primary caregiver to at least one child ages K-12. Must be a U.S. citizen and enrolled in a full-time accredited university.

Agnes Drexler Kujawa Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: February 15, 2018

Region: Midwest

Applicants must be single mothers with legal custody over dependents. Must be legally divorced, , widowed or never married for consideration. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, and be registered for at least 6 credit hours to apply.

Coplan Donohue Single Parent Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 3, 2018

Region: Midwest

Single parents of any major who excel academically are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Must be a U.S. citizen and be enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate program at Minnesota State University to apply.

Heroes Fund for Single Parents Scholarship

Amount: $250-$1,500

Deadline: April 2018

Region: Midwest

Students studying at the University of Wisconsin-Eau-Claire in good academic standing are eligible for this needs-based scholarship for single custodial parents with dependent children with financial need not yet met by traditional financial assistance. Female students returning to education after prolonged time out of school are preferred.

The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Region: Midwest

Students of Arkansas who are single parents and living near the poverty line are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Must have a 2.0 GPA and be a legal resident of the U.S. to apply.

Naomi Scholarship

Amount: $1,450

Deadline: February 1, 2018

Region: Midwest

The Naomi Scholarship recognizes Christian-led individuals who have lost a spouse or parent to death or divorce. Students entering freshman year are preferred, but transfer students are also applicable. Must maintain GPA of 3.0 or higher. Financial need will be considered.

Live Your Dream Scholarship

Amount: $3,000-10,000

Deadline: November 15, 2017

This scholarship awards women pursuing a degree who also provide primary financial support for themselves and their dependents. Dependents can include children, spouse, partner, siblings and/or parents. Must demonstrate financial need, motivation towards career/goals and must be enrolled an undergraduate/vocational program for consideration.

Women's Independence Scholarship Program (WISP)

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Women are encouraged to apply for this scholarship if they are survivors of abuse, demonstrate a critical need for financial assistance and exhibit a strong desire to training and/or an academic program for career advancement. Women also are asked to provide a sponsor/mentor that provides support through her educational experience.

P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: Varies

Women are eligible to receive this award if she has had at least 24 consecutive months as a non-student sometime in her adult life, and is within 24 months of completing her educational program. Must reside in the U.S. or Canada for the entire course of study for consideration. Must be recommended by P.E.O. chapter.

Deana Kendrick Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $250-$500 per semester

Deadline: December 15, 2017

Women over the age of 30 who are returning to college are encouraged to apply for this scholarship program. The program does not discriminate based on religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

Scholarships4Moms

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: March 15, 2018

This contest is operated by Free College Scholarships, LLC. Sign up for this $10,000 scholarship giveaway! Must be a U.S. citizen to enter.

AAUW Career Development Grants

Amount: Varies

Deadline: November 15, 2017

AAUW Career Development Grants provide funds to women preparing to advance or change careers or re-enter the workforce. Preferential consideration is given to women of color and women pursuing their first advanced degree or work in nontraditional fields.

The Jeanette Rankin Foundation Women's Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 1, 2018

This annual scholarship serves women over the age of 35 the opportunity to continue higher education despite low-income qualifications. Women must be a U.S. and enrolled in a vocational, technical or degree program. Candidates will be chosen based on your goals, how you plan to reach those goals and how you plan to give back to the community.

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: August 1, 2018

This foundation offers education support awards of up to $5,000 each to assist low-income women with children pursuing education or training. Applicants will be selected based on financial aid, personal circumstances, educational goals and community service.

Shawn Carter Foundation

Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 30, 2018

Shawn Carter Scholars are high school, undergraduate, vocational and trade students who are highly motivated individuals in giving back and furthering their education. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be a U.S. citizen to apply. Shawn Carter Scholars are required to give back by engaging in community service and serving as mentors to aspiring scholars.

Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $6,000

Deadline: February 15, 2018

This award recognizes spouses and children of roadway workers who were killed or permanently disabled in work-related activities. This scholarship only applies to undergraduate, technical or vocational post-secondary school.

Top Products Single Mothers Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: August 31, 2018

This contest will select one degree-seeking single mom based on her personal narrative of her family, education goals and how this scholarship will help achieve her dreams.

Life Lessons Scholarship Program

Amount: $15,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

This program supports students entering college after the loss of a parent or guardian. Applicants are asked to submit a 3-minute video entry talking about how the loss of your loved one has affected your life both financially and emotionally.

Mary Barton Freeman Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: March 11, 2018

The Mary Barton Freeman Scholarship was established to support young adults working towards and higher education aspirations despite illness. Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and and must have survived or the children of a parent who has survived a cancer diagnosis/treatment.

Executive Women International Scholarship

Amount: $1,000-5,000

Deadline: Varies

This scholarship is an annual, competition-based program that awards scholarship to qualifying high school seniors. Applicants will be chosen based on scholastic achievement, leadership and .

Mary Rowena Cooper Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 15, 2018

This scholarship provides financial assistance to children of veterans who served in Vietnam. This award seeks students pursuing degrees at vocational/technical programs as well as universities and colleges. Award amounts vary based on individual's financial need.

Executive Women International Adult Students in Scholastic Transition

Amount: $2,000-10,000

Deadline: Varies

This scholarship is available to adults facing economic, social or physical challenges and seeking advanced educational opportunities. Candidates will be chosen by educational providers and social service agencies.

Wings Over America Scholarships

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Scholarship awards are given to students who are dependents of active duty members or former members of the U.S. Navy. Any spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Navy who has while on active duty may qualify.

Wah Lum Warrior Spirit Scholarship Award

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: July 15, 2018

The Wah Lum Warrior Spirit Scholarship awards graduating high school students who have demonstrated perseverance and persistence towards a meaningful plan for the future. Preferred students demonstrate generous hard work and having overcome adversity. The application takes nominations from or other mentors.

Bruce and Marjorie Sundlun Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: May 12, 2018

Region: Northeast

Students living in the Rhode Island area who are low-income parents are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Preference is given to parents previously receiving state aid or have previously been incarcerated.

Park Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: June 1, 2018

Region: Northeast

These awards are given to two full-time students, one and one female, who are single parents with dependents. Students must have a 3.0 GPA for consideration. Financial need will also be considered.

Esther Dutton Kate's Fellowship

Amount: $2,000-3,000 yearly

Deadline: September 15, 2018

Region: Northeast

This two-year fellowship is awarded to a single mother with financial need in pursuit of a full-time degree. The fellowship supports any field of study, and award amount ranges.

The JoAnn Heffernan Heisen Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: Varies

Region: Northeast

This merit-based award will be based on academic achievement and financial need demonstrated upon acceptance into Syracuse University. This award specifically supports students of single-parent households.

Capture the Dream Single Parent Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: July 31, 2018

Region: Northwest

Low-income, single parents who reside in the San Francisco Bay Area enrolled full or part-time at an accredited institution are eligible to apply. This scholarship only applies to undergraduates.

Michael S. and Jeffrey C. Hagler Scholarship Fund

Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 1, 2018

Region: Northwest

This scholarship awards nontraditional students who have enrolled in at least 9 credit hours in a degree program at Boise State University or College of Western Idaho. Students of all majors are welcome to apply.

Ford Opportunity Program

Amount: $1,000-25,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Region: Northwest

The Ford Opportunity Program is a need-based opportunity for students who are single parents without support from a and seeking a bachelor's degree. Financial need, character, work ethic, and commitment will be considered.

The Peggy Jack Baskin Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: March 15, 2018

Region: Northwest

This scholarship seeks to support bright, highly motivated, underprivileged women attending of California, Monterey Peninsula College, Hartnell College, or Cabrillo College. Students who are re-entering the workforce with a strong potential to make a difference, who are completing their junior or senior year may apply.

Emerge Scholarship

Amount: 2,000-5,000

Deadline: April 21, 2018

State: Southeast

Female students at least 25 years or older are encouraged to apply for this need-based scholarship. Georgia residents are given preference, students nationally are welcome to apply.

Helping Hands for Single Moms

Amount: $270 per month

Deadline: Varies

Region: Southwest

Helping Hands accepts applications year-round for low-income single moms in college, who live in the Phoenix, AZ and surrounding areas. In addition to monthly financial assistance, the program provides other helpful free services as well. Must have U.S. citizenship and be legally single. Must have a GPA of 2.8 or higher and carry at least 9 credit hours per semester.

Ruth Thurmond Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: May 8, 2018

Region: Southwest

The Thurmond Family of Orange County women over 24 years of age attending school to further their education and complete their degree program. Must attend Fullerton College of The University of California to apply.

Deblinger Family Scholarship

Amount: up to $10,000

Deadline: May 24, 2018

Region: Southwest

The Deblinger Family Scholarship Fund assists low-income, single mothers who are primary head of the household return to college. This award is available to residents in various counties but preferably residents of Oakland, San Jose, Watsonville and Palo Alto. Students who demonstrate strong academics, goal orientation and persistence towards completing degree program will be strongly considered.

Downer-Bennett Scholarship

Amount: $200-$1,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Region: Southwest

Nontraditional single parent students enrolled at the University of New Mexico are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Must have completed at least 12 credits prior to application, and be enrolled in at least 12 credits for consideration.

1,000 Dreams Fund Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: November 3, 2017

This scholarship provides support for currently enrolled high school and college pursuing women with ongoing financial needs. This scholarship funds beyond tuition expenses that arise such as textbooks, application fees, artistic pursuits, or medical care. Students must demonstrate financial need, and include letters of recommendation for consideration for this scholarship.

Mary Blake Single Parent Nursing Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: June 15, 2018

The Mary Blake Single Parent Nursing Scholarship individuals who meet the challenges of both single parenthood and pursuing higher education in nursing. Applicants must submit an essay for consideration for this one-time award. Must be a U.S. citizen and be enrolled in an accredited school of nursing. Must have a GPA of 2.7 or higher.

HRSA Chances Scholarship Program

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: Varies

Applicants for the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program must be enrolled in a professional nursing degree program in the U.S. Must be free from overdue federal debt. Must have GED or high school diploma to apply.

Helen E. Walker Endowed Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Region: Midwest

Students of St. Luke's College in the first or second year are eligible to apply for this nursing scholarship. Students who are dependents of a single-parent household are applicable. Must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers Single Mother Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: December 5, 2017

Students must be enrolled in an accredited high school, college or university in the U.S to apply. Preference for women who are mothers and/or enrolled in a law school or undergraduate school. Must maintain a GPA of 3.0 for consideration.

American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens Scholarships

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: Varies

Children of the men and women killed in the line of duty as police officers are eligible to apply for this financial support. Students attending college, university, technical and/or vocational school may apply.

The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation

Amount: $6,250

Deadline: Varies

Military children who have lost a parent in the line of duty are eligible to apply for this scholarship to help cover post-secondary schooling across the U.S. Applicants must maintain a 2.0 GPA for consideration. Scholarships are offered on a rolling basis.

Freedom Alliance Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Applicants to this scholarship must be a dependent of a U.S. soldier, sailor, airman, guardsman or marine who is permanently disabled as a result of an accident in the line of duty. Award amount ranges depending on individual student need.

ICMA-RC Public Employee Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: March 15, 2018

This fund provides financial support to surviving spouses and children of officers killed in the line of duty as police officers, firefighters, and other local or state government employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This award is eligible for students attending an accredited two or four-year college, vocational or community college. Must provide a letter from the deceased employee's place of work.

Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

The nation's oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children, this award supports students whose parent has been killed or wounded in the line of duty and/or demonstrates strong financial need. must maintain a 2.0 GPA and plan to attend an accredited university to qualify.

Toby Hopper Endowed Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 15, 2018

Region: Southeast

This endowment offers financial assistance to single, non-traditional female students who are the primary provider to their children. Students pursuing a teaching degree are preferred. Strictly financial need based.

Single Parent Professional Certification Scholarship of Northwest Arkansas

Amount: $500

Deadline: Varies

Region: Southeast

Students studying in northwest Arkansas pursuing a career in nursing are encouraged to apply for this one-time scholarship. Must be a U.S. citizen or a resident with DACA-status. Students living at the poverty line will be strongly considered.

The Thoroughbred Scholarship

Amount: $6,000

Deadline: March 25, 2018

Students who are financially independent and over 24 years age are eligible to apply for this need-based scholarship. Students will be preferred if they are married, a veteran, an orphan or have dependents of their own. Must maintain a GPA of 2.85.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Amount: $1,000-15,000

Deadline: For sophomores through graduate students: February 15. For May 1

The SWE Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to women pursuing a degree in engineering, technology or computer science at an ABET-accredited university. Students who are re-entering college after two or more years, part-time students and full-time students are eligible to apply.

Women Techmakers Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: Varies

Applicants for this scholarship must be studying computer science, engineering, or a technical related field while demonstrating consistently strong academics. Preferred candidates exemplify leadership and passion for increasing involvement of women in computer science. Applicants will be judged on the strength of their academic and impact on .

Burlington Business and Women's Organization Science and Technology Scholarship

Amount: $500-$1,000

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Region: Northeast

Funded by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, this scholarship women pursuing a career in science, technology, math or engineering. All students who reside in the Vermont region and are single parents are eligible to apply.

Custody X Change Giving Fund

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Region: National

The Custody X Change Giving Fund awards three scholarships to single parents each year. To apply, write a 400 to 500 word essay, "How will you use your education to improve your family?" and attach your unofficial college transcript or admission letter.

Not all scholarships are based your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.

Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.

Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.

Letters of recommendation are a true of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.

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