Pell Grants – free, need-based aid doled out by the federal government – can be used to pay for just one class at a time.
Q. Does the school help with day care?
A. Take your child to work day is an event. Take your child to class day is not. But for many nontraditional students, college attendance is dependent on affordable, reliable child care.
Fortunately, some colleges have on-site day care centers for students to utilize.
Erie Community College in New York just won a $364,000 federal grant for its child care center. The award is part of the Department of Education's Child Care Access Means Parents in School program, which funds on-campus day care for low-income students.
[Learn where to find scholarships for single moms.]
Fifty-eight schools in 28 states received grants through the program this year, including large institutions such as the University of Alabama and Penn State University.
The majority of Erie's students fit that bill, says Brenda Feidt, director of the child development center at the school's campus in Buffalo.
Erie's campus day care charges an hourly rate, so parents can drop their child off and run to class or log a few hours in the library without paying for a full day, Feidt says. Most students receive free child care thanks to federal grants. Those who exceed the income threshold pay on a sliding scale.
"People who are over the income are paying $4 an hour to $4.75 an hour," she says. "You can't pay a baby sitter at home for that."
Trying to fund your education? Get tips and more in the U.S. News Paying for College center.