A mother studies for college with her child

Scholarships Offer Support for Moms in College

These financial awards aim to help mothers balance pursuing higher education and supporting their children. 

A mother studies for college with her child

Soroptimist's Live Your Dream Awards program offers more than 1,000 scholarships to women each year to help defray the cost of earning a college degree.

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As a mom, you may have worked hard to save up a college fund for your child. But you may want to think about doing something to invest in your own future.

Earning a higher education can help you find more fulfilling work and better support your family financially. Earning a degree also increases the likelihood that your children will be motivated and able to pursue higher education themselves. For all those mothers who want to go to college without feeling the guilt of tapping into their child’s college fund, check out these scholarships.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the University of Phoenix have partnered to offer the Most Inspirational Mom full tuition scholarship to fund an undergraduate or master’s degree from the University of Phoenix. 

You may nominate yourself, or your child may nominate you if he or she is older than 18. The application requires a 400-600 word essay about your education goals and how you inspire your kids, family and community. 

Semifinalists are selected to complete a separate application, and current University of Phoenix students are not eligible to receive an award. Nominations have closed for the 2014 season, but interested moms should check back in the fall to find out about future award opportunities.  

[Take a look at these child-friendly college programs.]

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation offers five scholarships of up to $5,000 each year for low-income women who are pursuing education or training and have children who are minors. The application includes an essay about your educational goals and experiences and asks for financial information. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1.

The Talbots Women’s Scholarship awards one $30,000 Nancy Talbot Scholarship Award and 30 $5,000 awards for women pursuing college degrees later in life. This scholarship supports women with an entrepreneurial spirit so they can pursue their dreams and lead a fuller, healthier life. The application period begins in November every year.

If you’re a single mother, it can be difficult to simultaneously support your children and pursue your own education. Fortunately, there are generous organizations out there offering scholarships to make education costs less of a burden to your budget.

[Consider additional college scholarships for women.]

Soroptimist, a women’s empowerment organization, offers the Live Your Dream Awards program to assist women who provide the primary source of income for their families. The program helps over 1,000 women each year.

If you’re enrolled in or have been accepted to a training program or undergraduate degree program and you demonstrate financial need, you may be eligible to apply for one of the educational grants. The funds can be used to offset any costs associated with your education efforts, including books, child care, tuition and transportation.

The Bronx Council on the Arts offers the Josephine Aguado Scholarshipfor single mothers pursuing a degree at CUNY Hostos Community College with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Awards​ of $1,000 are granted each year.

The application requires a personal statement, two letters of recommendation and a college or high school transcript. The deadline to apply passed in March but check back next spring for opportunities. 

[Learn how student loan debt affects women.]

In addition to national programs, some funds may be available to moms in specific states. For example, the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund awards funding to low-income single parents in Arkansas pursuing postsecondary education to prepare for skilled employment. Eligibility requirements vary by county.

As a mom, you may be eligible for substantial federal grants or loans to help make higher education affordable, especially if you’re a single or low-income parent. You can apply for federal aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which takes into account your income and the number of people supported on that income. June 30 is the deadline to apply each year.

Whether you’re returning to school or heading to college for the first time, pursuing an education can be difficult if you already have your hands full making sure the kids get to school on time and finish their homework. Applying for scholarships today can make paying college bills one less box to check off on your to-do lists in the future.