Having a college education not only increases your earning potential, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women with a college education or higher are also less likely to be unemployed. For many mothers, entering into a college program on top of juggling a full- or part-time job and raising their children can be an emotional and financial burden. There are a number of scholarships and grants designed to help working mothers realize their dream of achieving higher education.
Project Working Mom
Project Working Mom not only hosts its own scholarship program for working mothers who wish to return to school, but it also provides additional resources for available scholarship opportunities. Each year, Project Working Mom sponsor, Education Dynamics LLC, awards up to 92 different scholarships in varying amounts to working mothers pursuing an undergraduate or graduate education from an affiliated online college such as Everest, Allied Schools and Capella University. All applicants must be United States residents age 18 or older and must submit via the Project Working Mom website an original 1,500-word essay detailing why getting an online degree is the right choice for you as a student during an open scholarship submissions date.
Scholarships4moms offers a $10,000 scholarship designed to help working mothers expand their career horizons. After registering for the $10,000 scholarship drawing on the Scholarships4moms website, it will also direct you toward financial aid opportunities and college programs designed to assist working mothers. Scholarships4moms holds regular drawings and allows winners of the scholarship to use the $10,000 award to pay for tuition, books and housing while attending a traditional college or university or working through an accredited online degree program. The Scholarship4moms award may also be used to help students pay down the balance on student loans they have already accumulated.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is a need-based education grant for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree and in some cases post-baccalaureate degrees in education. When you fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, your eligibility for the Pell Grant is determined by your financial need and your enrollment status as a student. As of February 2011, the full Pell Grant amount available to eligible students was $5,550 per semester for students enrolled at least part-time in an associate or bachelor's degree program.
Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Program
Women over the age of 35 may be eligible for a scholarship from the Jeanette Rankin Scholarship program. In order to apply you must be at least 35 years old, a United States citizen, have low income and be enrolled in an accredited college or university. Award amounts may vary based on applicant need, and household financial aid is required when you submit your application for review. You must also submit a personal statement essay detailing how your life experiences have helped you reach your goals or hindered you from achieving your goals, your accomplishments and how you feel a college education will help benefit you, your family and your community. You are also required to submit two letters of recommendation from an adviser, counselor, co-worker, former employer or teacher.
Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.