As a mother, the biggest priority is to be able to provide for your children.
When you are a single mother, it can be hard to make ends meet. Being able to successfully budget for school is very important. It can make the difference between you and your children living in poverty or living a decent life.
Scholarships and Grants
Find out if you qualify for scholarships and grants. Look into this early though as there are going to be deadlines and applications. There are scholarships for single mothers out there that offer plenty of cash for an education and other expenses like room and board. Some of them have other criteria too including the type of studies you plan to complete or ethnicity. Scholarships and grants don’t have to be repaid which is what makes them an excellent option to help budget for school.
If you are going to be attending an accredited college, you may qualify for financial aid. This is a type of need based financial help. There is a formula that is used based on family size and include. They use the formula to determine your contribution and the amount you can qualify for also depends on the cost of attending that particular college.
Work Study Programs
To help with paying for other expenses, check into work study programs. These are jobs at the college that work around your class schedule. They also help with learning new skills that can help you to be more marketable out there in the workforce.
If you already have a job, you may qualify for employer assistance to go back to school. They may agree to pay part or all of your tuition. Of course there can be some stipulations such as you will continue to work for them for an agreed upon period of time.
Used or Rented Books
One of the biggest expenses that a single mother can incur when she goes to college is the cost of textbooks. They can be hundreds of dollars for a single class. The use of books that are used or that you rent is a very good option. Check out eTextBooks for the best deals. You can find books by the name of it, the author, or the ISBN on the back of the book.
Putting Small Amounts of Money Away
Try to put away a small bit of money as often as you can. Even if it is only $20 a week that you can use in your budget for college, do so. That money can be used to help you pay for gas to and from class. It can also be used to help you pay for childcare so that you can study and keep your grades up.
Don’t borrow funds for college unless you really have no other choice. There are plenty of student loan offers out there, and many with low interest. However, you don’t want to graduate from college and have the burden of owing thousands of dollars that you must pay over time. If you do need to borrow, only borrow what you have to rather than the maximum loan amount you qualify for.
Working hard to take care of your children is a common part of daily life for a single mother. You will be doing your entire family a favor when you budget to go back to school and complete your education. You will be happier because you will enjoy going to work every day. You will also have less stress because you will make enough money to care for the needs of your household.