Grants for Single Mothers: The Truth and the Fiction

Getting grants for single mothers can be a bit of a challenge, but there are several ways to ensure you can get the single mother grant funding you need to secure a better future.

Now there is a LOT of misinformation about the topics of grants. So much misinformation that I’ve had a ton of single mothers email me begging for the real information. The truth is this: yes, there are grant programs out there for moms, but not at the federal level. However, there are a variety of state programs that you can seek some assistance from.

Let’s talk about some of the REAL grants that you can get as a single mother in need.

Government Education Grants for Single Mothers

By far, there biggest sector of grant money available is in the educational sector. The government loves giving out assistance to students. Why? Because the reasoning is if you can go to school, you can get an better job, contribute more money to the economy, and stay off government aid, which costs taxpayers billions each year. So for the government, it’s a win-win situation giving students assistance in the form of financial aid (grants and student loans).

So can you pay for your education as a single mother? What if you have kids and a household to support? I don’t claim it is easy, but if you are willing to fight for your education, there IS assistance that you can apply for.

As I’ve stated, there are NO such thing as federal grants for single mothers. Yes, I know you may have reads on some random website that there is, but I assure you, there are no such grants. Don’t even get me started on the whole Obama grants for single mothers scam — no such grants exist. But, there are legit federal grants for students in financial need — especially for students.

I give a good overview on another grant page I wrote, but let’s go over some of the programs here.

Make sure you take a look at our State Assistance Programs for Single Moms, which gives a state-by-state list of some of the major assistance programs in that state suitable for single moms, single parents, or other low income persons.

List of REAL Federal Grants for Students a Single Mom Might Qualify for:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants ($100-$4000)
  • Academic Competitiveness Grant ($2000 total)
  • National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant ($4000 per year)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant ($4000 per year)

So how do you get these grants? Do you fill out a form and send in money to qualify? Absolutely not. In fact, any website that asks you for money to a so called grant application or guarantees you grant money for a fee is outright LYING.

You can qualify for these grants AUTOMATICALLY by filling out the FAFSA application. This is THE application students fill out to qualify for government financial aid. Once you fill out the form, your application will be processed and you’ll be considered for federal student loans and the above federal grants for school.

College Education Grants for Single Mothers

Colleges and Universities also give out grants to students in need. If you are a single mom in need, you will likely qualify. These grants are NOT government grants, but rather institutional grants. I can’t give you a specific list because these grants change depending on the institution you are attending. The best way to get access to these is to contact your local college financial aid office for a list of their grant and scholarship programs a single mom might apply for.

IF you don’t attend a state-accredited college or university, your school or training institution may offer some sort of partial grant or scholarship – you’ll have to ask if they offer assistance, however.

Private Grants and Scholarships for Single Moms

There are a whole wack of private scholarships and grants available to single mothers (and needy persons). Some of these may be scholarship draw programs where you sign up a form and get entered into a monthly draw. Keep in mind these are only sweepstakes though, and not ‘traditional’ scholarships by any means.

This is only ONE type of private scholarship. There are quite a few organizations and foundations that do give out scholarships and grants based on academic performance, minority, gender, political affiliation, etc. Some terms to search for: government grants for single mothers, college grants for single moms, education grants for women, grants for African American women, grants for minority women, scholarships for single mothers, grants for single parents, etc. There are basically thousands of different grants that you may qualify for. And, these grants can come from the government, colleges, and private organizations. You may even find your employer offers college grants for single moms!

Business Grants

Another source of federal funding comes in the form of business grants. These are grants given out specifically to small businesses. The government loves to promote small businesses because this is the backbone of America (and Canada).

Now I want to make this clear: Business grants are not easy to get. In fact, there is a very specific process to get one. For most single mothers in financial need, business grants are not the solution you are looking for. However, if you are a single mother who wants to start a new business, you may be able to find a grant that can help you out.

There are some programs out there that will help you get a business grant, although there are no guarantees.

Keep this in mind: the federal government, especially in this recession, is NOT going to through out money for no reason. If you want a business grant, you are going to have to write a solid business grant proposal, your business plan must be solid, and you have to follow the process. If your business plan does not make sense, is likely to fail, or your business does not fall under a category the government is backing with grants, you won’t be able to get a grant.

For more information, go here:http://www.business.gov/financing/grants/

Housing Grants

It is possible to get some form of housing assistance, if that’s what you are referring to by “housing grants.” Here is a list of three government programs that help people looking for housing help:

  • Privately owned subsidized housing — basically offers financially needy government subsidized housing. This is a very good program if you can’t afford standard rent prices on an apartment/home.
  • Public Housing Agency – these are affordable housing units offered by the government for low-income families.
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program – government vouchers which can be used to pay for part of your rent on government-approved housing options.

For more information about government housing programs, you might want to visit HUD.gov website. There may be some outright grants to buy a new home and such. But for most of you, buying a new home is not an option. Still, if you are thinking about buying a home or even a new car (especially something like a hybrid), the government has been known to offer grants or tax breaks to “encourage” the economy. You can check out grants.gov to see if any of these grants might apply to you (most grants here apply to businesses and organizations, not individuals, however). Now the key to getting government grants for single mothers is to look online. It’s easier than every to find and apply for single mom grants. However, although it’s fairly easy to find a single mother grant, it’s not easy to get a single mother grant. The competition of needy single mothers all trying to get free government grants makes it quite difficult to actually apply for single mother grants and get approval. So you will need to spend some serious time online looking for every sort of grant offer you can find. Explore every grant and scholarship opportunity you see on the internet. Most times, you will find you don’t actually qualify for grant and scholarship offers, but once and a while you just might. Getting a single mother grant in sometimes a numbers game. The more you apply for, the better you will do. Don’t send out a couple single mom grant applications and expect to reap vast amounts of government grant money. Applying for single mother grants takes time and may feel like a part time job. But the more work you put into it, the more money you will yield back. When you are ready to apply for a government grant for single moms, you need to make sure your application if fully filled out and includes all documentation. Incorrectly filling out grant application details or lying on your grant application in one way not to get grant money. The key, as stated, is to be through in your search for these grants. Don’t just limit yourself to the government grant website for your searches; also use the internet to look around for private and school grants and scholarships. It’s actually easier to get grant money from non-government sources, since the competition is usually much less.

State Assistance For Single Mothers

I’ve talked about state assistance for single moms on my monster homepage, but let’s talk about it again here. So while the federal government does not give out specific grants for single mothers, your local STATE might offer specific programs that target needy families and single parents with programs to help you survive. I’m going to straight out tell you that these programs are not designed to carry all your burdens, but rather lend a helping hand. So if you are expecting to get a fat check each month so you can watch TV and NOT work, then you’re barking up the wrong tree. Go to CANADA for that sort of thing (Canadian welfare allows this).

  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program – A Single Mom Food Program

By far, this is one of the more government programs that target needy families. It’s also one of the more effective programs. Every month, families that qualify are sent a coupon that can be cashed for certain items. The items usually cater to the needs of pregnant women and children. You will need to apply for this program through your local WIC in your area. You can do a google search for more info.

  • CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) – A Single Mom Health Insurance Option

Another popular government initiative that’s found in every state. This program helps those who cannot afford regular health care. CHIP, along with Medicaid, can provide needy families with some basic health care. Terms for the program vary, but you pay either nothing or very small payments for the program. You can find information about CHIP online. If you can’t afford healthcare, this is probably your best bet to get some coverage at least as a single mother.

  • Food Stamps (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) – Food for Needy Families

Children should never go hungry. This is the motto behind the National Food Stamp Program. You’ve probably already heard about this, or maybe are currently receiving its benefits. For those who don’t know, this was a national program created in 1964 to stamp out malnutrition in needy families. If you qualify for food stamps, you will receive stamps that you can trade in for essential food items.

  • Families First/ Temporary Assistance for Needy Families – Money for Single Mothers

Of all the state assistance programs for mothers, this is one that actually provides some cash assistance. It’s not a lot of cash, but the small money amounts can help out. Those who qualify must either be unemployed and looking for a job a certain number of hours a week or currently working a number of hours a week yet still unable to purchase basic necessities. You can apply for this on your local state assistance site. Simply type the terms into google with your state name.

  • National School Lunch Program – School Lunches for Kids for Free

One more program that can help needy families. If you qualify, your kids may free lunches at school or have subsidized lunches.

Our State Assistance Articles

Find legit assistance offered in your state with our state help articles.

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WEST VIRGINIA

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WISCONSIN

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WYOMING

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Click on your state to see your page.

RESOURCES

  • SingleMoms.org— a source for parenting articles
  • SingleParents.About.com — good information for single mothers
  • SingleParentNetwork — a network for single parents
  • Gingerbread — UK Charity for Moms