By tamaraAs a mother of four, I have a great deal of respect for single mothers, especially those who make the decision to go to college. When I went back to school in 2004, I was lucky enough to have a husband and two sons in high school who could help take care of my younger children and our home. Without them, I don’t know how I would have balanced everything without going crazy. Single mothers, on the other hand, not only face the same challenges of juggling classes and coursework, but they also have the responsibility of caring for their children, providing financial support, and keeping their households in order. It’s no easy feat, especially if they don’t have any nearby family or friends to help. Even those who do have a strong support system may be faced with another obstacle – financial aid. Single parents must make tough decisions regarding money, which may cause them to postpone their education or take fewer courses per semester. If they drop below part-time status, it could reduce their eligibility for certain financial aid programs. Without federal and institutional support, many single parents simply cannot afford to continue (or even start) their degree programs. Thankfully, there are scholarships for single mothers that can help lighten their financial burden and make their dreams of a college education a reality. 1. Single Parent Scholarship Single mothers in California may be eligible for this $1,000 scholarship. One award is offered annually. Deadline: June 30. 2. Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarship U.S. single mothers with minor children, who have a household income below $26,500, may be eligible for this $3,000 award. A total of five scholarships are available. Deadline: August 1. 3. Linda Lael Miller Scholarship This program is open to women 25 years of age and older who have had difficulty obtaining other financial aid and scholarships. A total of ten $1,000 scholarships will be provided. The funds may be used for educational expenses, childcare, computer equipment, or transportation costs. Applications will be available beginning May 27. Deadline: August 29. 4. Arkansas Single Parent Scholarships Single mothers who reside in Arkansas may be eligible for grants through their specific county of residence. The value of each grant varies. Students must reapply each semester for additional funding. Deadline: Varies by county. 5. Women’s Independence Scholarship Program Single mothers who are survivors of domestic abuse may be eligible for this need-based scholarship. The value of each scholarship is determined on a case-by-case basis. Deadline: Rolling. 6. Deana Kendrick Foundation Scholarship Women, who are 30 or older, may be eligible for this scholarship program. Students must be returning to college for a different degree, currently in college, or returning to finish a degree after an extended break from school. Scholarships range in value from $250 to $500 each (per semester). Deadline: Rolling. 7. P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education This grant program is for single mothers who are returning to school to support their families. Students must have two years or less to complete their degree, and be separated from school a minimum of two years during their adult lives. The maximum amount awarded is $3,000. Deadline: Rolling. Other Resources Single mothers should also look at other scholarship programs that are for women, as well as general programs open to undergraduate (or graduate) students. It’s also a good idea to check with the state’s Department of Education website for grants and scholarships that may be available, as well as those offered through specific colleges. Other resources include: women’s professional organizations and membership groups, charitable organizations, and churches. Using a free, online scholarship search service, like ScholarshipExperts.com, can also help single moms find the funding they need to make their college dreams come true.