Scholarships for Single Mothers

Being a single mother often requires putting your education on hold in order to focus on your child.

In many cases, trying to balance work and raising a child makes motherhood a real challenge, let alone having the time and money to complete higher education.

With little finances at their disposal, single parents need assistance if they are to pay for school.

That is why various FREE scholarships are available for “moms returning to school”.

While the majority of scholarships are awarded only to deserving students based on merit, talent, major, ethnicity, etc., they do not discriminate against single parents, meaning any eligible single mothers, working mothers, and women in general may also apply.

Given below is a list of scholarship opportunities available for “non-traditional” students, including single mothers who wish to further their education.

1 Helping Hands for Single Moms

Helping Hands for Single Moms is a community-based non-profit organization offering unrestricted scholarships of up to $270 each month to help impoverished single mothers who lives in the Phoenix-Metro area pursue college degree and achieve financial independence.

Applicants must be a single mother with a child younger than 11, attend college, take a minimum of nine credit hours a semester, maintain at least a 2.5 grade-point average and participate in monthly single-moms network meetings.

2 Support A Student Scholarship

Support a Student Scholarship for Single Parents awards a $10,000 scholarship to a economically disadvantaged single parent who is enrolled in an accredited online post-secondary institution.

The $10,000 scholarship is exclusively created for single parents to help them pay for non-tuition related living expenses – rent, childcare, internet, books & school supplies, groceries, etc.

3 The Dawson Endowment Fund

The Dawson Endowment Fund provides scholarships to cover tuition/fees for a full academic year for single parents who reside in on-campus housing at Texas Woman’s University.

Applicants must have a FAFSA on file in the Financial Aid Office and submit their online application through TWU’s website by March 15.

4 The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation

The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships to select young people who generally have zero chance when it comes to college scholarships. About two thirds of SCSF recipients come from single parent families.

Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.0 and must submit their online application to the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation no later than April 30 (11:59 PM EST).

5 The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship

The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship is a scholarship program for single parents who reside in Arkansas. Through this scholarship, single mothers are able to complete their post-secondary education & improve their income-earning potential.

The award may be used for tuition, books, utility bills, car maintenance, childcare, or any other financial need that contributes to the recipients’ success in school.

6 Women’s Independence Scholarship Program

The primary aim the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) is to help single mothers with young children who have the greatest financial challenges to gain work skills so they become financially independent and be able to support their families. Priority is given to those who are survivors of partner abuse.

7 Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women

Linda’s scholarships are awarded annually to women who are 25 years or older, non-traditional students who have a difficult time finding scholarships for which they qualify.

For the 2012 scholarship program, a total of $10,000 in scholarships will be awarded to eligible applicants. Application must be submitted no later than September 4.

8 Ken and Mary Smith Single Parent Scholarship

The Ken and Mary Smith Single Parent Scholarship is awarded to University of Wisconsin Eau Claire single-parent students with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and demonstrable financial need.

The scholarship provides one award of $2,000 and can be renewed four times by the same student, for a maximum of five total years.

9 The Gump & Ayers Scholarship Fund

The Gump & Ayers Scholarship Fund (GASF) provides a one time scholarship to a single mother pursuing a higher education. Recipient of GASF must be a Utah resident.

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of financial need, current scholastic achievement, potential for success and personal integrity.

For additional information, contact the committee chair listed below.

Carol Scott
Gump & Ayers Scholarship Committee
144 E State Street
Sandy, UT 84070

Application must be sent or delivered to the GASF Committee and must be postmarked no later than February 1 dateline. Late application will not be considered.

10 James E. “Pete” Petersen Scholarship

Established in 1985 to honor former Westminster College President James E. “Pete” Petersen, this scholarship is open to non-traditional female students at Westminster College in Utah.

Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this award. Preference will be given to single parents.

11 Agnes Drexler Kujawa Memorial Scholarship

Agnes Drexler Kujawa Memorial Scholarship provides annual scholarships of up to $1,000 to single mothers trying to obtain a college degree to improve their lives and the lives of their children.

Applicants must have applied and been accepted for admission to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Dateline is February 15 each year.

12 The Toby Hopper Endowed Scholarship

The Toby Hopper Endowed Scholarship for Single Mothers offers financial assistance to single, non-traditional students who provide major financial support to their custodial children.

This need-based scholarship are only for those are pursuing a degree in teacher education at Kennesaw State University.

13 Emerge Scholarships, Inc.

Each year Emerge Scholarships, Inc awards women – those who are returning to school after a hiatus, and single mothers re-entering the work place – between $2,000 and $5,000 in academic scholarships. For 2014, Emerge awarded fifteen $5,000 scholarships.

Any women at least 25 years of age with financial need is encouraged to apply but preference is given to those who are pursuing their education in the state of Georgia.

14 Helen M. Clymer Scholarship

This scholarship was established in memory of Helen M. Clymer to award scholarships annually to single mothers from Berks County who seek post-secondary education at a college or university located in Berks County. Application must be submitted online between January 15th and April 1st.

15 The Jennifer Carlson Scholarship

The Jennifer Carlson Scholarship was created in 2009 by the Carlson family of Belvidere, in honor of Jennifer Carlson, a family member killed in the fire in Chicago’s Wrigleyville on March 10, 2007.

Any single mother interested in this scholarship is required to submit an application letter indicating why she is going back to school, her goals, and some information about herself and her child or children and address the letter before March to

Jennifer Carlson Scholarship
P. O. Box 83
Belvidere , 61008

16 Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards

Founded in in 1921, the Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Awards provide scholarships to women who demonstrate financial need and are the primary income-earner for their family. Applications are due each year on December 1.

17 The Ford Opportunity Program

The Ford Opportunity Program provides scholarships to residents of Oregon or Siskiyou County, California. This program is designed specifically for “head of household” single parents pursuing their bachelor’s degrees.

The scholarship award covers 90 percent (maximum of $25,000 annually) of the college costs not covered by other sources. It can be renewed each year for up to four years.

18 Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarship

This private scholarship of up to $2,000 per academic year is offered to low-income women with children by the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation.

Applicants must be at least 17 years old and demonstrate financial need. Priority is given to single mothers with minor children.

19 Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund

Single mothers over 35 years of age and with low incomes are also candidates for the Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund.

Recipients come from diverse backgrounds but all have the goal of furthering their education to create a better life for themselves and their children. In 2010, the fund awarded 80 low-income women in the U.S. with scholarships of $2,000 each.

20 Peggy Jack Baskin Foundation Scholarship

The scholarship program, launched in 2008 by Peggy & Jack Baskin, provides a two-year, $20,000 grant to support bright, underprivileged women who are currently attending any of the area community colleges — Cabrillo, Hartnell or Monterey Peninsula.

21 The Jackie Robinson Foundation

JRF awards four–year scholarships of up to $7,500 per year to minority high school students who plan on attending a four-year college. Single mothers who exhibit evidence of financial need may apply for this scholarship.

Applicants are personally interviewed and funds are awarded based on academics, leadership potential, and financial need.

22 P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education

Program for Continuing Education (PCE) was established to provide need-based grants of up to $3000 to women who demonstrate a need for financial assistance to return to school to support themselves and their families.

This free money is intended for expenses such as tuition, books, transportation, or childcare, and is not meant to be used for living expenses or to repay educational loans.

23 Kaplan University’s Single-Parent Scholarship

The Kaplan University Single-Parent Scholarship is a $500 per-term tuition reduction, with a maximum value of $8,500 for a bachelor’s degree or $4,500 for an associate’s degree.

Applicants are required to attest to single parent status at the time of application for the scholarship via FAFSA as an independent student who is either never married, divorced/separated, or widowed.

Other Scholarship Opportunities for Single Parents

If you require financial assistance to get yourself back into college, you might also want to look into the following list of single parent scholarships1 and see if you’re eligible to apply

  • Carl W. Bull Nursing Scholarship
  • Dr. Risdon Memorial Development Award
  • Anne M. Buscaglia Scholarship
  • Genesis Science or Engineering Scholarship – Santa Ana College
  • Karen Martin Scholarship
  • Dominion Peoples Grant
  • Esther Dutton Kates Fellowship – WCC
  • Ethel Tucker Lowe Scholarship
  • Nancy Bean Costco IT Scholarship

If you’re interested in any of these scholarships, you should first familiarize yourself with the prerequisites & requirements. In most cases, you’re required to write an essay on a given topic which can either make or break your chances of winning a scholarship.

Keep in mind that scholarships are gifted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. With many applicants vying for the same, it’s critical to apply early way before the datelines.

Even if you are ineligible for scholarships, you may receive financial aid in the form of federal student loans with lower interest rates & better repayment schemes than most private loans.

  1. Source: FastWeb – the Internet’s leading scholarship search service []