Sep 042008

Paying for College Education

As a single parent or even if you live in a two parent household, paying for your kid’s college education is a difficult thing to do. There are several ways in which not only you but your student can pay for college cheaper and faster. Your kid’s college education is important and you need to be on top of what will get him or her through the four years, or maybe even twelve years, the cheapest or fastest way possible. Knowing a few easy steps will be beneficial for both your financial obligations and their career after college.

One thing you can encourage your student to do is to take courses from the local community college. They complete their first two years at a community college and save thousands of dollars then move on to a traditional college. Make sure that all the credits they take transfer to a four year college or university and then they can finish out their last two years as a junior and senior at a college of their choice.

By going to community college the classes are smaller and your child will have more help than in a traditional four-year college where the classes can be upwards of 400 students large. They will have a chance to work on their GPA and other academic endeavors so that they may earn more scholarships and grants for completing the last two years of college.

Good Applications for College Education

Another way to save money is find the right courses for your student. Help them fill out their applications and put in as many applications as possible. Sometimes when a recruiter at a college cannot fill the quota they will reduce the tuition price or offer a grant to get your son or daughter into the college.

Your kid’s college education will depend on them as far as their work ethic and their ability to achieve. But if they have a good work ethic in high school and have the qualifications a college wants, the college will give them incentives for entering their ranks of academia.

Have your child look into work programs. Some corporations will pay for your student’s tuition given a promise to work for them for a couple years after they get out of college. These types of grants are usually for high school students that have a high ability and work ethic. You as a parent can help and instill a work ethic and develop academic ability in your child, while they are still in high school. This will give them a better chance to obtain these types of grants and be able to go to the college they want and have a future employer pay for it.

There are many ways to pay for your kid’s college education but look for the ways that are free first. Use only financial aid and student loans as a last resort. You don’t want your son or daughter’s day of graduation to include a field of worries about how they or you are going to pay back the student loans they got from their college education.


Aug 262008

College Grants for Single Mothers

When you are a single mother, you have plenty of things to worry about.  Besides the tuition for school, your books, and other expenses that go along with going to college.  One thing that will relieve the pressure, at least financially is a grant.  College grants for single mothers is money that is given to you by an institution or organization that will allow you to pay for educational tuition and extra expenses and you don’t have to pay the money back.

A grant is not considered a loan.  It is an amount of money that is given to you for specific purpose.  Once the tuition and your other expenses are paid, you can use the money for whatever you wish.

college grants for single mothers requires no paybackWhen you take out a student loan, you will have to pay the money back.  This means that through the end of your college career and you come upon the date of graduation, six months later, you’ll have to start paying bills towards the college education loan.

If you are single mother, this may not be a prudent thing for you to do.  Remember that college grants for single mothers do not have to be repaid but a loan does.

But by getting a college grant you may be able to transcend from an academic career to your real-life career without owing any money.

You need to fill out the FAFSA before getting any college grants for single mothers.

To apply for a grant, you can either go to your financial aid office or talk to a financial aid officer, or you can go online and find out what grants are available for you.  Your financial aid officer will talk to you about local grants that will help you pay for college.

You may have to have special admissions requirements for each grant.  Those which are federally sponsored require that you have a low income or that you do not have a job.  Fortunately, the grant will be adjusted for your economic need.

Other grants are given to you from the state in which you live and have to meet certain financial and academic guidelines.  You have to prove that you have a good grade point average and that you will finish school in a timely manner.

If you search for a grant online remember that any time a website asks for money upfront, it is probably a mistake to choose that company.  The purpose of a grant is to give you money not take your money.

The resources that they use to find grants on the Internet are the same resources that you can locate with the proper search words.  Don’t look at the first or second web pages listed on any grant our scholarship offer you see.  Rather go way past the popular hits and find the obscure grants that nobody has applied for.

You can find specific grants for sexual orientation, ethnic background, or religious affiliations.  There are even some grants for political affiliations. You may find specific college grants for single mothers.

As a single mom, you will probably be given some leeway in the application process.  There are a lot of grants out there for single parents, and if you are single mom you even have an added bonus to the application process.  You are a female and the gender itself will allow you more accommodations for grants and scholarships.

You are a single parent and this alone will prove that you have financial need.  Apply for as many grants as you can, because if you are not accepted by one, you will have a backup source for other finances. Don’t limit yourself to college grants for single mothers as there are other types you can look for too.


Aug 122008

Filling Out the FAFSA is a Pain But Worth It

When you are single mom it is sometimes hard to juggle work, your child, and even having some or any kind of a social life.  If you’re going to college it’s even harder to time manage and money manage your life and your lifestyle. Here comes FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

To get financial aid you’ll need to fill out the FAFSA.

Financial aid is a good way for the single mom to pay for college and at the same time, give her the flexibility to have a little money extra to pay off some living expenses that are procured of being a college student as well as a single mom.

With financial aid, you will have to pay the money back, but you can be assured that your tuition and books will be paid for.  It is always prudent to look for scholarships and grants before financial aid, because with those programs you do not have to repay the money.

fafsa free application for student aidThe first thing you have to do to apply for financial aid for college is to fill out a FAFSA application. FAFSA stands for “Free Application for Student Aid”.  With this application you will be asked personal information like the location, what kind of money your parents made, whether you support another person (as a single mother you do), and what kind of money that you made the previous year.

If you are financially secure and make too much money financial aid may not be granted to you.  This is also true if your parents are able to help you pay for college and they make a lot of money.  In these situations, your application may be denied.  You have to prove to the financial aid office that you are indeed a single mother, and you need the money no matter how much your parents make.  You can appeal the rejection of the application by visiting the financial aid office and completing an application of repeal form to begin the appeal process.

Once the application is accepted, you will be notified through the mail and you will be issued a pin number.  A pin number is a 4-digit number that will identify you as the owner of your student financial aid account.

Once your application is secure, you must then choose a lending institution.  This is usually a financial aid lending institution that is nationwide, or you can use a local bank that is in your own town.

When you sign for of the financial aid at the lending institution, you will be asked to sign paperwork that you will be responsible paying back the loan.  Paying back your loan is one of the most important things about getting a student loan.  If you don’t pay back the loan, you can have your paycheck garnished, you can lower your credit score, and any tax refund that you might have coming back to you from either the state or federal government will be held back as payment on behalf of your student loan.

Remember, if you do not need the money, do not accept it.  You have to pay these loans back.  Even though they have little or no interest attached to them, you are still responsible for paying them off once you graduate.  Paying back the loans as soon as possible means as a single mom with your child and your family, you no longer have to worry about a large amount of student loans that are out.  Filling out the FAFSA can be painful or easy depending on your financial circumstances, but it has to be done.