Pell Grants and FAFSA For Women and Mothers

The US Federal Government’s educational grants program is officially known as the Pell Grant.

Remember that to find out if you’ll be eligible to get any amount of money through the Federal Pell Grant, you need to submit your FAFSA

You can submit your FAFSA for the Pell Grant until June 30 so there’s still plenty of time to get your applications in before the deadline.

It’s always recommended that you do it as soon as possible though, because some other federal student financial aid programs that also require the FAFSA only have limited funds available, and waiting too long to apply for those can mean you might miss out.

If you want to apply for financial assistance through a particular college, check their deadline because many will have a cut off around February to March, or even earlier.

Where can I fill out the online FAFSA form?

The U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) program provides a large number of students with financial aid for their studies, but filling out the FAFSA, especially if you’re a Mom returning to school, can be daunting.

To fill out the FAFSA online you simply visit the Federal Student Aid website, where you can easily enter your details and send the form off electronically. The website is at:

If you prefer to fill out the form on paper then all schools will have a printed application available at their campus or office. However take note that it’s faster and easier to apply online, and the website guides you through it with a help section.

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form is free to fill out. You fill out this application so it can be determined if you are eligible for a government scholarship or grant – and to find out how much money you can receive.

Allow approximately 2 hours minimum to complete the FAFSA form adequately.

It is important to be aware of the federal and state deadlines that apply for where you live – you can find out what these deadlines are at:

Making a mistake when filling out your FAFSA application can cost you dearly, so it is very important to know exactly how to do it properly, and to take your time! This will also ensure that you receive the maximum amount of financial aid that you’re eligible for.

See the tips below for ideas on how to get the most from your application.

Tips for Completing the FAFSA Form

Have your documentation ready to go.
To make sure things run smoothly it pays to be organized. Gathering your documents together before you start will save on stress! This includes things like ID and earnings income documents. If you’re a dependent then you’ll require some information about your parents too.

Have Income Tax Returns Filled Out
Cut out paperwork by doing your FAFSA online and having your income tax details ready.
Yourself, and your family if applicable, should have your income tax returns already completed before you start the FAFSA application process. You don’t have to file it, but because a lot of the information in the application is the same as the income tax return, it will save you considerable time to do this first.

Use the Live Chat Customer Service
The FAFSA online application process also lets you chat live with an assistant, right as you’re filling out the form. So you can get help on the spot if you’re not sure of something. Don’t hesitate to use this valuable service if you need to!

Double Check Everything
Make sure you double check your entire application before submitting it. It’s easy to make a mistake along the way, and once you go back to re-read it you are in a better frame of mind to pick up the little things that could make a huge difference to the success of your application!

Completing your FAFSA form is easy and fast thanks to the online process, and will have you well on the way to getting that much needed financial aid that will assist you enormously with your studies!

People should be aware that they can get this money; especially those who need it the most, like single mothers and women who want to go back to school later in life.

Why get the Pell Grant or other financial aid for school? The Pell Grant could get you around $5000 to put towards your education.

Moms will benefit considerably from having this money to put towards education. And the best part is that you never have to repay it.

Paying for college is hard work. Being a mom myself, I took that leap and decided to go back to school (and I’m so glad I did!) but I could not have done it without some financial assistance.

Do You Qualify for the Federal Pell Grant?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website contais everything you need to know to apply.

After checking out the FAFSA criteria, you will know for sure if you qualify for the Pell Grant and other government financial aid for students.

You need to submit your FAFSA and you will get the chance to apply for several governmental financial aid programs, among which the Pell Grant is the most popular and well known.

Select the college that you wish to attend and check the criteria that you need to meet for being eligible to apply for a particular grant.

Most federal student aid scholarships won’t cover your entire tuition fees. If the college fees exceed the amount you can receive from the Pell and other grants, you may have to search for additional financial help such as private scholarships through universities and community organizations.

The fact that you may be a single mom will certainly help you obtain the grants, scholarships or loans as they are aimed at people in the most financial need.

The Department of Education encourages you to continue your education as an adult and certainly encourages you to apply for the all the federal student financial aid that you are eligible for.

Alternatives to the Pell Grant

Whilst the President is doing a good job of encouraging and helping moms like us to return to school, not everyone will be eligible for the grant and not all eligible moms will get it – there are just too many applicants.

That is why you must look around for other scholarships that will deliver the money you need for school. Use it for your tuition fees, books, computer software or any other expense: as long as you use it to change your life for the better!

Scholarships For Moms With Special Needs Children

If you have a special needs child, you face challenges that are even greater than many other single mothers and women who want to go back to school.

Having enough time to care for your child’s needs, plus finding the time you need to devote to your studies is what stops so many women in this situation from not following their dream to go to college, get qualified, and move into a well paying, successful career.

So are there any specific grants and scholarships out there for women in your situation, with one or more special needs children? The truth is, you can and should apply for every scholarship that you’re eligible for.

Most scholarships provide the one thing we all need most for our college education: money.

The more money you can gain from one or more scholarship programs, the more you’ll be able to put towards care of your child. Even if you’re studying via distance education or online, having reliable care for your child will free up more time for you to focus on getting great grades.

Every quality scholarship will allow you to use the money for child care and related expenses – these are the programs you need to apply for if you have a special needs child to consider as you embark on your college education as a mother.

As always, your first port of call should be with the Pell Grant from the Federal Government.

Paying attention to the quality of your application, as well as submitting it on time (and as soon as possible) gives you the best chance of receiving much needed student aid if you’re planning to return to school as a mom, or as a mature age student!

This is what you need to know about the latest updates and changes to the FAFSA in recent years:

  • Even if you submitted a FAFSA last year and missed out on money, you must submit a new one this year to be reconsidered
  • Many schools like scholarship applications to be in as soon as possible, so submmitting your FAFSA as soon as you can from October 1 will inrease your chances of applying and being accepted for more university and private scholarships
  • It’s now possible to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import your taxes and complete your FAFSA faster
  • You don’t have to wait until you’ve applied for schools before submitting your FAFSA – just add any schools you are considering to your application

It’s really important that moms wanting to go to school in 2017-2018 and needing financial aid be aware of these FAFSA changes, and most importantly, start getting your application in now so you can find out if you’re eligible for over $5,000 of student aid from the Pell Grant, as well as other government grants.

Of course, this is just the first step for applying to as many scholarships as you can. Government grants are just one avenue for moms heading back to school and needing financial help.

Scholarships and grants from colleges and universities, community organizations, businesses, and other sources are all options that you have. Getting your FAFSA in is the first step – so don’t wait – get that done and then focus on finding and applying for as many scholarships that you’re eligible for.

Here are some facts about the federal government scholarship and grants available to moms and all women:

Federal Pell Grant

Obama has raised the amount of the Federal Pell Grant up to $5100 instead of $4050. He may even raise it more soon. So if you are a single mom, working mom or stay at home mom then this is simply one of the best ways to have your college education paid for.

How to Apply

You can apply for the scholarship by selecting a college or university which is holding the course or program that you wish to study. You simply then fill out the deferral FAFSA form and submit it.

Studying Moms get Tax Benefits

If you are a mother who is studying at college or university then you can take advantage of the excellent American Opportunity Tax Credit program which lets you get your first $4000 of higher education absolutely free. This coupled with your scholarship means that you really aren’t spending any money at all.

Online Study and Scholarships

You can apply for the Pell Grant program if you wish to study via online education.

This is often the best choice for moms who can’t or don’t want to leave the family at home in order to go and study at a campus.

At the same time, you can apply for other mom scholarships as these are perfectly suited for your situation as a busy mom who needs financial assistance for study. All I can say is – go for it!

Other Federal Grants for Moms and Women

The US Department of Education office of Federal Student Aid provides some excellent financial assistance opportunities for all students, including moms like you who want to enrol in college or university and further your education as an adult.

No matter how old you are or what your circumstances might be, there’s a government student aid program you can apply for.

If you are eligible to receieve funds from Federal Student Aid, it will help considerably in contributing to paying your tuition fees, books, and other related educational costs.

This can make all the difference for moms like you who might be struggling to afford to go back to school while juggling you children, home life, work and other commitments.

Remember, you need to fill out your FAFSA application as a first step towards getting a grant or scholarship from the government.

Types of Federal Government Student Aid You Can Apply For

There are three main categories of financial aid available from the federal government Federal Student Aid programs (FSA).

These are:

  • Grants and Scholarships
  • Student Loans
  • Work-Study Programs

Federal Student Grants

These grants offered by the federal government are highly suitable for moms like you who want to go back to school.

Applying for any government grants that you are eligible for is the number one step to take on the your path to getting financial assistance for your studies. They cost nothing to apply for, and cost you nothing to receive and use – unlike a student loan.

Federal Pell Grant
Up to $5,815 in 2016-2017Undergraduate students;
Amount awarded depends on financial need and other factors

$100 – $4,000 per year
Undergraduate students with high financial need

Academic Competitiveness Grant

Up to $4,000 per year
Students planning a career in teaching in a high-need field

Facts You Need To Know About The Pell Grant

Grants and scholarships are the best type of student aid because they do not have to be repaid, ever. The Federal Pell Grant is your first place to look when applying for financial aid for your studies as a mother who is heading back to school.

  • The Pell Grant does not have to be repaid
  • You must fill out and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply
  • Usually available only to undergraduate students (people who have not previously earned a degree)
  • The award amount for 2016-2017 is up to $5,815
  • The total amount you are eligible for will depend upon your financial need, the cost of your college attendance, whether you will be a full time or part time student, and whether you plan to attend college for a full academic year.
  • The maximum amount of time you can receive the Pell Grant is for 12 semesters or about 6 years of study
  • The school you are enrolled at distributes your Pell Grant money which it receives from the U.S. Department of Education each year
  • You can not claim the Pell Grant from more than one school at a time
  • The amount of money you are eligible to receive from the Pell Grant is not affected by other student aid or scholarships that you might be receiving
  • If you qualify for the grant, your school will likely give you the money in two payments throughout the year
  • Your college can apply your Pell Grant award directly to your tuition fees and campus expenses. Left over money can be used for your other educational expenses

Other Federal Student Grant Programs

You might already know about the Pell Grant, but did you know there are several other grants and scholarships available from the U.S Government Federal Student Aid?

The department also provides various loans to students in need, but not all of them are completely suitable to people in less than ideal financial situations. A grant or a scholarship is a much better outcome if you can get one, as you will not be in debt and will not have to repay a single dollar.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Academic Competitiveness Grant

National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (National SMART Grant)

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

How To Apply For Federal Student Financial Aid

This is a listing and brief description of each of the scholarship and grants that FSA has available to students. Some of these may not be suited to your circumstances, but at least one very likely will be: The Pell Grant. However, it is wise to be familiar with all the available options so you can increase your chances of applying for the highest possible amount of financial aid!

The government wants to encourage moms to return to school.

It makes sense when you think about it. The more people who are educated, the more who will have good jobs, will pay taxes and will contribute positively to the economy and to the country.

But on a personal level for you, there are so many benefits to going to school, regardless of your age and how many kids you have.

If you’re a working mom stuck in a dead end job now then you’re probably feeling frustrated. There is usually little room to increase your income, and the work can be dull and unstimulating.

Getting a degree means that you can choose a new career path – one that will satisfy you both personally and financially.

Here are some tips on getting money for school from the government:

1. Have a look at the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Web Site at

2. Explore all federal funding & grant options at the Federal Student Aid site at

3. Read the Pell Grant handbook as it contains alot of handy information.

Other Scholarship Options For Moms Returning To School

Don’t discount private scholarship and grant programs. Even if you get some money from the Pell Grant or other government program, this money usually has no impact on your eligibility to receive scholarships from other sources. Some of the best places to look are through businesses, community organizations, and universities.

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