This is a guest post from Jennifer Lewis.
Moms can usually find millions of excuses for not going back to school. The kids are too young and need attention. Someone has to clean the house, buy the groceries, and cook the food. The family budget is already stretched to the tearing point, and college expenses have gone up astronomically in the last decade. All of these points are valid to some extent, but none of them should keep a woman from completing her education.
Education can help a woman broaden her impact on the world and give her greater self-confidence. Most of all, women who have more education are better able to financially support their families in the long term. The challenge, then, is to find the least expensive way to go back to school. Some of the following suggestions might prove helpful:
Take the Online Route
Taking classes online is one of the least expensive ways to get more education for several reasons. First, online schooling is flexible. Moms can work around household chores and the activities of children. This usually means that no childcare expenses are necessary. Online classes also negate the need for transportation. Maintaining a reliable vehicle and purchasing gas at today’s prices can cost almost as much as the tuition itself. An online degree or certification can be obtained without ever leaving home.
Check into Government Sources
Go to www.FAFSA.ed.gov to get all of the information needed on low-cost loans and grants offered by the United States federal government for students who come from families with limited resources. This website offers the applications needed to apply for these funds, filing options, school codes, and an IRS Data Retrieval Tool.
Apply for State Grants and Scholarships
Many of the fifty states have special scholarships to train students to work in fields where workers are scarce. Areas of this nature might include nursing, education, social work, or mathematics. Some of the states currently offering scholarships include Kentucky, Alaska, California, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, and the District of Columbia. The state board of education in the state in which a mother resides should be able to give her information about these scholarships in her area.
Go After Small Private Scholarships
A mom who obtains six small $500 scholarships has the same savings as the person who gets a large $3,000 dollar award. It may take more time and effort to fill out the forms needed for application, but the savings are the same in the end. Moms should stay in touch with college financial aid office staffers to learn about any new scholarship opportunities that come through each year. These may be from private donors, industries, or charities and many are based on merit as well as need.
Moms with great drive and a desire to further their education should systematically work their way through all of these sources of college money. Their efforts may well be rewarded with both financial gain and greater satisfaction in their future work.
Author Bio: Jennifer writes for a site that has more information about educational grants for women, such as nursing school grants for women. She believes that any mom who wants to go back to school should research all the sources of free funding, as a low income should not stop moms from getting an education.