Just because you’ve got kids of your own doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re all done with school! In fact, with the economy as it is, many parents are finding that they need to return to college in order to update their skills & earn the kind of money it takes to provide well for a growing family.
There’s some good news though: there are scholarship programs out there specifically designed to help moms who are headed to college, trade & vocational schools!
Scholarships4moms.net provides a $10,000 scholarship every few months. If you’re a mom over the age of 18 and you live in the United States, you’re eligible to apply for this scholarship award – and the application process is quick and easy too!
Women’s Opportunity Awards
Soroptimist is another provider of scholarships for mothers, and if you apply by December 1 of each year you can be considered for an award worth $3,000 to $10,000. You don’t even have to be a mother, actually, because this particular scholarship can be won by any adult woman who is the primary financial support for a spouse, parents, or children.
The application process is a good bit more involved and will require some letters of reference & a short essay response, but there will be at least 30 scholarships awarded through this program each year.
Patsy Takemoto Mink Scholarship
The Patsy Takemoto Mink Scholarship is also available for moms who are furthering their own education despite (or because of) financial hardships. This year, five awards worth $2,000 each will be available so be sure to check out the application form and turn one in between May 15 and June 15 of 2011.
Finding more Scholarships & Avoiding Scams
Unfortunately, education has become a big business and there are a lot of people making empty promises in order to collect fees & sell useless products from people who just want to further their education. Here are some things to keep in mind to help avoid scams when you’re looking for more scholarships:
- For sale – legitimate scholarship providers won’t require you to buy something before you can apply.
- Application fees – the only time an application fee is OK is if you’re submitting a lengthy writing sample or story for a contest. These kinds of applications can take a ridiculously long time to process, and a good writing contest will also at least provide you with some editing critiques and feedback about the submitted work. Other than that though, there’s not many good reasons for a scholarship to have a fee attached!
- No updates – if you find a scholarship program but they don’t list any winners on the website since three years ago, they’re probably not giving away money any more. Unfortunately, a lot of these were once legitimate scholarships but the bad economy has effected everyone including various charities & educational foundations. At worst, some of these out-of-date websites are set up to collect and sell personal information, so just be careful about who you share your information with!
Scholarship Profiles & Trusted Search Zones
Since the search engines often have a hard time figuring out the good from the bad, one of the best ways to find and apply for scholarships is by completing a profile at one of the many free scholarship search websites on the web.
- Fastweb is one of the original scholarship websites out there, and they’re still helping students match up with the right scholarships.
- Scholarship Experts is another site you can trust when it comes to high quality scholarship information and no nonsense. They have been around for a long time too, and they provide the data for a lot of the other search engines, so they’re definitely worth checking out as you continue your scholarship search.
- Another alternative if you don’t want to save your personal information to a profile-based search, is to try out FreeCollegeBlog’s own scholarship search engine. While it is based on Google search results, it only displays links to certain pre-approved domains like colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations. You can add any personal descriptions to the “scholarship” keyword, but none of your personally identifying data is ever stored or shared with a third party.