Many people these days are afraid to return to school with the economic conditions making it difficult to get jobs. However, there really has never been a more ideal time to finish your degree, or even begin to pursue your dream of a college education–if you are a single mother. Why? Because there is more federal financial assistance available for single mothers than ever before. Women across the country are turning to federal grant and tax credit programs to help them get through college.
While the Earned Income Credit has benefited many single moms as head of the household, there are many other tax credit programs that will help directly with education. One such tax credit is the American Opportunity Tax Credit program. This federal program is intended to cover the first $4,000 of a citizens higher education, and is calculated on previous years income instead of current or future.
In addition, look for check tax credits for education at the state level. Some state tax credits are even specially geared toward working women. For example, there is a program in Indiana that helps day care workers get an education.
The Pell Grant program is perhaps the most well-known federal grant. The Obama administration has increased them for low income students, and will expand the maximum allowable grant to $5,100, up from $4,050. Soon the president hopes to increase it to $5,400, which will be a boon to single mothers.
But I Have to Attend School Online–What is Available for Me?
If you are trying to work and take care of your family, you probably do not have time for traditional on campus classes. Do not worry–Pell Grants may be used for online degrees as well as campus-based course work! Many of the other financial aid programs are also designed to include online courses, which is an ideal program for single mothers.
Of course, there are a lot of financial assistance programs out there so this means money available for you. However, it also means it can be a time consuming task to find them–consider using a scholarship matching service. Many are free or very low cost, and can help you find money you would never have thought possible.