National Scholarships for Single Parents

Scholarship Programs Available to Single Parents and Low-Income Families

Thinking about heading back to school? Why not look for scholarships for single parents? Begin your search by contacting local colleges and universities to find out what they offer. Then check our state-by-state listing of single parent scholarships. In addition, consider whether you might be eligible for the following national scholarship programs.

National Scholarships for Single Parents

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    Female scholarship recipient sitting in class
    National scholarships for single parents can help offset the cost of college tuition. Photo © David Schaffer/Getty Images

    Soroptimist (think "sorority" + "optimist") is a global volunteer organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that seeks to improve the lives of women and girls through programs designed to generate social and economic empowerment. One such program is the "Live Your Dreams" award. Formerly known as the "Women’s Opportunity Award," this scholarship is not limited only to single parents. But it is limited to women who are the primary source of financial...MORE support for their families. Awards range from $3,000 to $10,000 and can be used toward tuition and books or to offset education-related child care and transportation costs.

    More information:

    • Soroptimist's "Live Your Dreams" award is a needs-based scholarship
    • Applicants must enrolled in or have been accepted into an undergraduate degree program or a vocational skills training program
    • Applications are accepted between July 1 and Nov. 15 each year
    • Applications must be submitted through your local region/state
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    The Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund offers scholarships to help mature women, low-income women further their education. While the scholarships are not limited to single parents, many of the foundation's past scholarship recipients have been single moms going back to school.

    More information:

    • Applicants must be women, aged 35 or older
    • Must be enrolled in an accredited program
    • Applicants must show financial need and be considered low-income
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    The Assistance League is a national non-profit organization with local chapters throughout the U.S. Several of those individual chapters offer their own single parent scholarships, available to single moms and single dads going back to school while raising their children. 

    More information:

    • Search the phrase "scholarships" on the Assistance League website
    • Scholarships range from $3,000 and up
    • The Assistance League also provides a database of community-based programs
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    The Patsy Takemoto Mink Foundation awards five scholarships annually to low-income single mothers pursing post-secondary education. Each award is up to $5,000.

    More information:

    • Applicants must be single mothers and at least 17 years of age
    • Scholarships are awarded to women pursuing one of the following degree types: an associate's degree, a first-time bachelor's degree, a vocational degree/certificate, or a professional/master's/doctoral degree
    • Applicants must be enrolled in a...MORE not-for-profit, accredited institution 
    • Must earn less than $20,000 per year for a family of two; less than $24,000 for a family of 3; or less than $28,000 for a family of 4
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     The Women's Independence Scholarship Program, Inc. (WISP) exists to help survivors of intimate partner abuse gain access to educational opportunities to secure gainful employment, a sense of personal independence and self sufficiency. 

    More information:

    • There is not set deadline; requests are reviewed on an ongoing basis
    • Available to full- and part-time students
    • Must be enrolled in an accredited program, including community college, a state college or university, technical or vocational school,...MORE private college or university, or for-profit institution