Financial Aid for College for Single Mom

Updated on August 24, 2011
J.P. asks from Pensacola, FL
7 answers

Hey Mamas,

I really want to go back to school to get a nursing degree, specifically RN. I live with my DD's father, but we are not married. Does this mean I am technically considered a single mother? Is there significant financial aid for women like me to go back to school? I really don't want to have to work, go to school, and take care of a baby. Can I get aid for more expenses than just tuition? I could really use any advice or help you ladies can give me.

J. and baby Bethany

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answers from St. Louis on

Here is the thing. If you claim no income and you are not a dependent they know you are gaming the system. I got questioned because my bills are not supported by my income. In other words it isn't possible. I get child support which I do not have to claim on my taxes.

So if you make it look like fantasy they will ask for your household income.

You can get loans for more than your tuition but they are loans. If you go to a community college a pell grant does pay more than the tuition but it is meant to pay for books, computer, transportation, ya know, school stuff. Not girls night out.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

It depends on how you file your taxes and if you are claimed as a dependent as far as I know. Your sex life, or lack of it, is not their business, he could be a roommate as far as they know.

I do think filing for FA anyway you decide would be a good first step. Even if you are denied you have at least tried but I think you should get enough as a single parent with one child.

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answers from Johnson City on

Ok I was there a few years ago n just registered again. It goes by your income tax from that year that is how you are guaged and since you have a child you are considered independent so you do not have to use ur parents income you go to and fill that out it is free. Then it depends on how they calculate ur family contribution and what the schools guidelines are, best bet is to go to your financial aid office and ask them they will be able to better help you and then if you feel like you still can then you can go to the admissions office and register but not sure about your schools but mine starts next week so its to late for this semester, hope this has helped I do suggest either call or go talk to a financial aid office and if you decide to then as soon as you do ur taxes next year do the fasfa to get it done first thing and you are one of the first ones looked at, as far as other monies there are student loans and things like that Pell grants do not have to be paid back but the student loans start 6mo after you graduate if you have any more questions at all feel free to drop me a line. O and my Pell Grant and student loans covered tuition and books and still left me with some and I had 3 kids when I went back.

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answers from Dallas on

Bethany I came to answer your question and I see you're in Irving! I lived in Irving for a few years and now live in Euless. I began the TCU Accelerated BSN track this May. I was told by friends before beginning school that I could take out as many student loans as I needed to cover living costs but actually there is a limit set by the school for each semester. They estimate the expenses needed for "room & board", travel, and books but do not account for any other personalized, non-standard costs like daycare, nor do they care if you live in a house, you're pretty much budgeted for an apartment. My husband is a teacher and I had to quit my job to begin school, so I was hoping to replace my salary with loans but the school only approved about half the amount that I wanted. We are making it, but it's hard. Definitely find out ahead of time how much your school will estimate for your expenses, and figure out with your BF how much y'all will need to make ends meet. I was not able to find any scholarships that applied to me but some of that will depend on your FAFSA. Go ahead and complete the FAFSA as soon as you know what academic year you will be applying for aid.

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answers from Chicago on

Like the other moms said fill out a FAFSA at I am working on a degree and have one kid. My tuition and books are completely covered by a Pell grant and a MAP grant. I also have a small student loan that helps with things such as living expenses and other expenses related to school (other materials, honors society dues, etc). Money you get through school can't be used for goofing off as another mom said but it can be used for living expenses. You can find scholarships for women or mothers or for your chosen field or other things- check with the financial aid office at the school you plan to go to. You can also check on It is a scholarship finding website.
To answer your other question- I live with my significant other (we're not married although we've been together so long we call each other husband and wife) and he is the only one who works. Because I have a child and we are not married I am considered independent (I'm also over 25 so my parents income doesn't matter) and don't have to consider anyone else's income. My family contribution is 0 which means I don't pay anything. I will have to pay back my loan after school ends but that's it. (Not looking forward to that though).
Good luck. It's not easy to be a parent and a student- it takes some juggling and discipline. But I am in the honor society, on Dean's List (well except for this summer because I got a B in one of my classes), and have a high GPA. So it can be done. I love it- I'm accomplishing something, I love learning, I get to get out of the house and be among grown ups and I've made some really good friends at school. It is such a great experience.
If I can give you one more piece of advise- make sure your significant other is supportive of your choice to return to school (as he should be!) because that will be such a help for you. My guy watches her not only when I go to school in the evening but also if I need to study or do homework he has no problem taking her out and occupying her so I can get work done. He also pitches in at home and picks up the slack when I need him to- like at midterms or finals. I don't think I would be getting the marks I am if he weren't helping out and being supportive.
Good luck to you!

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answers from Provo on

Go to that is the sight for federal financial aid. It should be able to help you with all your questions.

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answers from Dallas on


Not to pick on you or be mean, but if you live with and are being supported by your daughter's father then NO, you are NOT a single mom. I have no income other than my own, and never was able to collect a penny of child support (thank you Texas AG!) and my kid's father never even took them for his visitation times. Every penny I have and every thing I own came from MY blood, sweat and tears, and every penny paid for my kids school, food, clothing and day care came from me. I am a single mother.

Definitely you should go to school and follow your dreams! I have been attending college for almost 2 decades now and am only 6 credit hours away from earning my degree. I work full time, go to school and have raised 2 kids so it CAN be done. There is financial aid available to everyone, and possibly even grants. However it is wrong, and probably illegal to say that you have zero income.

Go talk to financial aid at the school you plan on going to (wait a couple of weeks as they are very busy right now with classes starting). DCCCD is a good and inexpensive place to start.

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