Seeking Grant/scholarship Advice

Updated on September 11, 2009
C.G. asks from Battle Ground, WA
6 answers

After 13+ years in the workforce, I am quitting my job and going back to school. I start prerequist classes for getting into a nursing program in a couple of weeks. I am a single mom of two little boys, so I got the Pell Grant - enough to pay for school and books, but nothing to live on. I really won't have time to work between classes, studying, and of course being there for my boys. I need advise on any other things I can get/do to be able to pay for life while in school. I'll be applying for benefits through DSHS, but that still won't cover all the expenses. My kids and I live with my parents, so having somewhere to live isn't an issue (thank goodness). Anyone been through this?

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answers from Washington DC on

This is a bit late for this year, but for next year you can start applying for scholarships now. There are a lot of scholarships for adults and the best way to find them is in the big scholarship listing books you can buy or borrow from the library. If you win scholarships and don't need the money for tuition, most colleges will send you a refund check. You can then use this money to live on while you are going to school. If you do the work now, you will have a much easier time of it next year. I wish you luck!

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answers from Eugene on

I took out student loans, got food stamps, went on every program offered and make a damn good living today. I was also a single mother. Every day was hard but the years went quickly measured on the quarter system. As an older student I was mature which showed in my good grades. I apportioned my time very carefully. Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons belonged to my children as did a few hours between getting home and starting to study.

Some years ago my daughter a single mother did the same thing while living with us for a couple of years. She got a B.A.

You will do it because you can do it.

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answers from Portland on

I'm also a single mother, and received my Master's degree in a city where I didn't know a single person other than the professor who recruited me. I worked as many part time jobs/odd jobs/babysitting jobs I could so I could go to school off of the grants and scholarships I received, and then pay for living expenses outside of that. I took out a little student loan money, but mostly worked whenever I could. Although it probably doesn't seem like you'll have time, you will and your children will be ok if you work a little more as long as you still spend quality time with them where the focus is just them.
Someone said something about not taking advantage of government assistance because other people need it, and that's absolutely ridiculous. You are trying to better yourself and you need help. That is exactly what the government assistance is there for. Unfortunately, some people use it to live off of, and they are the ones who should not be receiving it. But you shouldn't feel bad if you need assistance for a short amount of time, so you can improve your situation for you and your children.

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answers from Portland on

I recommend that you do every class you can online! Once your are IN the nursing program, you won't be able to do any online, but most of your prerequisites can be done online. It is easy to do, and you can do it from home while you are with your kids. Basically, you have the same amount of homework as in class, but you don't have to spend the lecture time away from home. I did this while staying at home with my 4 month old daughter and it made life much easier!!!



answers from Seattle on

Go see the financial aid office on your campus. They will have books and listings of available scholarships, loans and grant opportunities. I'm surprised that you're getting assistance from DSHS after working for 13yrs and voluntarily quitting to return to school. Many students these days are having to work part-time to make those tuition, fee and book payments. Depending on what type of nursing program your going into and where, there is a lot of competition for those very limited nursing program seats. Some programs require extensive volunteer hours in a healthcare setting while you're taking the pre-req classes. I would have a plan B in mind while you're working hard on these pre-req's. A very high GPA is almost a must. While you're at the financial aid office, your campus might have a childcare program, check it out. It's subsidized for students and if you're getting DSHS aid, this might work for you. You are extremely lucky to have parents who are providing your housing and other living expenses. Most grants and scholarships will not pay for your family living expenses. They are focused on your scholastic needs.



answers from Portland on

Have you considered working part time, going to school part time and taking an extra year or two to achieve your goal? I know many single moms who have gone that route and didn't come out of the program with student loan debt, nor had to rely on social services to support their decision to further their educations. Please remember that there are a lot of people out there who desperately need help from DSHS because they lost their jobs and the state's resources are dwindling. In fact I doubt DSHS will offer benefits when you quit your job voluntarily and also have a place to live.
I would also check with OHSU to see if they offer any scholarships. Like someone else said, it's a bit late for fall but perhaps for next year. Good luck.. I too wish it were easier for mothers to return to school.

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