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9 top scholarships for moms

There’s money out there for you to go back to school.

If you’re a mom considering going back to school, scholarships are a good way to pay a portion of tuition. You don’t have to pay back scholarship awards, and there’s plenty out there specifically for mothers. But some have stiff financial requirements, and usually won’t cover the entire cost of tuition.

How we picked these scholarships

We selected scholarships that vary in eligibility requirements and the full range of need- and merit-based scholarships. We also paid attention to amounts and how many scholarships are awarded each year, and if a scholarship was specific to a particular field or area of study.

BK Krenzer Memorial Re-entry Scholarship

  • Amount: $3,250
  • Deadline: Sophomores to Graduate students: December through February; Freshmen: March through May

SWE re-entry and nontraditional scholarships assist women in obtaining a degree in engineering, computer science or engineering technology, and re-enter the workforce as engineers. Many scholarships are renewed annually. There’s no minimum GPA required for an incoming freshman.

Emerge Scholarships

  • Amount: $2,000 to $5,000
  • Deadline: February

Emerge Scholarships award nontraditional female students who have delayed their education for family obligations and want to return to college and earn their degree. Only colleges accredited by designated agencies are eligible. 

Winners can use scholarships to pay for short-term study abroad programs that let you earn credit at an accredited US college. But, if you plan to become a permanent student at a foreign school, you cannot apply.

Displaced Homemaker Scholarships

  • Amount: $1,500
  • Deadline: May

The Association on American Indian Affairs gives scholarships to students over 30 years old attending college for the first time or re-entering college after a break to raise a family. Awards are $750 each semester, that can be used to fund your education or pay for living and childcare expenses. Scholarships are renewable.

Nontraditional Student Scholarship

  • Amount: $2,000
  • Deadline: March

This scholarship funded by the American Legion helps nontraditional parents starting a degree program or are picking up where they left off. Winners are selected based on financial need, personal goals, academic achievement, leadership and character. One scholarship is awarded in every Auxiliary geographic division.

PEO Program for Continuing Education Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $3,000
  • Deadline: March

The Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) Program for Continuing Education scholarship is open to women whose education was put on hold for at least 24 months, and are ready to pursue a degree or earn a certificate. Online coursework is accepted, but women seeking a doctorate are not eligible.

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Scholarship for Moms

  • Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Deadline: March

Patsy Takemoto Mink was the first woman BIPOC to be elected to the US House of Representatives. In her honor, scholarships are given out each year to women showing financial need, particularly mothers, to help reduce the cost of education or to afford childcare. Five awards of up to $5,000 are given out in the spring of each year.

Ford Opportunity Scholarship

  • Amount: Up to $40,000
  • Deadline: March

The Ford Family Foundation awards scholarships to single moms who want to get their associate’s or bachelor’s degree. The scholarship covers 90% of costs not covered by other grants and scholarships. 

You must be a single parent of dependent children and head of the household. Up to 50 renewable scholarships are awarded every year.

Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award

  • Amount: Up to $16,000
  • Deadline: August to November

Each year, the Soroptimist Live Your Dreams Award scholarship gives financial assistance and support to women who are the primary breadwinners in their families. It pays out more than $2.6 million every year to nearly 1,700 women to help offset tuition costs, pay for transportation, purchase books or find reliable childcare.

Women’s Independence Scholarship Program

  • Amount: Up to $8,000
  • Deadline: Applications are accepted all year long

The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program is designed to stop the cycle of domestic violence by offering scholarships for single moms to fund higher education so women can get back on their feet. Only full- or part-time students with critical financial need are eligible. Returning students must have at least a 2.75 GPA to reapply.

How else can I pay for school?

Scholarships are a great way for moms to fund their education, but they aren’t the only option. You have other choices.

  • Federal Pell Grant. A need-based grant of up to $6,195 for undergraduate students is offered through the Department of Education. To apply for the Grant, you must submit the FAFSA.
  • Federal Work-Study Program. A need-based federal program, students must work on- or off-campus at a part-time job in exchange for money toward the cost of attendance. To be considered, you must submit the FAFSA.
  • Student loans. Student loans are another way to cover college expenses. But before using private lenders, consider federal loans first since they often come with lower interest rates and more flexible repayment options.
  • Get a job. Trying to juggle school, a family and a job can be hard. But, if you need a little extra cash, taking on a side hustle or freelancing might be an option to consider.

Bottom line

There are many scholarships tailored specifically for moms to help meet their educational goals without breaking the bank. But if you need even more funds, check out our A-to-Z list of scholarships or our guide to student loans for more ways to pay for your degree.

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