Financing Your Education and Avoiding Student Loan Debt
As a single mother, getting your college degree or completing your education can make all the difference in your family’s life. It may seem like an impossible challenge on top of raising children and paying your bills, but going back to school is the best way to get a higher paying job, increase your job security, and raise your standards of living. Don’t let the risk of taking on student loan debt stop you from getting a college degree and finding the job of your dreams. There are several ways to avoid student loans (or at least mitigate them) as a single mother and reduce the cost of college all together.
The first step towards financing your education is finding the right college for you. Take a look at some local community colleges with lower tuition rates that can save you thousands down the line. You can even transfer those credits to a different program at another university after the first couple years. Find a school that offers students a generous amount of scholarships and financial aid. Many first-rate colleges and universities have scholarships for single mothers and income-based financial support. Research the requirements for each scholarship or financial aide package and make sure that your qualify before you apply. It’s important to find the right school that understands your financial situation and that will help you reach your goals.
In addition to school-funded scholarships, there are many exciting single mom school grants and financial aid packages available through the government and the community at large. These programs are dedicated to helping single mothers avoid student loans and finance their education with an added layer of support. Reach out and read up on some of the single mom student loans and grants available in your area. Financial assistance can be based on your chosen field of study, income requirements, or academic excellence. Just to name a few for 2015, The Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation offers financial awards to low-income mothers who are pursuing their education and the Women’s Opportunity Award financially assists women who are the main breadwinners for their families and who are going back to school for their undergraduate degree. Get a head start on completing your education and see if you qualify for any one of these exciting new programs.
After you’ve applied for any and all grants, scholarships and financial aid packages, it’s time to start preparing for your student loan debt. Talk to a financial aid representative at your school so you know the effects of student loan debt, and find out when your payments will start and how much they will be. Save up as much money as you can while completing your education so you can be ready for your first student loan payment. Many federal student loans have recently implemented debt forgiveness, helping you repay your loan on a budget that works for you and your family. You can also ask your loan provider about refinancing your student loan so you can make payments based on your income level.
With all the changes happening today, there are many affordable options for single mothers going back to school. It’s never too late to earn your college degree so you can find the right job to support your family.