Before you even apply to college you should have your financial affairs planned out as far as college is concerned. This means you have fill out your FAFSA and you know what you can and cannot afford. As a single mom you would need to make enough money on your salary to surpass the income guidelines for two people if you did not qualify for financial aid. Otherwise, you are much like most other single mothers and not making enough to put you over the limit for financial aid.
When you are thinking about financial aid for college, you have to keep in mind the things that are taken into consideration. The amount of dependents in the house is just as important as the amount of money coming into the house. If you are not the one who brings the majority of the funds into the home, you can be considered a dependent yourself rather than an independent student, which changes your cost of living as far as financial aid is concerned. Two people living on one salary with one of those people being your dependent is completely different than three people living on one or two salaries with yourself and your child considered the dependent of someone else. In the end, it the combined income compared to the amount of people in the home that determines how much. If any financial aid you qualify for.
If you are single mom who gets married, you may be making yourself into a dependent. On the other hand, if your spouse does not work or makes less money than you do, you have just gained another dependent. This may mean that the amount of money that you would have to spend out of pocket to go to school may decrease.
The FAFSA determines how much you are expected to pay out of pocket. When you become a dependent of your husband, that amount could increase because you are no longer considered as an independent student. Each school figures up the cost of attendance for the year. The amount you are expected to pay is deducted from the cost of attendance and what is left over is the maximum amount of financial aid you qualify for. You cannot receive more financial aid applied directly to the college than you qualify for. Assistance outside of school in the form of thing like food benefits does not count as part of the financial aid you receive.