When you think of single parents going to college, courageously trying to make a better life for their kids, it’s usually moms that come to mind. But the truth is, more and more fathers are the custodial parent to their kids, and more and more of them are going back to school to ensure a better life for those kids. Single dads’ college financial aid is as important as aid for Single moms.
There are several sources of single dads college financial aid that fathers should look into.
- Government aid. Sole earners with dependents are in a good position when it comes to getting something like single dads college financial aid. Their income is lower than that of two-parent families, so their expected family contribution is also lower. This makes them eligible for more money in grants, and if necessary, student loans. Make sure to fill out your FAFSA and talk to your financial aid advisor. Don’t forget to ask about the FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), reserved for those in dire financial need.
- State higher education board. This website for your state can tell you whether your state offers things like single dads financial aid. Some states have more money available than others, but it’s worth checking out.
- Back-2-College. This is a resource you’ll have to pay for ($39.95 here), but it specializes in finding funds for adults starting or returning to school. There’s a whole section in there for funds for single parents, including single dads college financial aid. In addition to the downloadable list of scholarships, the website has several pages of information and advice to help with other adult college related matters.
- Academic Competitiveness Grant and National SMART Grants. These are grants sponsored by the federal government to encourage excellence in math and science. Since there are more men than women entering these areas, a single father will be likely to qualify for one of these grants.
It’s true that it’s easier for single moms to find aid than to find single dads financial aid. In addition to the above sources, dads should look into their religious body’s resources, as well as national and local fathers’ groups. Not only will they get new ideas about funding a college education, they may well find the kind of support they need as they struggle to raise their kids by themselves.