6 Scholarships for Moms: How Can Moms Pay for College?

By Melissa Brock · January 25, 2024 · 10 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

6 Scholarships for Moms: How Can Moms Pay for College?

When you want to improve your income potential or change your career to offer your kids more opportunities, you’ll have to manage a myriad of responsibilities — possibly with a full course load to boot. Going back to college can demand a lot from moms physically, mentally, and financially.

The financial impact of going back to school as a mom can seem staggering, so consider scholarships for moms as one way to make an impact.

Keep reading to learn more on scholarships for moms, scholarships for single moms, and scholarships for working moms. We’ll also walk through how to find these scholarships and look into other ways of paying for college.

Who Is Eligible for Scholarships?

Almost anyone can get a scholarship, but you must meet the eligibility requirements set forth by the scholarship guidelines. Some scholarships will require students to be independent students. Independent students are defined by the U.S. Department of Education as those who are:

•   At least 24 years old

•   Married

•   Graduate or professional students

•   Veterans of the U.S. armed forces

•   Active duty members of the armed forces

•   Orphans, those in foster care, or wards of the court

•   People who have legal dependents other than a spouse

•   Emancipated minors

•   Homeless or at risk of becoming homeless

However, non-governmental organizations may have other requirements. Therefore, it’s important to take a look at the qualifications for each individual scholarship.

Recommended: A Guide to Unclaimed Scholarships and Grants

Types of Scholarships for Moms

Nontraditional students interested in receiving financial aid should first submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Colleges and universities will receive the results of the FAFSA and use that information to inform their aid decisions. The FAFSA is the first step in applying for federal financial aid, including grants, federal student loans, work-study, and other institutional aid. These could help you offset the cost of tuition and other education-related expenses. The FAFSA must be filled out each year the student is enrolled in school.

Other scholarships may require you to apply independent of the FAFSA — that is, the results of the FAFSA may not matter. However, many mom scholarships may require you to prove that you earn a low income. (Low-income thresholds depend on the size of your family and number of children, according to the United States Census Bureau.)

You can tap into many types of scholarships for moms, including single mom scholarships, scholarships for working moms, and other types of scholarships for women going back to college, as outlined below.

Single Mom Scholarships

Yes, organizations offer scholarships for single moms! Take a look:

Soroptimist’s Live Your Dream Award

If you provide the primary financial support for yourself and your dependents, you can qualify for the Soroptimist’s Live Your Dream Award, as long as you show evidence of financial need. You must also enroll or be accepted into a vocational/vocational skills training program or undergraduate degree program and be motivated to achieve your education and career goals.

Applicants must live in one of the following Soroptomist territory countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guam, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, United States of America, or Venezuela.

Award amount: $1,000 to $10,000
Deadline: Application open from August 1 to November 15

Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation for Low-Income Women and Children Education Support Awards

The Patsy Takemoto Mink Educational Foundation for Low-Income Women and Children
Education Support
awards offer college scholarships for single moms to low-income women with children who are pursuing education or training.

The criteria for the award state that you must:

•   Be a woman at least 17 years of age.

•   Be a mother with minor children.

•   Pursue your first degree at a post-secondary education level (vocational, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree) — this degree must add to the level of education accomplished (such as a bachelor’s degree after an associate’s degree or an advanced degree after a bachelor’s degree).

•   Pursue a degree or credential at an institution that does not discriminate on the basis of sex/gender, LGBTQ+ status or identity, race or ethnicity, religion, disability, or immigration status.

•   Enrolled in a nonprofit, accredited institution or program in the U.S.

•   Be low-income (earn less than $20,000 total in family income for a family of 2, less than $24,000 for a family of 3, or less than $28,000 for a family of 4).

​​Awardees are selected based on financial need, personal circumstances, educational path, vocational and occupational goals, service/activist, and/or civic goals.

Award amount: $5,000
Deadline: Information about the 2024-25 application will appear in May 2024.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC Single Mother Scholarship

Rosenfield Injury Lawyers LLC offers two scholarships to single mothers returning to school, one for a single mother who will attend an undergraduate or community college program and another for a single mother who will attend accredited law school.

To qualify, you must write a 500+-word essay about the advantages of returning to school while raising children and how motherhood has prepared you for the challenges of becoming a student. You must also:

•   Submit a copy of your transcript that displays your grade point average (GPA) — unofficial transcripts are accepted.

•   Authorize Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to post the material on its website and social media channels.

You may use the scholarship money for education-related expenses, including tuition and registration, textbooks, and other fees and supplies.

Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: TBD for the 2024-25 academic year

💡 Quick Tip: Fund your education with a low-rate, no-fee SoFi private student loan that covers all school-certified costs.

Scholarships for Working Moms

If you’re a working mom, you may want to first consider your current job’s scholarship opportunities. Some companies offer scholarships and/or education reimbursement for their employees.

Company foundations usually create scholarship programs for employees, employees’ children or relatives, or the children of deceased or retired employees. While not necessarily just geared toward working moms, they can still provide a major financial benefit of working and going to school. Visit your company’s human resources for more information about scholarships or other educational assistance you can qualify for. Note that some companies allow employees to take advantage of their education benefits right away, but yours may require you to work at your company for a specified length of time.

Take a look at the scholarship below, geared specifically for working moms.

Job-Applications.com Working Parent College Scholarship Award

Working parents currently in college or another accredited postsecondary educational institution can qualify for the Job-Applications.com scholarship by meeting specific criteria. You must:

•   Be enrolled as a part-time student who is in an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution (college, university, or trade school, or a similarly accredited program).

•   Have a current cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher at that institution.

•   Have worked an average of at least 12 hours for each of the previous four weeks during the application process.

•   Be a residential parent of at least one minor child.

•   Be a legal U.S. resident.

•   Be at least 18 years of age or older.

You must also submit a 600- to 1,000-word essay about the keys for balancing parenthood, working, and succeeding in college.

Award amount: $1,000
Deadline: TBD for the 2024-25 academic year

Scholarships for Moms Going Back to College

Moms pursuing graduate work may also need help finding grad school scholarships.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Program

Those who identify as a female/woman and who study at a community college, bachelor’s or graduate degree program with the intention of preparing for a career in engineering, engineering technology, or computer science may qualify for the Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Program .

To qualify, you must:

•   Plan to study at an undergraduate/community college or plan to get your master’s or Ph.D. at an ABET-accredited program.

•   Major in engineering, technology, or computing.

•   Must attend full time (though exceptions are made for reentry and nontraditional applicants).

•   Not be fully funded for tuition, fees, books, or the equivalent.

Award amount: $1,000 to $10,000
Deadline: TBD for the 2024-25 academic year

Chrysalis Scholarship

The Chrysalis Scholarship , funded by the Association for Women Geoscientists, helps women who experienced an interruption in their education due to raising children or other life circumstances and need financial help to obtain their graduate degrees in a geoscience-related field thesis or dissertation. The scholarship may cover drafting expenses, child care, defense travel, late-stage research and analyses, and more.

To qualify, you must:

•   Be a graduate student who has had an educational interruption due to life circumstances.

•   Approach the completion of your geoscience degree.

•   Plan to contribute to the geosciences and the larger world community.

Application materials include a letter of application in which you describe your background, career goals, and objectives, how you plan to use the scholarship, and the nature and length of the education interruption. You must provide letters of reference from your thesis/dissertation advisor and another scientist of your choice.

Award amount: $2,000
Deadline: TBD for the 2024-25 academic year

💡 Quick Tip: Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, you should fill out the FAFSA form. Many schools require it for merit-based scholarships, too.

Applying for Scholarships for Moms

When you’re applying for scholarships, it’s important to get organized. Make a list of due dates on your calendar and estimate how much time it’ll take you to complete each application. Research scholarships early so you don’t miss out on scholarship opportunities.

Read the eligibility guidelines carefully. Contact the organization sponsoring the scholarship if you have specific questions related to eligibility. Some scholarships may not get many applicants, so if you meet almost all the requirements, ask if you can apply anyway. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that the committee or organization will allow you to apply.

Finally, follow all the instructions. Stick to the word limit for the essay and send supporting materials as requested.

Recommended: What a Merit Scholarship Is and How to Get One

Finding Other College Scholarships for Moms

Put your feelers out for every type of scholarship that might apply to you — they don’t even need to be strictly “mom-related.” If you qualify in another way, such as for your interest in zoology or criminology, keep those options open. Look into the following sources for scholarships, as well:

•   Colleges and universities: Colleges and universities offer many different types of scholarships and grants. Make an appointment with an admission counselor and/or the financial aid office to learn more about scholarships you can apply for at each institution you’re interested in attending.

•   Charity organizations: Look into organizations in your community, such as the local Rotary Club. You just might scoop up a few scholarships based on the organizations you know. Ask around!

•   Professional organizations: What do you plan to major in? Check to see if professional organizations of your chosen industry offer scholarships and grants. It’s also possible to get internships and careers from these professional organizations right out of the gate after graduation.

Recommended: How to Pay for College

Other College Financing Methods

You might need other sources of financial aid to close the cost gap after scholarships for college are factored in. Generally, the first step, as mentioned, is filling out the FAFSA. The FAFSA is completely free and offers other financial aid beyond scholarships, including need-based and non-need-based federal financial aid.

Other options for paying for college include:

•   Federal grants: Students who demonstrate financial need may qualify for federal grants. You do not need to pay these back. For example, you could qualify for a Federal Pell Grant or the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. Take a look at the eligibility requirements to determine whether you qualify.

•   Federal student loans: You may qualify for federal student loans through the U.S. Department of Education and through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are non-need-based, while Direct Subsidized Loans are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need.

•   Private student loans: Federal student loans, scholarships, and other funding sources may not fully cover the cost of attendance for students. In that case, students may tap into private student loans. However, private student loans do not have the same benefits or borrower protections as federal student loans (like deferment options or the ability to pursue certain federal loan forgiveness programs). For this reason, private student loans are generally pursued only after all other options have been thoroughly considered.

Recommended: Types of Federal Student Loans

The Takeaway

Scholarships for moms going back to college is one way to help fund your degree. You can find scholarships by asking your college or university about their options, looking into your local community, asking professional organizations in your field, and using an online scholarship search tool. Other options for paying for college include federal student loans, grants, and work-study.

If you’ve exhausted all federal student aid options, no-fee private student loans from SoFi can help you pay for school. The online application process is easy, and you can see rates and terms in just minutes. Repayment plans are flexible, so you can find an option that works for your financial plan and budget.

Cover up to 100% of school-certified costs including tuition, books, supplies, room and board, and transportation with a private student loan from SoFi.

Photo credit: iStock/Portra

SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi.com/eligibility-criteria for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Non affiliation: SoFi isn’t affiliated with any of the companies highlighted in this article.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender