If you are struggling financially as a single mom and want to break free from your current situation, a grant can be just the vehicle that takes you from point A to point B. Provided by the government and completely free, a new tomorrow might be closer than you think.
There are several different types of grants available for women and single moms. All you’ll need to do is apply, –but first you’ll need to know where to look and what’s to be gained through grants for single moms.
Here’s the breakdown:
What Are Grants?
Grants are officially defined as a form of financial assistance offered to individuals to stimulate or support a certain purpose. For you, the single mom, a grant can offer new housing, a promising new career, or help starting a business.
A grant’s shining quality is the fact that the funds do not have be repaid, as long as you meet all of the requirements. Note: Grants are not to be confused with benefits, entitlements, or loans.
Where Does the Grant Money Come From?
Grants can be given to single moms by the following types of organizations.
- The federal government
- Local governments
- The state
- A company
- Research institutions
- Non-profit organizations
What Types of Grants Are Available For Single Moms?
There are many different types of grants available for single moms. The most common include:
- Business grants
- Housing grants
- Education grants
Federal grants are typically the most well known, although other organizations may also provide financial assistance for single moms. Grants from other organizations include certain limitations, though. For instance, state and local grants only apply to individuals who live within that state, while federal grants can be used throughout the United States.
Now that you know what grants are and what types of grants are out there, lets discuss a few different kinds of grants and how to find them.
College Grants For Single Mothers
If you are a single mom wanting to earn your degree, college grants for single moms can get you there. While most of these grants are not specifically limited to single mothers or even women, almost all provide for the needs of a single mom.
For instance, most are based on low income. If you are a mom raising children in this economy without a proper education, chances are you may not be earning what you could be.
The good news is, you may qualify for a number of grants.
- Federal Pell Grants - Any low income student can apply for a Federal Pell Grant by filling out a FAFSA application at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. When filling out your FAFSA it is extremely important to be honest and provide all the documentation the government and your school’s financial aid office requests. Due to a high number of fraudulent cases in recent years, the FAFSA will ask for your permission to obtain your tax records directly from the IRS. Once you have enrolled in college, you may also have to prove your enrolment by sending in a receipt indicating payment of your tuition. With a Federal Pell Grant, you can receive anywhere from $555 to $5,550. These grants can be used for tuition, books, housing, and transportation to and from school.
- State and School Grants – Locating state and school grants is a simple process. All you need to do is contact your college’s financial aid department and ask them what grants are available from your specific school or state. They will be able to point in the direction of many different types of grants available not only to single moms, but grants made specifically to support the needs of an adult student. For instance, Purdue University, located in Indiana and found at http://www.purdue.edu, provides a grant call the Span Plan grant. This grant covers the tuition and books for an adult student for one three credit-hour class, as long as the student’s tuition is not covered fully by other grants.
- Grants For Single Moms – There are a few grants made specifically for the single mother. The Soroptimist International of Americas, which can be found at http://www.soroptimist.org, provides a grant known as the Women’s Opportunity Awards. This grant was designed to assistant women who care for their entire household by themselves. Another grant, provided by the Kalamazoo Women’s Education Coalition, caters to the financial needs of low income women who are having a difficult time trying to attend college.
Business Grants For Single Mothers
Government grants, at the federal, state, or local level, are available for small businesses. It is important to note that these grants can not be obtained specifically by a single mom, though. They are grants for the small business, not the individual.
Also, although many grants can be found at http://www.grants.gov, there are specific requirements regarding the size of each small business must be met in order to be found eligible for these grants. The requirements are set by the Small Business Administration, or SBA, located at http://www.sba.gov.
Some of the requirements are:
- $0.75 million for industries related to agriculture
- $12 million for contractors in special trades
- $28.5 million for construction business
- $6 for retail establishments
- 100 employees are required for wholesale distributors and industries
- 500 employees are required for industries related to mining and manufacturing
While the federal government does not currently provide individual grants to help single moms start their own businesses, they do provide resources like training and other types of financial assistance.
For instance, the SBA offers many effective and cost-worthy loans for those who wish to start or expand their small business.
Some states will provide certain types of grants to individuals who wish to take a stab at entrepreneurship. For instance, Delaware’s Strategic Fund provides grants or loans to individuals who wish to start their own business.
This state’s Strategic Fund also provides grants for small businesses who wish to focus on Brownfield redevelopment or clean energy initiatives. Expansion funding can also be obtained if the small business has more than 100 employees.
Housing Grants For Single Mothers
There are a couple of different types of housing grants for single moms.
- Public Housing Agency Housing Choice Voucher – The Public Housing Agency (PHA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) join forces in order to provide single moms and low income families with housing vouchers. This type of grant allows single moms with low incomes to afford adequate and safe housing for themselves and their children. While the vouchers may not pay for your entire rent though. The amount you can receive with a voucher varies. For every rent payment, you must contribute at least 30% of your pay check. The HUD voucher covers the rest. In order to qualify for this voucher, you must be a U.S. citizen and have what is considered to be a low income. You must also provide HUD with the ability to obtain information from your employers, banks, and other agencies to determine whether you truly qualify for the grant. HUD itself does not provide housing grants. They give money to each state and the state PHA accepts applications and determine whether applicants receive these grants. If you are interested in obtaining a HUD housing voucher, contact your local PHA. Contact details for the Public Housing Agency in each state can be found at http://www.hud.gov.
- The American Dream Down Payment Initiative- This program, which is available through each state’s HOME program, is another grant offered by HUD that provides low income individuals and single moms with assistance in purchasing a home. The American Dream Down Payment Initiative, or ADDI, pays $10,000 or 6% of the cost of your home. In general, whichever number is higher is what the grant will pay. They also provide you with money for closing costs and money for dealing with health hazards in your home such as mold. HUD distributes funds to each state’s HOME program, so you receive money directly from your specific state. To find out more information and locate your state’s HOME representative, contact HUD at 1-800-998-9999 or visit http://www.hud.gov for a complete list of each state’s HOME department contact details.
Grants for single mothers are available by many different organizations all over the country. If you are in need of financial assistance, take advantage of the many grants for single moms.