Many working mothers view going back to school as a requirement for career advancement, according to Working Mother. Many scholarships specifically aimed at working moms exist to help pay for tuition, books and other fees. Working moms also are eligible for scholarships and grants open to all women or to the general population.
Foundations and Clubs
Some nonprofit foundations provide scholarships or grants specifically aimed at working mothers. One example is the Patsy Takemoto Mink Educational Foundation -- named for the first woman of color to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives -- which provides scholarships for low-income women in vocational programs or college. Another example is the Women’s Opportunity Awards, sponsored by the Sorotomist Club, which provide more than $1.5 million in educational grants to women who represent the primary source of income for their families.
Many unions and labor organizations provide grants or scholarships to their members. These include the Union Plus Scholarship and the Robert G. Porter Scholars Program. Working moms also can apply for scholarships offered by nonprofits to all women or to women with specific characteristics. The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund is open to low-income, mature women, for example. The Business and Professional Women’s Foundation funds scholarships through its Legacy Partners for women seeking bachelor's degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Local nonprofits also offer scholarships or grants.
Statistics show that more than 40 percent of students attending private women's colleges receive significant financial aid packages. These are not just reserved for low-income students; many middle-income students also qualify, according to College Scholarships.org. The Davis Program at Wellesley College is a special program for older women or younger women with children. Three schools with strong financial aid programs are Agnes Scott College and Spelman College in Atlanta and Bernard College in New York, according to College Scholarships.
Federal scholarships and grants are sources of funding for working moms as well as for all U.S. citizens. A Pell Grant -- available for college undergraduates -- provides up to $5,550 depending on status (full time/part time) and financial need. A Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant will fund up to $4,000 for those seeking to become teachers. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are for students with very low income.
- Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation: Education Support Awards Program
- Soroptimist Women's Opportunity Awards: Helping Women Live Their Dreams
- Business and Professional Women’s Foundation: Career Advancement Scholarships
- Federal Student Aid: Grants and scholarships Are Free Money to Help Pay for College or Career School
- College Scholarships.org: Grant Opportunities for Women
- Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund: History and Mission
- Working Mother: Back to School (Yes We Mean You)
- Union Plus.org: Union Plus Scholarship
- AFT: Robert G. Porter Scholars Program
Randi Hicks Rowe is a former journalist, public relations professional and executive in a Fortune 500 company, and currently a formation minister in the Episcopal Church. She has been published in Security Management, American Indian Report and Tech Republic.She has a bachelor's in communications, a master of arts in Christian education and a master of business administration.