Monday, January 2, 2012

College Education - Grants For Women Over 30

An older woman who wants to get a college education faces many obstacles. Studying is not a natural habit for many people, and she has stopped studying for many decades. In addition to that, it feels very self-conscious to step into a classroom full of teenagers and very young people. On top of all that, there is the issue of money - how will she fund her Bachelors degree? After all, she is going to school so that she can get a better job, but because she does not have a good job, she also has no money to pay for her degree. Fortunately, there are some philanthropic organizations who fund study grants for women over 30 for the purpose of helping women like her.
For many prospective college students, the easiest way to fund their Bachelors degree is to apply for the federal Pell grant and Stafford student loan. Provided he or she chose a community college and not an Ivy League university with sky-high tuition fees, these two federal-funded education aid programs are sufficient to pay for all or most of the tuition. But an older mother has some additional considerations.
One of the most important is this: "How will it affect her child's application for government aid when it is his turn to go to college?" There may be no impact if her child is still a baby. But if he is already a teenager, it may well have some impact on his application for college financial aid. As of today, the only impact is on siblings, i.e. if Albert received federal aid to get his degree, his younger brother Brad will either get less money or not be eligible at all. But who is to say this rule will not be tightened to include parent-child relationships in the future?
For this reason, as well as any other reasons that may make it impossible for her to receive sufficient government aid, she may need to look for grants for women that are funded by women's charities. She should not only look for scholarships and student grants, she should also look for alternative student loans. One of the better-known non-profit organizations offering these kinds of assistance is the Philanthropic Educational Organization. This charity has three different educational aid programs for women - a scholarship for teenage female high school graduates, a scholarship for older women and mothers seeking to continue their education so that they can help their families and an alternative student loan for women college students.
Unfortunately, the PEO does not have unlimited funding, which largely limits their scholarships to around $100 to $500. Clearly, this will not be enough for many women, especially older mothers over 30 who also need to feed and clothe their children. Fortunately, there are other charities for women that also offer scholarships for older women, like the Jeannette Rankin Foundation for women over 35, and the Talbots Charitable Foundation for women who graduated high school more than 10 years previously. Talbots is particularly generous, awarding $1000 p.a. for women studying at least a three-year degree.
The Philanthropic Educational Organization, the Jeannette Rankin Foundation and the Talbots Charitable Foundation are just three of many charities for women that have scholarships to help older women go back to school. There are more that can be found by searching the internet, especially for certain subjects like computer science. A careful search using Google, Bing and Yahoo will often reveal many useful grants for women over 30, especially when delimited by the college major.

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