Have Scholarships and Grants Been Affected by the Recession? How to Find Your Money For School

If you’re a single mom going back to school, you might be having a tough time tracking down scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of your tuition. People and businesses have all been affected by the recession, so it may come as no surprise that scholarships and grants are becoming a little scarcer than in recent years.

You already know that you’ll encounter specific guidelines and restrictions for applying for tuition assistance. This money is free, and the schools, businesses, and other sources that offer scholarships want to ensure that the right people are awarded and that the money is spent only for education-related purposes. In an effort to keep the programs alive during the recession, many have cut back the number of scholarships offered and/or the amount of money awarded and made the qualification requirements a little more strict. State grant programs have also done the same.

Don’t let this discourage you from applying. It’s still a good idea to look everywhere you can for opportunities and apply for every one that you qualify for. There is still money available. The people running the programs do want to help you; they’re likely just as unhappy as you about having to scale back on what they can offer. Treat your scholarship and grant applications like job applications. You want to make yourself attractive; don’t be shy about promoting your positive attributes and accomplishments, and don’t skimp on the details. You may even be lucky enough to find a school that truly desires you to attend their campus. This means that they will work with you to help you do so, maybe even offer you a full scholarship.

Search the internet, go to your school’s financial aid office, check out your local library, talk to your employer-look everywhere for help. If you can think of any unconventional places to look, too, go for it; just be wary of potential scams. Aside from that, apply apply apply!