Returning to School as a Single Mom in Arkansas

Returning to School as a Single Parent

As a single parent, we know you work incredibly hard to give your children everything you can. From working hard every day to fixing dinner plates, helping with homework, and doing the laundry, you do it all, and we see you. 


For some single parents, making the choice to start or finish their degree in order to create more job opportunities is fueled by a desire to support their children. However, many single parents can feel defeated when thinking about the future if they lack a college education. In the United States, it will come as no surprise that having a college degree can help improve your efforts to find jobs in many industries. With the help of a few resources and tips, your dream of returning back to school can become a reality. Here’s where to start: 

How to Pay for College as a Single Parent

We understand that one of the determining factors in your return to college is how to pay for classes, tuition, books, and other expenses. As a single parent, paying for a higher education may seem like overcoming the impossible. However, there are a variety of resources that exist to help single parents like you reach your goals and aspirations. Although returning to college is an investment, it may not be as daunting as you expect it to be. 

1. Apply for financial aid. 

Many single parents feel as if returning to school is impossible, because they think financial aid doesn’t exist for nontraditional students like them. However, universities are beginning to see more and more nontraditional students enroll. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, individuals 25 and older make up a huge portion of students on college campuses. With grants, scholarships, and other financial aid support, you don’t have to pay for college alone. 


2. Apply for single parent scholarships.

When beginning your journey of returning to school, scholarships should be at the top of your list when thinking about financial aid opportunities. Luckily, there are many scholarship opportunities for single parents in Arkansas that help with finances as you work to obtain a college degree. 

Scholarships and Grants for Single Parents

Where do you go to find scholarships as a single parent in Arkansas? Here are a few resources to help you find scholarships and grants:


  • Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund: The Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund has served the state of Arkansas for over 30 years now, providing single parents with the funds and resources they need to take advantage of great educational opportunities. After reading the criteria for the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, apply to begin your journey to a higher education. 
  • Workforce Improvement Grant: The Workforce Improvement Grant exists to give adults who are in the workforce the opportunity to return to school in order to improve their education, skills, and future. 
  • Academic Challenge Scholarship: Regardless of your prior academics, there are scholarship opportunities for you. And the Academic Challenge Scholarship is a great one to consider! Unique to Arkansas residents, this scholarship is designed to give individuals of every age and walk of life the opportunity to pursue a college degree. 





3. Create a budget. 

Another way to help pay for college is to budget. No matter your income, budgeting can help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals. Returning to school is an investment, so understanding your overall budget can help make the process easier. Failing to create a budget may result in creating more debt and stress for yourself in the long run, so we suggest starting today. Here are a few tips for creating a budget to return to school as a single parent: 

  • Make a list of all financial obligations (rent, childcare, groceries, etc.)
  • Understand your income
  • Make adjustments to unnecessary expenses 
  • Track your spending

If you’re interested in learning more about finances and budgeting, ASPSF offers educational workshops across the state. Check out our Events Calendar to find an upcoming budgeting workshop near you.


4. Consider childcare. 

Childcare is one of the most expensive financial obligations of single parents. However, it has become incredibly necessary for parents who work full-time while also attending school. If you are a single parent who is interested in returning to college, there are a variety of financial aid opportunities available to help pay for childcare. With the help of organizations like DHS and the Child Care and Development Fund, childcare doesn’t have to be a burden on your budget.


Tips to Successfully Return to School as a Single Parent 

No matter your circumstances, returning to school as a single parent can be a daunting task. However, with the right resources, it’s possible to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself and your children. We’ve made a list of a few tips to successfully return to school as a single parent in Arkansas. 

1. Take advantage of student discounts.

One of the best perks of becoming a student is taking advantage of student discounts at local restaurants, stores, and more. As a single parent, student discounts can help you not only save when purchasing school materials, but they can also provide you with markdowns on groceries, gym memberships, and more. 


What other resources are available for single parents in Arkansas?  →


2. Learn to say no. 

Learning to say the word “no” can be hard for anyone. However, single parents returning to school need to understand the importance of balancing all of the hats they have to wear daily. From dropping the children off at daycare to fixing dinner at night, you have a variety of responsibilities. In order to get your schoolwork done, you must learn to tell people ‘no’ when necessary. 


3. Organize your goals. 

For any goal you want to accomplish, organization is key. Returning to school without organizing your goals can become overwhelming, so consider where, when, and how you’re going to take on a school load. Here are a few ways to organize your goals: 

  • Write your goals down
  • Keep your school materials together
  • Form a daily schedule 


4. Don’t short change yourself. 

Lastly, return to school with a positive attitude. Returning to school as a single parent is an accomplishment within itself. Be proud of yourself! Don’t think of yourself as less than those around campus, and put in as much effort as possible without sacrificing time with your children. 


Our Impact  


Applying for Single Parent Scholarships in Arkansas

Are you ready to begin your journey to higher education as a single parent in Arkansas? Our team at Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund is passionate about serving you as you work to improve the future for you and your children. Don’t let the challenges of being a single parent stop you from pursuing your dreams. Start the journey today by applying for the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. 



Posted by Arlene Green at 1:09 PM
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