Grants for Married Students
While only about seven percent of all college undergraduates are married, this number increases greatly when you look at students over the age of 25. As more and more adult students return to college, the number of married college students increases as well. In addition to some scholarships particularly for married students, married students have a number of more general avenues to explore, including:
- · federal grants,
- · grants for minorities,
- · grants for those returning to college,
- · grants for adult learners, and
- · specialty-specific grants.
Federal Grant Considerations
When applying for federal Pell Grants, married students can be at an advantage. Once a student marries, he/she is considered financially independent of the parents, so when applying for federal grants, the household income reported is the couple’s income. For young couples pursuing an education, this can result in a household income that qualifies for federal funding. Married students should research the Pell Grant program, even if they were not eligible when they were dependants. Details of the Pell Grant programs can be found at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Funding from Colleges and Universities for Married Students
Married college students may also have access to a variety of unique scholarship opportunities. These specific scholarships are usually offered by individual colleges.
- The Ohio State University (www.sfa.osu.edu) offers the Ed Bacome Scholarship, which gives preference to married students.
- At Indiana University – East (www.iue.edu/finaid), the David H. Runyon Scholarship is awarded to married mothers.
- Virginia Commonwealth University (www.enrollment.vcu.edu/finaid) sets aside a scholarship for married graduate students.
Some grants that are not aimed at married students require that the recipients reside on campus or meet certain criteria that are not compatible with married or family life. Many universities exempt qualified married students from these requirements to enable them to accept the grants. It is very important that students make sure they understand the terms of a grant.
Private Scholarships for Married Students
National scholarships specifically for married students are somewhat rare. Scholarship aimed at parents are slightly easier to find. For example http://scholarships4moms.net offers scholarships up to $10,000 to working mothers nationally. Married student researching scholarships intended for them can begin research at http://go.salliemae.com/scholarship. Students with children can find a wealth of useful leads to funding at www.childcarefinancialaid.org.