Financial Aid for Frugal Moms Wanting to Go Back to School

Christy | 12:00 AM |

Frugal moms know how to save money on everything from groceries to children’s clothing, but some are unaware that their penny pinching methods can even help them find the funds for going back to school. Any mom willing to spend the time to do the research and fill out the applications has an excellent chance of being able to finish a degree without investing any money from the family coffers. In fact, those determined enough may not only get free financial aid to cover tuition from other sources but also may get help with books, fees, transportation, and living expenses while attending school. The following grants and scholarships are just a few of those available to moms who are determined to make a better life for themselves and their families:

  • First in My Family Scholarship: Hispanic women who will be the first in their family to attend undergraduate college classes should apply for this scholarship offered through the Sallie Mae Fund. The recipients are chosen based on need, letters of recommendation, and an essay, and award amounts are anywhere from $500 to $5,000.
  • Shop Smart Scholarship: The funds from these scholarships, which are sponsored by Brad’s Deals, will actually go to people who are able to show how they plan to practice frugality and cut their college spending. Five scholarships of $2,000 are currently being offered based on an essay and a preliminary budget of planned college expenditures.
  • Do-Over Scholarship: This scholarship of $1,500 is awarded annually for the best essay answering a question about what you would do over in life if you were given the chance. Applications may be made at
  • B. Davis Scholarship: This $1,000 award is open to any students currently enrolled in an accredited post-secondary school. It requires an essay of 1,000 words or less.
  • American Association of University Women: This organization offers women two prestigious undergraduate scholarship opportunities, the Eleanor Roosevelt Fund Award and the Women of Distinction Awards.
  • Osher Reentry Scholarship: For moms who took a break away from college to rear children, this scholarship offers a way back. If you have been out of school for as long as five years and are between 25 and 50 years in age, this opportunity may be an excellent choice for you.
  • Scholarships Offered by Retailers: Best Buy, Burger King, Lowe’s, Sally’s Beauty Supply and several other large retailers have offered small scholarships in the past several years. An online search should turn up enough information to find those applicable to moms.

Generally, these smaller scholarships, and there are hundreds open to determined women, work well when used in conjunction with money obtained through federal government programs. Pell Grants are open to women who qualify based on income and are usually enough to defray a large part of college costs. The application for all government programs for college assistance is found at When smart, thrifty women take the time to apply for smaller scholarship awards as well, they can often attend college completely free.

Guest writer Jennifer Lewis writes for a site that has tips on how to find all kinds of educational financial aid, including college grants for women with children and scholarships for minority women.

About is a collection of frugal-living articles and resources for women trying to save money- while still being able to enjoy the luxuries of life.