31 Free Grants For Single Mothers In USA: How To Get Financial Help
Single mothers make up 80 percent of single parent households in the United States. Most of these families struggle constantly with their finances. If you are a single mom, you know how taking care of children makes it even harder to make ends meet.
Thanks to anti-poverty programs, if you are a single mother in the U.S., you can apply for a variety of grants. Financial support from the government and other organizations can ease your financial burden. Here are 31 grants for single mothers to explore.
Government Funded Grants
1. Community Development Block Grant Program
The Housing and Urban Development offers this grant. This project’s mission is to provide decent and affordable housing. This grant covers low to moderate income families.
The program areas under the grant are quite varied. Your grant will depend on your location and current community. Single mothers in urban counties and large cities can avail of this program. This allows grantees to take out a loan or receive a loan guarantee. There is also a grant covering areas hit by heavy foreclosure.
The grant is based on the community’s status. Population, poverty, overcrowding, and growth are all accounted for. CDBG Grantees can designate one, two, or a three-year period.
2. National Institutes of Health Grant
Pursuing a scientific career can be too costly when you have children. Instead of giving up on your research, go over the details of NIH’s grant.
Single mothers who need support for their research career can avail of this grant. This NIH grant focuses on giving support for New and Early Stage Investigators. When your study involves health, you have higher chances of receiving a grant.
Although there is no citizenship requirement for this grant, there could be specific criteria when certain programs open for applications.
3. Adult and Dislocated Worker Program
Enacted through the Workforce Investment Act, this grant aims to help people succeed. This program targets dislocated workers ages 18 and older. Priority is given to people living in low-income households.
Dislocated workers include those who were laid off or terminated. This also covers those who lost their employment due to economic conditions. Displaced homemakers are also covered by this grant.
4. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
The biggest struggle for single mothers is caring for the kids. This grant helps families gain self-sufficiency.
This grant provides assistance for single moms to ensure children are cared for in their homes. The program promotes marriage, job preparation and work to realize its mission. TANF’s purpose includes endorsing two-parent families. TANF also helps reduce pregnancies out of wedlock.
You can apply for this program at your local or county welfare office.
5. Medicaid Grant
Single mom grants for families with limited funds include free health care, too. Your federal income and assets determine if you qualify or not. Medicaid covers people of all ages, as long as they meet the income threshold.
Each state oversees this program. To know if you qualify for this health care grant, refer to the requirements in your state. This program is available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
6. Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC)
If you are pregnant or you have young kids, you may qualify for the WIC program. This state grant targets low-income families, providing nutrition counseling and a monthly food stamp allowance. This program aims to support women and children who need the greatest amount of nutrition.
You can check if you qualify at the USDA website. Specific details about this program are also available on their site.
7. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Another USDA program geared towards eligible low-income families is the SNAP. This provides nutrition aid for single mothers. The department works with the neighborhood and state agencies.
You can qualify based on your household income and resources. Your local state usually accepts SNAP applications. Legal immigrants may also submit applications provided they meet the required criteria.
8. Single Mom Grants Through Earned Income Tax Credits
Funding is not only available through single mother grants. You can avail of tax credits, too. Working adults from low to moderate income families can claim the earned income tax credit.
EITC helps decrease the taxes you owe. This tax credit is open to U.S. citizens and resident aliens. Resident aliens claiming tax credit should be U.S. residents for the entire year.
To be eligible, you must meet some basic rules. In addition to that, you need to:
- Have a qualifying child or meet the guidelines for people who don’t have a qualifying child.
- File a tax return, even if you are not required to, or don’t have any taxes to pay.
- Earn an income by being employed by someone, or by owning a business or farm.
- Be a U.S. resident for more than six months.
- Be at least 25, but not more than 65 years old by the end of the year you are claiming a tax credit for.
Claiming for EITC also required you to file a tax return. The IRS website offers more details on this tax credit.
College Grants for Single Mothers
9. State Education Grants
College grants under this group are similar to the federal level. The state decides the assistance for single mothers based on needs. Programs differ from one state to another, so be sure to check your state’s website for more details. The most popular state grants include:
- Kansas Comprehensive Grants
- New York State Tuition Assistance Program
- New Mexico College Affordability Grant
10. Single Mother Grants From Universities and Colleges
Educational bodies also offer scholarships to single parents. There are distinct financial aid programs for single parents with dependents. Most of these college grants are for the undergraduate level, but there are also many scholarships for graduate studies.
The eligibility requirements differ from one school to another. If you want to attend a school locally, be certain to inquire about the programs they offer for single moms. Some notable scholarships for single parents include:
- University of Wisconsin Nontraditional Family Scholarships
- Minnesota State University Mary Jane Young Scholarship
- Illinois College of DuPage Single Parent Scholarship
GPA requirements and the number of grantees differ widely.
11. College Grants for Single Mothers by Private Organizations
Foundations and organizations offer grants to single parents, too. Women advocacy groups also have specific grants for single mothers who wish to finish their degrees. One popular grant is the Live Your Dream Award by the women’s group, Soroptimist.
Application deadlines for these grants differ. These grants for single moms who are going back to school have distinct GPA requirements. Some organizations will only grant scholarships for a particular course. Be sure to read the eligibility requirements to see if you qualify for one.
12. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
This program is geared towards helping people attain a college education. College grants for single mothers under this program are often higher. You can submit your FAFSA between January 1 and June 30. Grants under FAFSA can either be based on financial need or on academic merit.
You need to file the FAFSA in the state where your school is located. The FAFSA report contains your expected family contribution. This is the amount you can afford to pay for your college education. This report is forwarded to colleges and universities you plan to attend.
With this data, the school can come up with an appropriate offer of financial aid.
The Pell Grant is a federal aid that is the most popular source of college money. Single mothers are not the only ones who can qualify for this grant. First-time students who need financial aid can avail of it, too.
Grant amounts depend on your EFC and total college fees. Your enrollment for the academic year and student status can also affect the aid you receive. The average grant per student under this program is more than $5,000.
This grant by the U.S. Department of Education considers the most disadvantaged applicants. Nominees are chosen based on their FAFSA scores. Since this is a need-based grant, those with EFC scores of zero get priority.
Time is of the essence when it comes to this grant. After using up the funds, no further funding is given for the FSEOG. Funding under this grant is about $4,000 in a year.
15. FEMA Grant
If a federally declared disaster destroyed your home, you may qualify for a FEMA grant. Depending on your status, you may be covered by the individual assistance grant. You are not required to pay back the grant under this program.
Survivors of a disaster are given up to 60 days from the date of declaration to file for a grant. You need to complete all the documents required to avail of this program.
16. Housing Voucher Program
If you belong to an extremely low-income family, you may avail of the HUD’s housing voucher program. Under this grant, you are free to choose from the various types of housing grants for single mothers that meets your needs. In addition, your landlord needs to agree to lease the premises to you under this program. A housing subsidy will be paid directly to the landlord.
You can apply for this program through public housing agencies. The agency also decides whether you qualify based on your income and needs.
17. Public Housing
Public housing is designed for low-income families. This provides affordable and safe homes for people in dire financial need. There are about 1.2 million households under this program, ranging from high-rise apartments to single and multi-family homes.
U.S. citizens and immigrants of eligible status can avail of public housing. Eligibility is also based on annual gross income and your family’s status. The rent for public houses will differ depending on many variables, but it also depends on your family’s income.
18. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Keeping your family comfy during the winter and summer requires money, too. For single mothers, the LIHEAP could help with the high cost of energy bills during the cold months. This program helps households by helping with the following:
- Energy crises
- Home energy bills
- Minor home repairs related to energy and weatherization
19. Home Investment Partnerships Program
Low-income households can rent out homes under this program. Participating jurisdictions can avail of the direct rental assistance to people in dire financial need.
Housing under this program is confined by rent limits. The HUD sets this limit on an annual basis. Family income should not exceed 60 percent of the adjusted median family income in the area.
20. Community Development Financial Institutions Fund Programs (CDFI)
Starting or growing a business when you are a single parent can be hard, if not impossible. One way to finance a startup or expand is to take out a loan by applying for assistance from CDFI.
The CDFI site provides a database where you can search for an NACA program that fits your needs, as well as any participating organizations in your locality. Programs also vary by state.
21. Small Business Administration Loans
When you are planning on launching a new business, you may qualify for a small business loan. The SBA loan program is ideal when you plan to launch a small business in the U.S.
There is a long list of ineligible businesses. You need to show you have a sound business purpose. You should not be delinquent on any government loan, as well.
22. Small Business Innovation Research Program
This is a competitive program that aims to boost research in small businesses. This is an awards-based program. Federal agencies allocate 3.2 percent of their budget to this program.
To qualify, your project needs to meet certain feasibility requirements. The SBIR program aims to meet Federal research goals.
23. Small Business Technology Transfer Program
The funding under this program is similar to SBIR. STTR’s goal is to expand joint ventures between businesses and research institutions. This program inspires innovation by bridging the gap between science and commerce.
The STTR Program has a lower funding than the SBIR. This is a highly competitive award with only a small number of grantees.
24. Business Development Program
Small disadvantaged businesses can apply for aid from the SBA. You can apply for this grant when disadvantaged people control 51 percent of the businesses in a certain area.
This is a nine-year business development program. The first four years is the development stage. The next five years is the transition stage for the business.
25. National Association for the Self-Employed Program
Owners of micro-businesses can use some funds to improve their services. NASE offers business grants of up to $4,000 each. This funding can go to things like computer equipment, marketing materials and farm equipment.
Awards are based solely on the NASE’s discretion. The agency doesn’t accept appeals or provide feedback on applications.
26. Rural Business Development Grants
RBDG has competitive grant funds for people looking for technical aid. This loan is open to people in rural areas. Businesses with a gross revenue of less than one million can avail of this loan.
There are various grants designed for rural areas. The grants under this program range from $10,000 to $500,000.
Personal Grants for Single Mothers
27. National School Lunch Program
Single mother assistance comes in the form of free meals for their kids, too. The National School Lunch Program provides free meals to children from low-income families. Children from households under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or SNAP programs are eligible.
Depending on your household income, your children can get free lunches and breakfasts at school. You can call or pay a visit to your child’s school for further details on this program.
28. Letters Foundation Grant
A foundation set up by Warren and Doris Buffet sets out to help needy families, as well. Free grants for single mothers to pay bills are hard to come by. The financial aid by this foundation is open to anyone who needs it.
Single mothers need to write a letter and provide as much details as they can to the foundation. Letters Foundation will decide if the request warrants further review. This foundation provides feedback as to whether they can help you with your needs or not.
29. Child Care Assistance Program
Child care assistance is open for low-income families with children 13 years and below. This is not a free program, but there are reduced fees for some households. If you go to school or work or are looking for a job, you may qualify for this program.
Hardship grants for single mothers come in child care programs, too. Eligibility requirements and terms vary per state. You do not need to be a U.S. citizen, but your child needs to have an acceptable immigration status.
30. Dependent Care Assistance Program (DCAP)
This program allows you to set aside a portion of your income for a child or elderly loved one’s care. Money under the DCAP is tax-free. Qualifying expenses involve day care, preschool, babysitting fees and similar expenses.
You need to enroll in this program every year. The maximum amount of savings under the DCAP is $5,000. There are also some eligibility requirements for this program.
While this program is useful, you need to plan your savings under DCAP, because you have to spend everything on the qualified expenses by the end of the year. You will lose excess funds in your DCAP if you don’t use them by December 31.
31. Head Start Programs
Free learning for pregnant women and their children ages five and below is available for low-income households. Under the Head Start program, you can take free training and classes. The agency can even help you get your high school general equivalency diploma.
Head Start can also help families connect with agencies who offer medical and social welfare aid, such as WIC and SNAP.
Single motherhood is hard, but you’re not alone. You have all the help you need when it comes to money matters, but you have to do your homework. There are government grants and programs you can apply to for financial aid. These 31 grants for single mothers can help you support your needs whether it’s for food, housing, education or business.