Financing a college education for a child is difficult for most parents. This task becomes even more burdensome when the income of only one parent is available. There just may not be enough money to meet basic living expenses let alone set anything aside for a child’s college education. That’s when college scholarships take on utmost importance if a child hopes to advance his education and increase his employability.
Scholarships for children of single parents are available, though they are not as plentiful as other scholarships. Students, therefore, should apply for all scholarships for which they meet the financial assistance or academic eligibility requirements. They should start their search first with the high school counselor’s office to learn about local scholarships. The next stop should be with the financial aid office of the college they plan to attend for information on scholarships that are specific to that college. They also should not forget state and national scholarship opportunities.
The most scholarships for children of single parents appear to be available for children who have lost a parent through death. This is unfortunate because the student may still be struggling with her parent’s death.
LIFE Lessons Scholarships (http://www.lifehappens.org/life-lessons/) offer tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to students with a deceased parent. The organization offers multiple scholarships of $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 to students who best explain how the death of a parent impacted their lives. Students enter either by writing a 500-word essay on this topic or submitting a three-minute video.
Kids’ Chance (http://kidschance.org/) is a national organization that provides scholarships to children who have had a parent severely disabled on killed in a work accident. The scholarships are awarded by state chapters that each determine the number and amount of the scholarships. An example of this are the scholarships offered by the Alabama Law Foundation, which awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,500 annually. Since 1992, it has awarded scholarships totaling more than $375,000 to more than 100 students.
Children who lost a parent serving in the U.S. military are eligible for government assistance to help pay for college. The American Legion says the assistance of up to $37,500 is not enough and sponsors Legacy Scholarships (http://www.legion.org/scholarships/legacy) to help make up the difference. The military parent can be either regular duty or a reservist called to active duty.