Managing Student Loans

Typical young students, free of obligations, are no longer the only people to benefit from the advantages of a college education. Single parents are being encouraged to attend college too, either full or part time. A college degree will definitely help improve their situation and job prospects, and set a huge example to the dependent child on the value of education.

Many single parents, juggling work, raising children, and running a home, often think they won’t be able to afford to finance college studies, and are more likely to be on a low income than others. A degree though can be the key to a better financial future. Financial aid is available to single parents wishing to pursue a college education, in the form of scholarships, grants and loans. As long as the student is enrolled in college at least part time it is possible to receive help in funding.

As with all student loans the first port of call is federal funding. A federal Stafford subsidized loan is available for low income single parents, and is guaranteed. It is means tested and does not require a credit check. The first step is to apply via the FASFA form, which needs to be submitted before other areas of financial aid are considered. The benefit of this loan is that the federal government subsidize the interest, which is capped at a fixed rate, and repayments do not begin until after the deferred period has finished at the end of college.

Single parent students resident in Arkansas have additional funds available, in the form of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship fund. To apply for this the student must first apply for the federal Pell grant, which is needs based and most suited to those pursuing vocational studies. Check if the FSEOG, federal Supplemental Education opportunity grants, has any funding available. It is means tested but does not need to be repaid.

Always take advice from the school financial officer to see if other grants or scholarships are available, and search online. The more funding which can be obtained this way the less likelihood there is of needing to top up the coffers with private student loans. These are however available to single parent students too, sometimes at preferential interest rates.

Knowing that funding is in place to assist with a single parent pursuing a college education makes ones return much more viable, even though the pressures to study whilst continuing with normal life may seem a huge challenge. Your efforts will actually be appreciated though as single parents are deemed to be more serious about their studies than many other students. Enquire today with the Arkansas Higher Education Agency and move a step closer to improving your life as a single parent, through education.