When considering a return to education by attending one of the colleges within Colorado, you may be able to top up loans with state assistance too. Most of the colleges themselves have some kind of financial aid to help you out. Single parents are as eligible for grants as other students are, and these can often make the difference when struggling to finance college plus run a home. In addition to direct college grants and scholarships the state of Colorado can also provide assistance through two programs.
The first step towards receiving additional financial support beyond federal loans is to complete the federal application form by which each college makes an assessment of your financial needs. The FAFSA form must be submitted before you will be considered eligible for any grants. The majority of all students rely primarily on federal Stafford loans to pay their way through college, and the subsidized Stafford loan is available to single parents who need financial help.
The Stafford loan is needs based and carries a fixed interest rate with the government assuming the interest payments on behalf of the student until 6 months after graduation. As the Stafford loan is not enough to finance college completely other forms of financing need to be sought and there are many options available to single parents before they need consider taking private loans to make up the shortfall.
The Federal Pell grant is available to those single parents in financial need, as is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant. Both are needs based grants which will help towards college expenses if granted.
There is a special scholarship available to single parents who attend Colorado College. The Mark and Catherine Winkler foundation provides scholarships to assist single parents with the expense of child care and their own educational needs.
The University of Colorado has assistance available through its financial aid office. Financial assistance from the Colorado North Western Community College is given on a strictly first come first served policy, and is awarded to those quickest off the mark after May 1st.
Two state programs which offer financial assistance to students in Colorado based on financial eligibility are the Colorado State Grants program, and the Colorado Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program. These organisations can be approached directly or through your college’s financial aid department.
With the aid of grants and federal loans it is viable for single parents to finance college whilst obtaining a degree. Private student loans are also available if there is still a shortfall but the aim is to borrow as little as possible through private loans as there is the additional burden of maintaining interest payments on them whilst in college.