Mothers are known multi-taskers. It seems they can juggle anything; kids, a career, housework. Now many moms, single or married, are adding college courses to the mix. For these multi-tasking moms, seeking an online degree may save time and money.
Online colleges hold many benefits, especially for the working woman. The flexibility to complete a degree this way, on your own schedule, allows mothers to squeeze classes in after work when the kids are asleep. Unlike traditional universities, online colleges do not require a set course load. That means students who choose this course can take as many or as few classes as they want. For a working mother that could mean attending class during a work break and doing their homework with their kids
The New Jersey Department of Labor started a program to help working mothers increase their education and skills. A Rutgers University study on that program found the women who finished had on average increased their annual income by 14%. Most importantly, the women said they could not have completed the courses if they would have had to leave home to do it.
According to the US Census, there are more than 10 million single mothers in the United States. The financial outlook for those women and their families is not good. Sixteen percent of single moms have college degrees and only 22% earn more than $30,000 a year. A single working mother and her children are more likely to fall below the poverty level than homes headed by men or a married couple. Improving your financial situation is one major reason people get a college education.
Some online universities are working to break this trend of working poor single moms. “Project Working Mom: Putting Education To Work” is a joint effort among American Intercontinental University, DeVry University and Walden University. The schools give $2 million in scholarships to working moms each year.
If paying for your education is the issue, make sure you look into Federal Grants. The US government may have $50,000 to donate to your education. That’s money you never have to repay. Pell Grants offer undergraduate students up to $2,700 a year. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, FSEOG, gives money to undergraduate students with exceptional financial need, up to $4,000 a year. There are also state grants and private scholarships.
If you want to attend an online college or university, a little research can save you money. For example, instead of buying text books at the school’s bookstore, buy them used online. Your school may offer you a discount if you refer a friend. If your friend takes a class on your recommendation, you get a break on tuition. The American Council on Education also evaluates converting military or employee training into college credit. Or, you may be able to test out of classes required for your degree. You may already be on your way to a degree, before you take your first class.
Time and money don’t have to be excuses for not furthering your education. Going to school online can get you a degree on your timetable. There are many ways to pay for it, just research grants for single parents and scholarships and grants. A simple Internet search regarding student loans could be the first step to improving your career and your family life.