Single parents who are considering obtaining a college degree in Ohio are lucky to live in a state with a mission. The state of Ohio has recognized the need to encourage more non traditional students into higher education, and has matched its good intentions with a financial package which will assist many of those previously excluded from their college dreams by financial worries. Typically single parent households fall into the category of low income families, which further deters hopes to obtain a degree, along with the obvious problems which arise through combining college with raising children.
The State of Ohio has a “mission to provide affordable, high quality higher education opportunities for all Ohioans.” Their endeavour to achieve this has resulted in the formation of ‘The Universities System of Ohio’ which is a combined force comprising the public universities, colleges and adult workforce education centers across the state, “working to open the door of higher education to Ohioans”. The system works by state funded scholarships of $250 million being made available to Ohioans, and this figure will be matched by a further $250 million contributed by business and industry.
The Ohio Board of Regents provides details of financial aid available to prospective students, and those with an annual income of less than $75,000 will be able to apply for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant Program, which provides need based assistance with tuition fees, often the most expensive hurdle of a college education. Single parent students need only complete and submit the standard FAFSA application to be considered for the grant. Details of many other state scholarships and grants are available through the Board of Regents, the Higher Education Authority, and the individual college and university finance aid offices.
In addition, students who are considering nursing as a career, or a career instructing nurses, may be eligible for the nurse education assistance loan program. Students who are about to enrol in at least half time study in nursing will receive assistance whilst studying, but will need to commit to working within the nursing sector in Ohio on completion of their training.
Funding which is available from the federal government comes in the form of Stafford loans and the Pell grant. Both of these can be applied for by submission of the FAFSA application. Application should be made at the earliest opportunity to provide access to the Pell grant and the Ohio Opportunity Grant program. It is possible that with the financial assistance rendered by Ohio state that there may not even be a shortfall in costs, but if there is then the Stafford subsidized means tested loan is the ideal resource to use to make up the difference.
With so many new initiatives being implemented by the State of Ohio, single parent students should not have to overcome as many financial obstacles as they once faced, thus giving them the opportunity to make a college degree a reality.