The high cost of a college education is well known to everyone these days, but the costs are particularly worrying for a single parent contemplating college. Along with the natural time constraints of being the lone parent in the house, there is work and childcare to balance alongside studying. Together with this is the worry of actually financing college and wondering if it is really realistic to undertake it. At the same time the benefits are obvious, as a better educated parent has more prospects, and can thus improve the standard of living for the child.
College isn’t just for school leavers and more and more non traditional students, such as single parents, are returning to complete their education. They are entitled to the same federal state funding towards their degrees, as other students. Any student must first look to apply for federal loans, before any other kind of loans, though these are rarely enough in themselves to cover all the costs of tuition and college.
Application is made through the FASFA form for one of two federal Stafford. Neither loan is credit based. One is subsidized and one is not; the subsidized loan is means based and most single parents will qualify for that being on a lower income. This means that the loan is guaranteed by the federal government who assume the interest on the loan whilst the student is at college. The student becomes responsible for the interest and loan repayments six months after graduation. Those on low incomes can also apply for the Pell grant at the same time, which is a non repayable grant based on need.
The higher education loan authority of Missouri (MOHELA) has a special state run program offering low income students the chance to pay less interest on the Stafford loan, and you should contact them direct to enquire about current rates. There is also the Missouri state reward program which helps students who plan to work in needed areas within the state, such as teaching, nursing and emergency services. The parents of the student can also take a federal PLUS loan on behalf of their child, at extra discounted interest, if one of them is a public service worker in the state of Missouri.
If there is still a shortfall in necessary funds then the single parent student must make application for credit based alternative student loans (private loans) but MOHELA will be willing to work with you to find the best deal. It is more than likely that a co-signer will be necessary for a private loan.
The loan opportunities are there for the single parent student in Missouri, with the additional back up support of MOHELA too. Contact them direct to see what special terms would be available for the academic year you plan to enroll.