Life is busier now than ever before, especially for single parents. As a single parent, you might struggle while earning your degree. Single parents need to spend time with your child, and it takes up a large amount of time earning income as the sole support for yourself and your child. Because of the constant juggling act of responsibilities, earning a degree and setting yourself up for a successful career sometimes gets put on the back-burner. Learn how to ease some of these problems and make earning your education as a single parent more achievable.
Why higher education is important
Earning your education is key to helping you get a great career. Having a better career provides you with a more stable income so that you and your family can live the life that you want. Have a goal in mind that you want to earn a specific degree that will help you increase a skill so that you can work your way up at your current job, pursue a new field of work, or even start your own business. This way, you can jump right into classes that interest you most and build specialized skills. Hardworking students are sometimes able to change careers or earn promotions while in school because you gain new skills, which can also provide an incentive to finish school and graduate.
Obstacles for single parents
Parenting is no easy task, and raising children as a single parent can be overwhelming. Single parents rarely have downtime, which can be stressful and emotionally overwhelming. They often find themselves at work or school all day and then as the sole caregiver for their child every moment at home. It is difficult to balance working and caring for your family, so often a single parent doesn’t have time and energy for additional obligations such as going to college.
The price of childcare for a single-income household is typically unaffordable, and subsidies rarely provide enough money to cover childcare. In fact, many single mothers working full-time often still live in poverty. To rise up to a higher income level, single parents usually need to earn an education. Unfortunately, legislators see college as a luxury rather than a long-term plan to earn more, which would result in less need for financial help from the government in the long run.
Despite the overwhelming obstacles, over 25 percent of US undergraduate students have children. Just over 40 percent are single mothers, and over 10 percent are single fathers. Single parents who are older than recent high school graduates might worry that they will be the only ones their age in college, but returning to higher education is not uncommon today. It can be useful to seek out non-traditional student organizations to connect with fellow parents and people returning to education.
How to get the support you need
Everyone knows how hard single parents work to keep the household running. Single parents should not have to choose between getting an education and having childcare. Do not be afraid to get financial assistance so that you can pursue your dreams and provide the best life for your family. Scope out organizations that provide financial aid to you. For example, Charles Phillips started an organization that provides financial aid for single parents, wounded veterans, and students studying engineering. Single parents receive grants to help pay for childcare or similar financial assistance while pursuing an education. Having assistance with the high cost of childcare allows single parents to pay tuition and essentials for life without having to worry about sacrificing their education.
As a single parent, you should also consider which colleges are best suited for your needs. Seek out colleges with programs that offer family housing, childcare, and academic support. Grants, scholarships, and debt-reduction programs for low-income single parents are available. Search the internet for colleges that offer assistance for single parents to make sure that you are applying to the college that will ensure your success. Online universities or even a few online courses can allow single parents to learn from the comfort of home, which also reduces the cost of childcare.
Being a single parent who is earning an education takes hard work and dedication. There are many obstacles in the way, from financial limitations to time commitments, but single parents should seek out assistance. Organizations can help with the financial and time burden associated with childcare, while scholarships might help with tuition costs. Earning a degree as a single parent is difficult but not impossible with a little help.