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Scholarship Programs That All Single Moms & Low-Income Women Should Know About


Single student mothers are growing in both absolute numbers and as a share of the college population. They often face significant financial and time-related obstacles that make it difficult for them to persist to graduation. Investing in programs and supports that target the needs of single mothers has the potential to improve their rates of college attainment, and increase earnings, which can lead to a range of multigenerational benefits. 

Women of color in college are especially likely to be single parents. Nearly two in five Black women (37 percent) and over one-quarter of American Indian/Alaska Native women (27 percent) are raising a child without the support of a spouse or partner while in college, compared with 19 percent of Hispanic women, 17 percent of women of two or more races, 14 percent of White women, and 7 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander women.

Because of this, more and more programs are being created to help single moms and low income women attend and graduate from college.

Here are three excellent programs that every woman should know about:

#1 – Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund For Low Income Women: The Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund awards scholarships every year to low-income women who are 35 years of age or older. Named after Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, the fund has awarded over $1.8 million in scholarships to over 700 women since 1978. Aiming to assist women who have a vision of how their education will benefit themselves, their families and their communities, the fund requires applicants to be in an undergraduate or vocational training program. In addition, applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and must meet the maximum net household income guidelines. The deadline is in March 2018. Apply now at

#2 – Women Techmakers Scholars Program: (formerly the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship) open to female undergraduate seniors or female students enrolled in a graduate program and studying Computer Science or Computer Engineering. Students must attend college full-time and have a grade point average of 3.5 or above. Award recipients will receive a scholarship and an opportunity to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat in Mountain View, California. The deadline for this scholarship is usually in DECEMBER of each year, and the award amount is usually $10,000. For more details, visit 

#3 – Distinguished Young Women Scholarships: open to young women across the nation. The scholarships can be either cash scholarships or college-granted scholarships. Awards range from a one-year scholarship up to four year, renewable programs, and funds may be used for tuition, room and board, books, or other educational expenses. The deadline varies. Apply now at

To apply for hundreds of other scholarships for women (and men), visit


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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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