Kim Stezala is known as The Scholarship Lady because she knows the best tips for finding scholarships. Here are her best tips on how to find scholarships for moms:
Know who you are. Sounds simple, but busy moms might not take time to look carefully and closely at their personal profile including volunteer work, accomplishments, family heritage, memberships and more. Were you a Brownie Troop Leader? Well, that’s called leadership. Sunday school teacher? That’s volunteer work. These traits matter when seeking and applying for scholarships.
Know the keywords to use in searching such as “returning adult student” or “non-traditional student.” Scholarship providers have their own way of describing who they are trying to reach. Know their lingo and increase your odds of finding a match.
Know that you are more than a single mom or a woman and expand your search beyond your marital status or gender. It’s good to identify scholarships for your situation but don’t overlook scholarships based on career choice, geography, diversity, intended major and other categories. If you meet the criteria, you can apply.
Know how to combine the power of the Internet with the power of the press and good old-fashioned word of mouth. Use internet databases (www.scholarships.com, www.fastweb.com are a few) and search engines but also read the local newspapers, check in with women-oriented associations and membership groups and most of all, tell people in your network about your search for scholarships. The small local scholarships might not make it into search engines but through networking you can find out about scholarship resources such as Women Empowering Women and the Edmund Springman Daycare Grant, both focused on adult female students.
Know that persistence pays off! Just like you make time for buying groceries, driving your daughter to soccer practice, mowing the lawn or any other task, a meaningful scholarship search takes time. Put time on your calendar and don’t give up. Your competition might lose faith after a few days or weeks but you are slowly but surely building your scholarship empire.