Article | 2:29 min read

Financing Your Child’s College Education on One Paycheck

Life Events

College is expensive, and trying to pay or help pay for your child’s education after high school as a single parent is no easy challenge.

College Board says that in the 2015-16 academic year, the average cost of tuition at a four-year in-state public school was over $9,000 [1]. Take into account that this does not include housing, meal plans, textbooks, and other fees.

Don't fret just yet though, there are many scholarships and government grants available for your child to apply for that are specialized for children in single parent homes. Here are some other opportunities to look into to assist with the high price of helping your child pay for college.

Schedule a meeting with your child's school counselor - Most high school guidance counselors will have full knowledge of scholarships and grants applicable to your specific to your family situation. If your child's school does not have a guidance counselor fluent in college finances consider making an appointment with a college financial advisor [2].

Make sure your child applies for EVERY SCHOLARSHIP - Many times scholarships only have a handful of applicants because they are not as known, give out smaller gifts of money, or have strange requirements. If you come across a scholarship and think you child could qualify, encourage them to apply. Your child can't receive a scholarship if they don't apply for it.

Fill out the FAFSA early - The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may be the biggest financial help for you and your child in paying for college. In an article by they explain that the FAFSA is the form prospective and current college students fill out to apply for federal student aid, such as grants, loans, and work-study [3]. Make sure to fill out the application early each year because federal aid is granted on a first-come, first-served basis for those who qualify [3]. If you do not fill out the FAFSA each year, then you cannot apply and receive work study on campus.

Consider starting at a community or junior college - For the first two years of college, most students will not know what they want to study long-term, or will change their major multiple times. Look into lower cost colleges and tackle general education courses first.

Consider a local commuter college - This can be much like the junior or community college, but you'll save money on housing. Unfortunately with this choice your child may not feel as if they are getting the full college experience.

No matter what you decide financially, your child will be receiving a higher form of education than many people have, and is an achievement. As a single parent, you know how hard you've worked, and you are always putting your children first. Assisting with higher education is a very important gift that you can bestow upon them - next to raising and loving them for the past 18 years.

[1] Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time, College Board
[2] College Financial Advisors: Financial Aid for Kids of Single Parents, Studemont Group
[3] A Simple Guide to Understanding Your FAFSA,


The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its affiliates and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.