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Mothers: Two Years for You and Your Kids

Mothers: Two Years for You and Your Kids

Community college is often the punchline to jokes about college

. For women with children, 2-year colleges actually have some tremendous advantages. Community colleges welcome bright students, and they have many benefits to offer. Add in a financial advantage or two and your education is within reach. A common falsehood is that only people who don't want to earn a "real" degree attend junior college. At a 2-year college, students can stay close to home to develop maturity or save money or even take basic courses to help determine their future majors. This is perfect for young moms who are recently out of high school as well as older working or stay-at-home moms who want to return to school. The federal education grants for mothers are helping ambitious mothers take the classes they need to earn degrees. There are few better financial aid opportunities than a $5,000 grant. Financial savings are a significant factor of attending junior college. Being smart with money is a top priority for most students but especially women with children. A $5,000 grant doesn't change that. Consider that most college and university educations cost tens of thousands of dollars, but that isn't so at junior colleges. In fact many high school graduates with a high SAT score can get a full scholarship to go to junior college. A scholarship based on achievement is a huge incentive for many ambitious teenage mothers. Travel expenses and housing are just a couple of the other necessary expenses that could be covered with the $5,000 grant. At many schools the gap is closing between the classes that 2-year colleges offer and those that are offered at big liberal arts universities. According to a 2002 New York Times article, 168 community colleges maintain honors programs. Chances to study broad interests are also part of the developing community college landscape. For example, many junior colleges now offer study abroad courses in places like China and Mexico. The benefit is that students gain a broader perspective of the world, and colleges are able to attract more students. Attending a community college is made even more accessible for mothers who have earned a Pell Grant. No matter what program she wants to study at a 2-year college, the $5,000 Scholarships for Moms award is a huge asset. Community colleges can be great training grounds for attendance at 4-year colleges as well as for entering the work force. Two years of study and training at a community college has many career benefits.

Mothers: Two Years for You and Your Kids

By: Marlon Jackson

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