A Single Parent’s Guide to Graduate School

Learn how to navigate all aspects of graduate school with our guide for single parents!

Wednesday, December 20, 2023
4 min. read

Embarking on the journey of returning to college as a single parent is no small feat. The decision to pursue higher education while shouldering the responsibilities of parenthood is a testament to your resilience, determination, and unwavering commitment to personal and professional growth.

Take Advantage of Financial Aid

Many people look at the cost of college as being an investment in themselves and their future. To minimize that investment, there are many different types of financial aid. Begin by determining what government aid you are eligible for through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used to determine eligibility for forms of aid.

In addition, many companies recognize the value of continuous education and provide financial assistance to employees pursuing higher education relevant to their roles. Check with yours.

And be sure to inquire about flexible payment plans provided through the colleges. Some institutions offer monthly payment options, helping to spread the financial burden over the academic term instead of having to pay everything upfront.

Focus on Time Management

In the realm of parenting, where balancing the demands of childcare, work, and household responsibilities is a daily juggling act, mastering effective time management is second nature. So, you need a college where it will fit into your existing schedule. Looking to a school that has flexible online programs will help you be able to keep your prior commitments while earning your degree.
As you begin your classes, it’s important to take a moment to review all upcoming projects and assignments ahead of time so you can stay organized and aware of due dates. Additionally, consider optimizing your schedule by using your time wisely. For instance, if your child is working on homework, you can seize the opportunity to study as well, and you can have a study buddy!

Look into Credit for Life Experience and Transfer Credits

Being a single parent means that you are savvy when it comes to savings, especially when it comes to time and money. There are a few ways you can save when going to graduate school. If you’ve already tackled some graduate-level coursework and you’re looking to go back to school, it’s worth checking if you can transfer those credits. Taking time to see if credits can transfer can save you from starting your degree from scratch!

When checking out colleges, it’s a good idea to consider ones that give credit for real-life experiences like professional work, travel adventures, volunteer gigs, and self-study. Colleges with a life credit policy understand that learning happens in all sorts of places, not just in classrooms. Choosing a college that recognizes your practical know-how means you can speed up your academic journey and make your education more tailored to your unique experiences.

Utilize College Resources

For a single parent taking on the challenge of grad school, tapping into college resources is a game-changer. It’s all about making the most out of what the college has to offer. Whether it’s getting help with classes through tutoring, expanding professional connections at networking events, or taking care of overall well-being with health and counseling services—using these resources is key to getting the most out of the educational journey. By embracing these opportunities, students can enhance their overall success, both professionally and personally.

Remember Why You’re Going Back to School

As a single parent returning to school, it’s crucial to keep the reasons for pursuing education at the forefront of your journey. Remembering why you’re back in college can provide the necessary motivation during challenging times. Whether it’s to create a better future for your family, pursue a passion, or enhance career opportunities, these personal aspirations serve as a powerful driving force. At the end of the day, you and your little one will be proud of your accomplishments! 

How Keuka College Helps Single Parents Succeed

At Keuka College, we understand the distinct challenges that single parents face when returning to school, and we are dedicated to offering extensive support to ensure your success. Our programs stand out for their flexibility and accessibility online, providing you with the freedom to navigate your academic journey at your own pace. What sets our programs apart is the expertise of our professors—they bring real-world experience to the virtual classroom, enriching your learning experience.

This unique combination of flexibility and academic strength allows you to strike a balance between your educational pursuits and the demands of parenting and other responsibilities. At Keuka College, we recognize the importance of making education accessible. That’s why our programs come with affordable tuition options, ensuring that pursuing your academic goals aligns with your financial well-being. Our commitment to supporting single parents extends beyond traditional measures, creating an environment where you can thrive academically and personally. Join us!

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