Monday, July 4, 2016

College Life as a Single Mother: A Master Plan.

I decided in honor of my graduation. That I will interview 2 single moms about going to college. The experience is very different when you are a single mother trying to get an education. I will also do an interview. I have done this because each mother will talk about school at a different degree level (associate, bachelors, and masters).

Tell me about yourself and education
I work from home as a freelance writer and blogger. I attained my bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Psychology at Morgan State University before my son was even a thought. I pursued and attained my master’s degree in Educational Psychology at Capella University as a single mom.
What is the one thing that colleges and universities could address that would make it easier for single mothers to continue their education?
I think that if colleges and universities had childcare options on campus, it would remove a major obstacle for single parents. Many parents forgo higher education because they do not have reliable childcare. This is especially true for single parents. Another option would be to offer more distance learning options so that single parents can attend classes from the comfort of home when they are unable to procure childcare. 
What was/is the hardest part about going to school as a single parent?
After I became a single mother, the most challenging aspect of pursuing my master’s was time management. I was raising my son on my own and trying to build a profitable business that would pay the bills. It was challenging find the time to study and complete my assignment. 
What was/is the biggest sacrifice you made for a higher education?
The major sacrifices I made dealt with time and money. Because I had so much on my plate, I only took one course at a time. This led to my 2-year program being dragged out for 4 years. I also had to take out loans for graduate school (which was something I had avoided for undergrad). Because of that, I accrued a substantial amount of student loan debt that I will be paying off for a very long time.
What was/is the best part of going to school?
Honestly, the best part was finishing and moving on.
Have you finished? If yes, what motivated you most? If no, what is motivating you to finish it?
I attained my master’s in 2014. My motivation was that Sallie Mae (now Navient) wasn’t going to forgive my student loans if I just dropped out. So I figured it would be stupid to drop out and still have to pay them back, lol. 
What is one piece of advice you would give another single mother about going to college?
My best piece of advice would be to NEVER take out a student loan. Apply for scholarships * and grants until you get enough to cover your school fees. You don’t want to graduate only to find out that you are going to be spending a good chunk of the rest of your life working to pay off your debt.
Iman Here:
If you are looking for grants and to not take out loans still fill out your fafsa they offer grants and loans. Be Sure to talk with someone in the financial aid department for more clarity. Also Custody Xchange is offering a scholarship for single moms (apply here)

Iman Here:
 Custody Xchange is offering a scholarship for single moms (apply here).

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Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.


  1. Going to get an education for yourself, while busting your ass to provide and take care of your child is proof that mothers have a superhuman superpower! How do you get it all done and still smile at the end? I think it's amazing how you, all the ladies who you interviewed, single mums globally solider it out for yourselves and your children. It's so inspiring!

  2. We love your blog because it's so real and inspiring! Nice job :)

  3. Attending University was difficult enough as it is on it's own, let alone to do so as a single parent! I am thinking of going back for my Nurse Practitioner, but have lots of support from family and the hubby. Kudos to you!

  4. I love the option of having a child care on campus! I don't know why more haven't adopted this! Although even if they did have this most people wouldn't be able to afford the child care. I know that my little family wouldn't have been able to pay for the child care