Whether single or married, dads tend to be the primary breadwinner when it comes to caring for their children. Although women have steadily joined the workforce in rising numbers since the 1960s, today still less than 50% of American homes can count the female head of household as the one who primarily supports the family financially. Further, in many parts of the country traditional roles abound and it is the dad that works while the mother either stays home with the children or only works a part-time job.
Increasingly, dads are looking to return to college and are depending on government grants to do just that. Thankfully the US government has stood up and offered grants so that these dads can return to college. In doing so, dads can anticipate a greater sense of financial security for themselves as well as their children. Further, many dads hope that by attending college themselves that they will be a role model for their children who will then aspire to a college level education as well.
One of the primary sources of government grants for dads planning to attend college is the Pell grant. This plan is an outright grant program whereby the disbursed funds do not need to be repaid to the government. This is great news for any dad on a tight budget and is certainly essential to getting started on a college degree. In fact, this government grant is a financial aid based program whereby the applicants must actually demonstrate an economic hardship in order to qualify.
Government grants for a college level education began as a program signed into law by Lyndon Johnson and the name of the program was the Higher Education Act of 1965. In 1972 there was actually an amendment to this government program that included what is now commonly referred to as the Pell grant as it was named after Senator Claiborne Pell.
The current maximum award for this government grant is $5,550. The determining factors for the actual amount of this grant are:
- Financial need
- Tuition costs
- Full time versus part time
- Length of the academic program
In general, this amount varies from year to year and the grant is provided to undergraduate level applicants only.
In addition to the Pell grant component, dads ready to return to college can also take advantage of a $4,000 tax credit which will further aid with college expenses. This program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, as signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.
With the current level of government grant assistance available to ambitious dads, now is a great time to take the leap and start your own pathway to financial security by way of a college education.