Financial aid for pregnant students
If you’re pregnant and awaiting the arrival of your child, it’s undoubtedly an exciting time — there’s so much to look forward to! If you're going to give birth while you’re in college, many questions might be coming to mind as you prepare to handle both sets of responsibilities — parenting and attending college.
If you’re wondering if your pregnancy will affect your eligibility for financial aid, continue reading as we cover common questions on this.
Can I get federal financial aid if I’m pregnant?
If you’re pregnant, you must meet the same eligibility requirements as every other student filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) to qualify for financial aid made available by the U.S. Department of Education and other sources.
What might be impacted if you’re pregnant is your filing status, which will depend on when your child is due and other factors.
If your due date is before or during the aid year and you’ll be providing at least half of the financial support for your child, you’ll usually be considered an independent student for FAFSA® purposes.
If you’ll be living with your family during the aid year that your child will be born, you might be considered a dependent.
How will my pregnancy affect my federal grants and loans?
The household size you include on your FAFSA® can affect your family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC), a measure of your family’s financial strength. This can impact your eligibility for certain types of federal student aid, including grants and loans.
If you’ll be adding your child to your household size, your EFC could change, which could impact how much aid you’ll be awarded (if any).
Of note, the EFC is transitioning to the Student Aid Index (SAI), a new methodology for calculating students’ eligibility for federal student aid, beginning with the 2024-25 FAFSA®. The U.S. Department of Education has announced it’ll provide guidelines on the SAI at a later date. For now, students and their families should still familiarize themselves with EFC.
Will I lose my financial aid if I’m pregnant?
You shouldn’t lose your scholarships or financial aid because you’re pregnant. Title IX is a law that prevents colleges and universities receiving federal funds from discriminating against you due to pregnancy.
Per Title IX, your school is required to give pregnant students the same protection and treatment that any student with a temporary medical condition would receive. You should have the same educational opportunities as your peers, and your pregnancy shouldn’t reduce your federal financial aid.
Are there scholarships and grants for pregnant students?
Below are a few of the opportunities and resources available to pregnant students and mothers.
Pell Grants are available to all college students who can demonstrate financial need, and that includes mothers and pregnant students. In order to see if you’re eligible for a Pell Grant, you’ll need to file the FAFSA®.
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
The American Association of University Women offers grants and fellowship opportunities to women across the country and promotes equal education for all women.
SWE Scholarship Program
The SWE Scholarship Program is geared towards women enrolled in a school focusing on computer science, engineering, or engineering technology. Several scholarships and grants are awarded each summer to prospective students who are either sophomores, juniors, seniors, or grad students in an accredited program. The financial support comes in the form of endowed scholarships, corporate-sponsored scholarships, and grants.
This may be an exciting yet overwhelming time as you try to deal with two huge responsibilities at once. However, there’s help, and you should consider meeting with your college’s Title IX Coordinator or counselor to discuss what your school may be able to do to support you in continuing your education.