Helping single parents and displaced homemakers achieve their educational goals.
As a parent, your college experience is unique as you try to balance the obligations of work, school and family. The Career Links program can assist you in managing these challenges during the course of a semester by working one-on-one with you to identify and access the resources necessary for academic, career and employment success.
Is This Program Right for You?
Career Links is open to current and prospective students who are low income and face barriers to achieving their college degree. This is the right program for you, if you are a:
- displaced homemaker (single, divorced, separated or widowed) over age 35,
- single parent (male or female) who is the sole head of household and provides the majority financial support for the family, or
- Single pregnant woman.
You must also be:
- unemployed or underemployed;
- having difficulty finding employment;
- dependent on the income of a family member and have lost part or all income as the result of separation, divorce, disability or death of the family member or unemployment; and/or are
- interested in earning a college degree or certificate leading to a career.
Are You School Ready?
Each student in the Career Links program represents an investment by the college. Due to limited resources, we must invest in students who demonstrate that they are school ready. In order to apply to Career Links, you must have:
- A reliable source of income to pay for basic needs such as rent, utilities and food. Your income may be from alimony, child support, Social Security benefits or a part- or full-time position. Regardless of the source, it must be reliable. We recognize that it can be a struggle to make ends meet, but the more reliable your income and the fewer financial challenges you face, the greater your chances of being successful. If you are looking for employment or need job training, we would prefer you address that first before becoming a student.
- A willingness to maximize financial aid resources. Career Links will provide comprehensive support, but financial assistance is only a small part of it. Therefore, you will be expected to maximize all traditional financial aid opportunities available before seeking financial assistance from the Career Links program.
- A reliable child care provider and the means to pay for childcare. Reliable child care is essential to ensure you can attend class and study. For instance, if you have personal relatives helping you with childcare, are they committed? You don’t want them leaving you without childcare midway through the semester.
- A reliable form of transportation. Whether you have your own car or take the bus or carpool, you must have determined how you will get back and forth to campus before you start school. You also need to consider a back-up plan in case your car breaks down during the semester.
- Adequate and affordable housing. If you have to change your residence or lose your housing in the middle of a semester, it is very difficult to remain a successful student. Some of our Career Links students have reduced housing costs in Howard County by sharing an apartment, obtaining Section 8 assistance, living in an apartment with a discounted rent program or moving in with a relative.
Ready to Apply?
If you are eligible and would like to request an application online, click here to request an application:
- Pick up an application packet in Room RCF-302,
- Call to request a packet mailed to you, or
- Click here to request an online application.
Limited funds are available for students meeting the basic requirements. If you meet all requirements or fully expect to meet all requirements by the start of the next semester, you may submit your request for financial assistance at anytime. Minimum requirements for consideration are as follows:
- Proof of registration. Students must submit copy of their registration statement for the next semester.
- Proof of eligibility for financial aid. Students must submit copy of their financial aid award, including federal, state, loans and any other financial aid
- GPA of 2.0 or greater (or successfully working towards raising GPA)
- Participation in at least one on-campus resource such as tutoring, workshops, job assistance, counseling or group meetings.
- At least one individual appointment per semester with coordinator
Please note: Funds from Career Links are not awarded until 4-6 weeks after the award semester begins. Two possible exceptions include: students in need of funds to hold classes until federal financial aid is finalized and students who need assistance paying their registration fee for the campus Children’s Learning Center.
Awards can only be made for the current semester; Career Links does not consider grants for amounts owed for a previous semester.
Click HERE for the Financial Assistance Application.
Career Links is a formal, structured program that offers linkages to other HCC and community services. Specific benefits include:
- Personal and crisis counseling;
- Support groups and workshops on various personal and academic-related topics
- Individual progress meetings
- Limited financial assistance
- Mentoring by a Career Links student peer leader
- Up-to-date information about the program is in the Career Links newsletter