There's a lot of financial aid out there. I'll tell you what I've got, so you can see a little bit of the picture:
1- pell grant. Invaluable because it can be up to $1000 per quarter for full time at my school, so what isn't used on tuition I get back as a refund at the end of the quarter. www.fafsa.com
is where you go to apply for that.
2- Hope scholarship
! if you have a B average you should apply for this. It pays tuition and $100 towards books each quarter, so you wind up getting your whole pell grant back instead of part of it. Very nice.
3- WIA- JPTA no longer exists, it's WIA now. Once you're unemployed give your local department of labor office a call. They may have a waiting list, and you have to be unemployed 30 days to be eligible. But once they pick you up, they pay for the books, uniforms, supplies once you've used your $100 from Hope. They also pay you every two weeks for transportation and childcare: $3 a day for transportation and $5 a day for childcare (a day being each day you go to class and/or clinical). It adds up.
4- DFACS! - Food stamps, don't be shy to apply for them. Also IF you are either in school (actual class hours, not credit hours) 25 hours a week and/or working 25 hrs/week (whatever combo adds up to 25 hours) they may pick up some of your daycare expenses, up to a year, while in a school program that they support, and they do support nursing.
5- SSI- but only because my daughter is disabled. Again, I tell people, if someone who's dependent on you is disabled, don't hesitate to apply. It's in the whole family's best interest that everyone be clothed, fed and housed while mom goes to school.
For me the picture works rather well, I have about zero leftover money but my bills are paid. So it is very doable. I was concerned at first because two year colleges in Georgia don't do federal education loans, which seems silly to me. But there's money out there. You just gotta ask for it.