Here’s a test of how much help is out there for you moms who want to go back to school. I put four words into a Yahoo! search – financial, aid, moms, college. And I got 14,900,000 hits.

Granted, not every one of those links is going to get you money for college. Many will be scams, spammers, bad guys and other awful online noisemakers. But many will be solid leads on ways to fund what is one of the best decisions of your life.

Everybody needs a little help sometimes. Let me give you a real-life example. This week, I have my family in town. My brother and his family are in from South Carolina. My parents will arrive from Florida on Tuesday. (My sister lives locally.) So tonight we celebrated with just the siblings, enjoying a big pasta dinner together at my place.

I made the meatballs, pasta and sauce. My sister made the garlic bread. My sister-in-law and husband did the cleanup. It was a complete team effort – of course, none of the children helped, but that was pretty much expected.

Sure, I’m still tired. Sure, most of the work was on my shoulders. But it was great to have everyone offer to help and to actually see the effect of their words on my life. I was able to relax, enjoy a (short) conversation with my brother and eat some Harry & David cheesecake. Yum.

So what’s the point? Help with financial aid is clearly out there. You just need to ask for the help. Someone at your college will sit down with you in real time or virtually and see what’s available for you. You can do your own searching online. You could check out books from the library. Ask friends. Ask professors. Ask anyone you run into – how can I get money for school? There are people out there who want to see you succeed. You just have to find them.

As the New Year approaches, I’m thinking about my resolutions. I resolve now to be more helpful to people. I tend to shy away from getting involved in much, mostly because I feel I already have too much on my plate with two kids and a freelance job here and there. But I think helping is so rewarding that I’m ready to stretch a little to make it happen.

What can you do to stretch in 2011? What has to happen to make your collegiate dreams come true?

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