Clear your debt first. Working can provide you with a two-fold benefit. Many jobs provide incentives for an education, which includes funding. Many universities do offer jobs that don't require a degree, such as ground maintenance or housekeeping, while providing tuition coverage. When you say esthetics,a federal loan only looks at your income, not at your personal debt history, excluding other federal loans. Also, some felonies are forgiven, but not drug felonies.
Once you are in school, maintain a gpa over 3.0 and many scholarships will open up to you. Be sure to check with financial aid office or your advisor for information on those scholarships. Also, many universities offer the TRIO program that can be very helpful for you both in finances and academic preparedness.
Please also check out federal programs in your city that help women in crisis, for these programs can really help you with not only counseling, but with extra income for your family.
at 4:38 AM on Jul. 15, 2008