After reading this question which gives a general overview of strategies of how to pay for college, it wasn't clear to me exactly how much "a dent in what you'd pay" could be, particularly in the case of grants or "free money".
I live in the United States and have already been accepted into Missouri S&T. The college itself has already promised a general scholarship package of $5,500 for four years ($22,000), and I am expecting to receive the Bright Flight program scholarship (based upon my ACT score of 31) which is worth $3,000 over a four year period ($12,000). The aforementioned funds put me at a total of $34,000 so far. I have applied to one major scholarship and will start trying to apply soon for more.
I have around $3,500 in savings.
Based upon approximations given on their website for a resident of Missouri, I can expect a grand total for cost of attendance to be around $96,954 which after subtracting my expected scholarship amounts comes down to $62,954.
My parents' situation
My parents are divorced so I no longer live or see my dad, but from what I understand he is still paying child support. My mom lost a job a few months ago as a full-time job as a teacher that paid somewhere in the range of $10-$12 from what I can recall. She is now only working two part-time jobs for minimum wage. She is quickly losing any financial assets she had saved which means that at this point she may have less than me stowed away.
I'm not implying that I want to rely on federal aid to pay for college instead of scholarships, but it will affect how rigorously I apply for scholarships and other aid program. When my family asks about how I will pay for college given our financial situation, I give the response that "federal aid and internships as a Computer Science major probably has me mostly covered", but I am unsure of that statement myself which is why I'm looking for advice here. Therefore, how much money can I potentially get from grants given my situation, and what factors help to determine that amount?