Funding an Online Degree Tips
The cost of attending of college, whether online or on campus, is a significant issue for many students. However, earning a degree does not have to be cost-prohibitive. When it comes to funding, students have plenty of options available and it’s worth looking into all of them.
- Students should complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA process allows students to quickly find out if they qualify for various types of federal loans, and if a student needs to take a loan for college, typically students should consider federal loans first over private loans.
- Students should search for and apply to as many applicable scholarships they can find. With so many options for scholarships, such as for general academic purposes as well as for niche study areas and situational scholarships, many students benefit from some type of scholarship aid.
- Grants, like scholarships, are preferable to loans because students do not have to repay them. Student should undergo a grant search to find any grants applicable to their situation.
- In addition to federal aid, students can receive state funding. Students can find out more about state funding through contacting the local State Board.
- Some local private and public foundations and organizations offer funding opportunities intended to aid low-income members of the community. Low-income students can reach out and asking for aid.
- Federal and State governments understand the costs associated with earning an education can add up, so they offer tax credit programs. Applying for tax credits, such as the Lifetime Learning Credit, can help offset the costs of going to school.
- Veterans and their families may qualify for unique benefits, including the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP) and the Survivor’s and Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (SDEA).
- Don’t stop looking after the first click; research multiple college financial aid packages to find the best values and options.
- Many individuals pursue online education in order to advance professionally. Students in these situations should contact their employers about tuition reimbursement; some companies pay their employees to earn further education.
- Students should research the graduation rates of specific programs and schools. All of this funding could turn into burdensome debt if a student enters a program that does not successfully produce many graduates.
In addition to the above-mentioned points, there are a few other things for students to consider when it comes to financial aid. Perhaps the biggest issue to take into account is the eligibility of the school in question. Not all schools are eligible for federal student loan funding. Student who qualify for federal financial aid must attend a school accredited by an agency which has approval from the U.S. Department of Education to receive student aid funding, including loans and grants.
Work-study programs can be an ideal funding option for some students, but not all schools, especially when it comes to online programs, offer them.
A student’s enrollment status can affect funding opportunities. Most loans apply to full-time enrollment programs, but if a student is interested in a part-time online program, they may have limited funding options.