Although online learning cuts-down on the commuting costs of attending a brick-and-mortar school, it can still be expensive. Thankfully, you have many options to help finance your online education through grants, student loans for college, private independent scholarships, bank loans, military and corporate tuition benefits, and institutional assistance from your school.
Take the First Step with FAFSA
When it comes to needs-based financial aid for students, the first step, for both the government and your educational institution, is completing the Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA). To help understand your options for education funding, visit the FAFSA website. FAFSA will determine your eligibility for Pell Grants, which average over $4000 a year, and subsidized loans. Your educational institution will then use your FAFSA to put together a package to meet your demonstrated need.
In addition to government loans, financial aid for students can come in the form of private loans from your lending institution. If you have questions about securing student loans for college, the student aid office of your intended school can help you choose the right bank to use and assist you through the process.
Your School Can Offer You the Support You Need
Online programs may also have additional tuition benefits, based on merit or other qualifications, such as military service. Contact the finance department of your future institution to receive school-specific information on their policies.
These can vary tremendously, especially among for-profit schools, so be sure you know what your potential school has to offer. As a good example, check out online giant University of Phoenix’s Paying for School, where they detail various payment options.
Veterans and military spouses are eligible for a number of military education benefits. Many schools have special military tuition packages, and there are also government benefits available under the GI Bill. Additionally, spouses of military personnel can also qualify for special scholarships that are promoted through a variety of websites.
As another option for financing your education, you could search for scholarships offered by outside institutions. An excellent place to start is at the College Board’s Scholarship Search.
Your employer can also be an important resource, since it is in their interest to promote your professional development, and as such, many organizations offer tuition reimbursement programs. Engineering and financial companies are particularly strong in providing corporate support for ongoing education. Contact your career development department to help get a grasp on what opportunities are available.
Financial Aid for Students: Get the Facts
From online certification programs to graduate school, financial aid for students can be a complex process no matter the degree level. Begin by seeking out the information you need to help determine how much your education will cost and how much support you think you can receive. Through exploring the various scholarships programs and student loans for college students that are out there, it is possible to figure out how best to pay for your schooling.
Time invested in your education is money, so don’t underestimate the commitment your degree entails. With detailed research and persistence, financing your online education can significantly lower the burden of expanding your professional horizons.