Online Financial Aid
Making the choice to further your education with an online degree is the first step in helping career advancement and your educational prowess. Whether you are looking to further your associate’s degree and receive a bachelor’s degree, or if you are attaining certification in a certain field, going back to school is the best way of achieving your goals.
Whereas the cost of an online university is cheaper than a traditional brick and mortar university there is still a significant cost. This can be especially challenging for young adults or individuals starting a family. Financial aid online is available in many forms; the most common online college financial aid types are:
Financial aid online is very similar to financial aid for traditional universities. In fact, you have to go through some of the same channels to get many of the online student loans available, even though the amounts of the loans might be smaller than those available for traditional universities. The difference in cost between an online education and traditional does offer certain advantages to the busy working professional. The following are just a few of the fees that are less, or nonexistent, in an online degree.
- Fees for online university applications are less than traditional universities
- Tuition is far less than at a traditional university
- No travel fees (gas, parking, tolls, etc.)
- No cost of multiple text books as most of the learning is done through an online forum (although purchasing a few books is usually expected)
- No room and board fees
Each form of online college financial aid has its advantages and disadvantages; read on to find which form of financial aid is most appropriate for your personal circumstances.
How to Find YOUR Perfect Online College Financial Aid
Financial aid online can be found in many places. There are countless scholarship and grants programs available; you just need to know where to look! Online scholarships and online grants are the most advantageous option for financial aid because neither needs to be paid back. However, they are more challenging to receive, and require more work than an online student loan application usually does.
Here are a few places to look for online college financial aid in the form of online grants or scholarships:
- Once you get into your online university, check the financial aid packets available from the university. Online scholarships offered from the university usually range from $100-$5,000 and can be attained by offering your student educational records and/or a short essay.
- Make a list of any groups you belong to, volunteer groups you participated in, your academic achievements, special abilities, along with your ethnic background, gender, and religious beliefs. Online scholarships and grants are offered through all of these categories, and more. Research what groups, organizations and companies offer scholarships or grants and how you can apply for them.
- Look to federal websites and groups that offer scholarships. Students.gov is a great website that offers a database of both private scholarship and government grants available.
Online scholarships and grants are the best first step in finding financial aid online. It takes a lot of research and time, but is well worth it when you win money for free! The next place to look for online college financial aid is in online loans.
Online Loans Available for Financial Aid Online
Online loans for online universities are mostly offered by the same federal organizations that offer loans to traditional universities. The first step when trying to get financial aid online is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as a FAFSA form. If you are unfamiliar on how to fill out this form, watch our video: How to Fill Out a FAFSA form.
What does the FAFSA do?
The FAFSA form determines what types of federal aid you qualify for, whether it’s grants, loans or scholarships. The FAFSA is also given to your chosen online university so their federal aid department can decide what kind of aid you are qualified for from them.
Financial aid online in the form of loans comes federally or privately. The most common are federal loans, initiated by the FAFSA form. The Department of Education offers student loans for both traditional and online universities.
The most popular private student loan company is Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae serves 23 million customers and helps students with tuition payment plans and education loans.
Here are some factors about loans to keep in mind before applying for one:
- Traditional time of repayment is 15 years
- Fixed interest loans are usually the best, and cheapest, option
- Look for APRs lower than 10%
To learn more about online loans click here.
No matter what form of online college financial aid you decide to go with, participating in financial aid online is the best idea for paying for your online education.