How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility

In most cases, online learners are eligible for student financial aid. If you are depending on student aid to finance your education, there are a few things you need to know:

  1. Be certain your online college is accredited by one of the major regional accreditors (i.e. North Central Association, New England Association, etc.).
  2. Ensure that your online courses have a definite start and end date. In most cases, this is not an issue. The exception will be courses deemed “correspondence” where a student has the option of taking up to eighteen months or more to complete the course. Most online colleges operate on a semester schedule. If your college does not, you will need to contact your college’s financial aid office to ensure that you will be eligible to receive federal aid.
  3. To be eligible for federal financial aid, you must be enrolled at least half-time. In most cases, this means taking a minimum of six credit hours per semester. Colleges vary in what they deem half-time, so check with your online college’s financial aid office to be certain.
  4. You must be pursuing a degree to be eligible for financial aid. Even if you are unsure of your desired major when you enroll in college, you will need to select a major, even if it is just “general studies”.

Once you are certain your selected college and program of study meet these criteria, you may begin the financial aid process. For information, check out my How to apply for financial aid post.


Related posts:

  1. 5 tips for selecting an online university
  2. Traditional colleges vs. Online colleges
  3. 2 reasons to consider attending an online college in your own state
  4. What jobs best suit your personality? Take an assessment quiz!
  5. Care to test drive an online course?
  6. Five ways to spot a diploma mill
  7. Why you should consider taking online classes
  8. Is online learning right for you?
  9. Importance of online college accreditation

Top Online College Degree Programs

Walden University - Bachelor's, Master's, & Doctorate Degrees. Walden University is dedicated in ensuring students receive the education they need to advance in their careers. Their programs are convenient and effective, providing working students with the flexibility they need.
Capella University - Capella University is an accredited college that offers online Bachelor's, master's, Doctoral, and Certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers both foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you're learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
Kaplan University - Associate's, Bachelor's, & Master's Degrees. Considered a top online college, Kaplan University offers students affordable and convenient online classes. Kaplan University is an accredited university that provides students the education to become successful professionals upon graduation.
American InterContinental University - Associate's , Bachelor's & Master's Degrees. With campuses located around the world, American InterContinental University has been educating students for over 35 years. AIU offers flexible and interactive programs that assist the students in graduating at their own pace.
Colorado Technical University - Associate's, Bachelor's, & Master's Degrees. By designing their programs to meet the changing needs of today's world, Colorado Technical University prepares students for a career in the most competitive industries. Additionally, they offer accelerated and flexible programs to allow students to enter the professional world sooner than traditional programs.
Liberty University - Associate's, Bachelor's & Master's Degrees. Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University now enrolls more than 90,000 students from around the world in its thriving online program. With more than 230 fully accredited programs of study, Liberty University Online offers degrees from the certificate to the postgraduate level.
Post University - Associate's, Bachelor's & Master's Degrees. Post University is a premiere destination for students in obtaining their college degree online. Post University offers a dynamic curriculum to every student and are taught by the very best professors in their field of study.