Financial aid for online degrees – Online College Blog and School Reviews Wed, 26 Jul 2017 18:10:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tips for getting scholarships Fri, 23 Nov 2007 01:52:23 +0000 College isn’t cheap. It’s a serious investment that can have a wonderful return. If you are concerned about finding money for college, you have options. You can apply for grants, grab yourself a loan or two, or look for scholarships.

Looking for scholarships can be a challenge, because there are so many out there, and the application processes are usually pretty involving. It takes work to track down a scholarship that you qualify for. Once you find one, you have to put together an application package with essays, forms and transcripts. This whole process can seem a bit tedious, but when you consider the possible benefits, it really makes sense try.

Here are some tips for getting scholarship money for college:

Start early. Begin applying for college scholarships immediately after you complete the seventh grade. Okay, so that might be a little bit to early to start applying, but it’s never too early to start pondering. If you have athletic abilities, hone them and use them as a tool to pay for school. If you’re good at music or art or writing or making films or anything, find a way to get paid for being special and creative.

Use the Internet to search the world for scholarships. There’s millions of dollars in aid to be had, but you have to apply for it. Look a little bit everyday, and if you find a scholarship that you can apply for, don’t hesitate. Get your application in immediately. Fastweb is a great place to start.

Look for scholarships while in high school. You’re going to need to have funding lined up for you when you get to college. Utilize your time in high school wisely, so that by the time you get to school, you already have plenty of funding options on the table.

Check out your universities scholarship programs. Find out what scholarships are specific to your college and major. If a former student set up a fund to help kids in your situation, you better know about it and turn in an application.

See if your employer offers any scholarships. Get a job at a fast food place and apply for their corporate dollars. The business will have nice press, and you will have a nice check.

If you don’t get to go to school for free, it’s not the end of the world, but it’s also not the end of your scholarship search. Keep looking for ways to reduce the financial burdens of college. Always keep searching and you’re bound to find something that you qualify for. If you apply and get rejected, use it as motivation. If you let the disappointment get to you, you’ll forget how proactive bout your life this whole scholarship search has made you.


About the Author: Review more industry related articles by Chris Stout at Chris Stout is a feature writer and often covers topics related to Campus degree programs and Career Advice.

How online degrees affect your financial aid eligibility Wed, 12 Sep 2007 17:30:29 +0000 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.


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  8. Is online learning right for you?
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Understanding the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) Wed, 12 Sep 2007 15:46:44 +0000 Everyone knows that college costs are soaring, especially those of us who are students! Every year tuition and other related expenses increase and some colleges already have tuition exceeding $160,000. Despite this trend, American families are still sending their children to college in record numbers.

Most families offset the high cost of college by applying for some type of financial aid by submitting their Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . Unfortunately, many people lose out on financial aid simply because they fail to apply. Some incorrectly believe they will not qualify, while others are intimidated by the application process itself. To help students (and parents) better understand the financial aid process, the Federal Student Aid website has created a full-color Financial Aid e-Book which outlines the many federal aid programs available and the steps necessary to apply.

Important notes :

  1. Submit your FAFSA as close to January 1st as possible. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. Ensure that the information you include in your FAFSA is accurate. Any corrections you have to make may delay your financial aid package. Such delays could cause a reduction in the amount of aid available.

For more financial aid information, visit my How to Apply for Financial Aid post. For scholarship information, perform a free scholarship search.


Financial aid options Wed, 12 Sep 2007 15:21:10 +0000 Before entering college, you may find yourself pondering exactly how you will be able to pay for college. Many public colleges and universities cost thousands of dollars, while private colleges and universities can cost $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, or even more just to attend. Before getting too worried about these high prices, it is important to know that help is just a click of the computer mouse away, as the internet can help you to find the financial aid option that is right for you!


Without knowing any of the options, it is important to first fill out a FAFSA form with your school’s financial aid department. The FAFSA form allows you to tell the federal government all of your financial information. Once they have that in hand, they can determine what your best financial aid options are.

Loan Options

One option often used by students entering college is loans. Loans, like the federal PLUS loan, Perkins loan, Stafford loan, and FFEL loan, can all help you to pay your way through college without putting a dime down to do so. You will, of course, be required to pay back some or all of these loans (depending upon your financial status and the financial status of your parents), but loans can be an effective way of paying your way through college.

Grant Options

Another option is grants, which can be obtained through the government (like the Federal Pell Grant, for example) or through your particular school. Grants pay your way through college and do not need to be repaid once you graduate. These grants are usually only “granted” to those who are in need of financial aid, but be sure to apply for them if you think that you are eligible.

Other Financial Aid Options

Other less conventional methods of financial aid are also available to college students. Federal work study allows students to work at colleges and universities while they are enrolled there for several hours per week. Money earned can then be used as a means of financial aid. Check with your specific college or university for other financial aid options that may exist and be at your disposal.


My favorite financial aid sites:

Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) 

Free Federal Aid eBook

FastWeb free scholarship search

Scholarship Experts free search

Special thanks to for distributing this helpful article. At NextStudent, we believe that getting an education is the best investment you can make, and we’re dedicated to helping you pursue your education dreams by making college funding as easy as possible.

15 questions you should ask your financial aid office Wed, 12 Sep 2007 14:50:40 +0000 I found this article today and I thought it was worth sharing. Although a couple of the questions are geared toward traditional students, the majority apply to those of us who are online students as well. Enjoy!

By either reading the college’s written materials on financial aid or speaking with one of the college’s aid counselors, you should get clear and decisive answers to the following fifteen questions:

  1. Can I get an early estimate of the type and amount of aid I might receive?
  2. Do I have to fill out a school-specific aid application in addition to the FAFSA?
  3. Do you give both need and merit aid or are you a need-only school?
  4. If you give merit aid, what are the eligibility standards for your scholarships?
  5. Will applying for aid affect my chances of being admitted?
  6. Once you calculate my need, typically what percent do you meet?
  7. For your average award, what percent of the total package is scholarship or grant?
  8. If I am assigned a work-study or other campus job, how may hours per week do you expect me to work?
  9. Will you expect me to work in the summer? If so, how much will I have to earn?
  10. When evaluating my parents’ ability to pay, do you include the value of the family home?
  11. If my family has a special circumstance, like providing support to a sick or elderly family member, will you take that into consideration?
  12. When looking at student savings, what percent do you expect to go towards my education?
  13. If my family encounters a financial hardship after I enroll, can you help me? With what type of aid?
  14. How much do you include in the student budget for books and personal expense? Do you include an allowance for travel?
  15. How will you adjust my aid award if I win a scholarship from an external source?

Special thanks to Kyle Kandice for writing this article. Karl Schellscheidt ePrep copyright 2006 – All Rights Reserved, ePrep, Inc.


For more information about financial aid, visit my How to apply for financial aid or Understanding the FAFSA posts.

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