Going to a traditional campus-based college or university is not for everyone. For those who have family and work responsibilities on a day-to-day basis, getting an online degree might seem more viable. Among other things, distance learning offers greater flexibility, speed, and is potentially a better value. Like a traditional university, tuition for online courses can be expensive. It all depends on the school and discipline. However, what many people are not aware of is that there are numerous grants, scholarships, tax credits and student loans available for helping students pay for their education. So you might ask the question: How do I get started?
A good starting point is to spend some time searching to find resources and agencies that offer financial support. The first step is making sure that the online school you are considering enrolling in is accredited. If the school is accredited, it will be much easier to secure some financial support through private or government programs. Many online colleges also partake in the same programs that offer funding as traditional schools. For example, if you anticipate you will need financial aid, you should complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is a form that determines one’s eligibility to receive aid. The Federal Pell Grant Program is also available for students taking online classes and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Another type of loan, called a Federal Stafford Loan, helps students pay for their tuition costs as well as other education expenses. Students who can demonstrate academic excellence may also be eligible for various scholarships and merit funding by maintaining a certain grade point average. In short, there are a plethora of resources available that are designed to help students pay for online education. Knowing that tuition costs vary from school to school, make sure you compare each alternative to find the online college that’s best fit for you.