Financial Aid for Online Education

Where to Get Financial Aid for Online Degrees and Courses

Financial aid for online education and courses is available to online students. As long as the college you choose to attend is accredited by the appropriate accrediting agencies, you can apply for and get financial aid for online schooling.

If you are not sure whether your prospective college is accredited, then your first step should be to speak with the financial aid office to find out what financial options are available at the school, or which financial aid resources the college accepts.

One major advantage that online students have over traditional classroom students is the fact that their overall education costs are generally lower. Online students do not need to pay for living expenses such as dormitory accommodation or alternative housing apart from your primary residence. With online courses, you can take classes from anywhere: your office, your home, or wherever you have Internet access.

Another distinct advantage is the fact that online education students are not subject to out-of-state tuition, which applies to traditional classroom students taking out of state classes.

Exactly What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid is monetary assistance or funding offered to individuals to help them pay for their education. This financial assistance is normally extended to the individual through government agencies, individual schools, and other sources. There are several types of financial aid for online education available for students pursuing online degrees.


One type of financial aid for online education is a grant. A grant is money given by the government to students in form of a gift. Students who qualify and receive grants do not need to pay them back. However, the only condition that comes with a grant is that a student must maintain a minimum GPA (usually between 2.0 and 3.0 GPA) in order to qualify. Grants are awarded based on the severity of a student's financial need. Students can apply for grants through their prospective colleges or at


Financial aid for online education can also be borrowed. When you borrow money, it is called a loan. All loans must be paid back with or without interest, based on the type of loan you qualify for. Likewise, you can apply for loans at, through your college financial aid office, or your local bank. Two types of loans that a student may qualify for in the form of financial aid are government loans and private loans.

Government Loans:

Government loans are granted based on students' needs. If you qualify for a government loan, which is also called a subsidized loan, you are only required to pay back the principal amount of the loan, while the government pays the loan interest on your behalf. The limit on how much government loan you receive is set by the school you are attending. In most cases, the loan is enough to cover tuition, books, and other expenses.

Private Loans:

Chances are, if you're not a US citizen, then you won't qualify for government loans. In addition, students enrolled in non-accredited colleges are not eligible to receive funding from government agencies. These students have the option of taking out private loans from individual banks, if needed. Bank loans require that the student has established sufficient credit, or is co-signing with someone who has good credit. These loans generally have a higher interest rate and fewer negotiable terms.


Financial aid for online education is also available through scholarships. A scholarship is an award based on academic performance, talent, or other factors. A scholarship may have certain requirements, but you do not need to pay it back. Students can learn about individual scholarships from their schools' counseling office, website, or from online scholarship databases, such as and

Caution: When applying for scholarships, you do not need to pay any money to find a scholarship.

School Scholarships:

Almost all schools have some sort of scholarship programs to offer to their students. These scholarships are based on a number of factors, including your incoming GPA, the review of a portfolio, or your athletic or artistic contributions. Most schools require that students apply for individual scholarships. In addition, the amount of these awards varies; some are worth a few hundred dollars, while others cover the entire tuition and living expenses of the student for the duration of their education.

Private Scholarships:

There are also thousands of private organizations that offer scholarships to students. The myriad of qualifications are too varied to list. Some organizations offer scholarships to the winners of contests they facilitate, while others look for opportunities to support individuals who fit particular standards (i.e. students entering a certain field of study or meeting a particular demographic).

Work Study Programs:

A work-study program allows tuition to be deferred if a student works in a particular field while attending school.

Applying for Financial Aid

Funding for college education was at its highest as of 2006. The US Department of Education continues to await applications from prospective students seeking aid. In fact, over 65% of all the students who submit applications for financial aid qualify for some type of assistance. Almost everyone is eligible. To begin applying for financial aid for online education, you can fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA, in short). You may also contact the financial aid officers of your prospective or current college, and they will assist you with the process of applying for financial aid for online education courses.

In addition, we have compiled for you a list of top accredited online colleges and universities that you can choose from, and many of these institutions offer financial aid.

The process of securing financial aid for online education is simple. You only need to ensure that you adhere to the deadlines set by the college and the US Department of Education. After you apply, you will receive a confirmation letter stating details such as the total amount of financial aid available to you, and whether it will come in the form of a grant, loan, work-study program, or scholarship.

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