Financial Aid Options for Online College Students

Online colleges are typically less expensive than traditional campus colleges, but that doesn’t mean that they are cheap. Just like with traditional schools, you can find financial aid to make the tuition for your education more affordable, even though you’re going to school online. Let’s take a look at your options for this kind of financial aid.

Scholarships versus Grants

While students loans can be a fantastic help if you need to pay for school, scholarships and grants are both a better option in most cases since they don’t have to be repaid. Scholarships are given to students based on merit, such as a high GPA or a special skill or talent. In many cases, you’ll be asked to write an essay to be considered for a scholarship, but this isn’t always the case. Grants, on the other hand, are given to students who demonstrate financial need. Some grants require you to write an essay as well, though this is less prominant than it is with scholarships.

Accreditation

There are few scholarships and grants specifically for online students, but that doesn’t mean you don’t qualify. You should qualify for just about any fund out there as long as you can show one thing – that the online school you will be attending is accredited. Accreditation ensures that a school’s programs are on par with what is being taught at other schools around the country so you can be sure that you’re adequately prepared to work inĀ  your field. Not every online school is accredited, so if you want financial aid, make sure to attend one that is.

Financial Aid from Your College

While outside organizations and government departments do offer financial aid, the first place to start your search for scholarships and grants is with your college itself. Typically, online schools offer less financial aid that traditional colleges, but at some online schools, nearly 100% of the students who attend receive financial aid of some form. If financial aid is important to you, check out schools like National University, which have a number number of financial aid options, rather than online colleges that don’t have a real financial aid department, let alone options for students who need help with tuition.

Affordable Online Colleges & Universities

Kaplan University Kaplan University offers students a tremendous variety of online associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees in a wide array of fields. Kaplan also offers online certificates in education, business, information technology, arts and sciences, healthcare, nursing, criminal justice, and law. The online format is perfect for the working professional.
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South University South University is one of the largest online universities in the nation. The regionally accredited curriculum can be completed without any visitation or campus time required giving students more freedom as they seek to obtain their degree. South has crafted career-oriented curriculum and engaging exercises.
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Liberty University Liberty University offers over 35 online degree programs from the associates to doctoral level. The online program runs together with the on-campus semester program, creating a more seamless partnership with the traditional on-campus program. The university is known for its Christ-centered approach to learning. This aspect makes Liberty a great choice in online education.
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Walden University Walden University has an impressive online program, offering degrees at the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Ed.S., Ed.D., D.B.A., and Ph.D. levels. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Walden is one of the nation's best online universities.
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Colorado Technical University Colorado Technical University offers students a number of degree programs across every educational level in business, engineering, and applied science. These fields include Accounting, Finance, Business Administration, Management, Information Systems and Technology, Computer Science, Engineering, Health Sciences, Criminal Justice, and Public Administration.
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American InterContinental University If you're looking to earn an online degree to quickly jump start or advance your career, AIU can help you reach your goals. AIU has several online programs available for students who seek to balance their education with work or busy personal lives. The schools offers programs in a wide range of subject and specializations.
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Southern New Hampshire University Southern New Hampshire University delivers the same high-quality education its on-campus students to its online programs through the use of contemporary material, hands-on exercises, and engaging learning environments. Students enrolled in one of the more than 100 online degree or certificate program are eligible for financial aid too, as students can recieve scholarship, loan, and even grant money should they apply and qualify.
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Boston University Founded over 150 years ago, Boston University has been providing online degree programs for the past few years, being one of the first educators to offer several master and doctorate programs. Courses of study include music, business project management, banking, marketing, health communication, criminal justice, education, IT, art education, and occupational therapy.
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Rasmussen College An accredited and respected leader that has helped shape the online education market, Rasmussen College values keeping its students focused on their education. The college offers full, 24/7 technical support for students who partake in online classes, as well as full, 24/7 personal support, including tutoring and various advising services.
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Grand Canyon University GCU is a Christian university that has added several online programs in response to changes in how students seek to obtain their degree. Grand Canyon was also recently rated the #1 online university in the United States by OEDb and degrees are offered in arts, business, IT, education, healthcare, criminal justice, and more.
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