How to Find Financial Aid for Online Colleges and Online Degrees
Earning an online degree is a great way to get the training and qualifications you need to get ahead in life. These days most top paying jobs require at least a bachelor's degree and many times a master's or PhD.
The problem is finding the time to earn your degree and finding the money to finance it. Luckily accredited online colleges and universities now allow you to earn most any degree online and there are lots of options to gain the financing you need.
Here are three (3) easy ways to secure your online student financial aid.
The government has several options of financial aid at your disposal but you must follow their guidelines to receive the funds.
Your first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)form online. You'll need your tax information and other paperwork. The FAFSA will determine how much you can get from the government in grants, loans, and work-study money.
Student loans from the government often have the best payment plans, and you never have to pay back grant or work-study money. It's a very good deal for the distance learner and one that you should pursue.
Even if you’re unsure whether you want to follow through with government aid, you should still complete the FAFSA form just in case. Without the form, you can not obtain government help. With the form completed, you have the option of accepting their financial aid or not. That way the decision is up to you.
In the search for financial aid, scholarships might be the first thing that comes to mind. Your best bet as a distance learner may be a free online scholarship search site. Sites like FastWeb and FinAid scour the web for essay contests, corporate scholarships, and special-interest awards.
You can get money based on your age, income, cultural background, and more. Remember, you should never pay for an online financial aid search--the best ones are free.
If you've checked out government aid and scholarships and you still need a little more help, private loans should be your next step.
Loans from banks and private institutions may have a higher interest rate than the government, meaning you may pay more, and private loans are also based on a credit check.
However, you can often borrow more money, and many student private loans include a grace period, so you have time after you graduate before you have to think about paying back the loan.
Returning to school as a distance learner can be a great benefit and possibly a big financial investment, but financial aid can make that investment a greater possibility than you might think.
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