What Kind of Financial Aid is Available for Online Colleges?

Financial aid enables many college students to get the education they need when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford college tuition. For most online colleges, the same financial aid options apply as with a traditional college. In some cases, there are even more financial aid opportunities depending on the college. There are several ways to get financial aid if you’re a college student, whether you work with the U.S. Department of Education or scholarships directly through your school.

Guidelines and Requirements for Different Financial Aid Programs

There are eligibility requirements for any financial aid program. Some financial aid depends solely on financial need, which is determined by how much you or your parents make each year. Other financial aid programs depend solely on your scholarship and merit. Online colleges do not usually allow for athletic scholarships unless part of the college is a brick-and-mortar college that has an athletic team. Additionally, some scholarships and grants won’t give financial aid to students that aren’t going to an accredited college. You can use the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to see if your online school is accredited in order to receive financial aid.

Apply for Financial Aid Through Your School

When you apply for admission through online schools, there is a special section for financial aid. Before you fill out this out, you should have already filled out your for Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). Your school needs to be able to access your FAFSA results to see what your financial need is.

U.S. Department of Education and State Government Programs

The U.S. Department of Education offers a variety of different financial aid programs even for online students. The only requirement is that you have a financial need and that your institution is accredited. One major financial aid program is through the Pell Grant or federal student loan program. You can see a list of the financial aid programs available through the Department of Education by going here. State governments also provide special scholarship and grant opportunities.

Find Scholarships and Fellowships for Your Interests

In addition to loans, there are many scholarships available for any kind of interest, degree, subject or passion. Some of these scholarships are only available to accredited colleges, so make sure that your college is on the list of accredited institutions that the scholarship will accept.

Earn Scholarships For Gender, Ethnicity and Major

Many scholarship programs look for candidates that meet specific requirements based on age, gender, ethnicity or major of study.  Most of these scholarships can be used for online education just the same as a traditional college.

Online schools require much of the same qualifications for financial aid as traditional schools. If you have a financial need, high scholarship merit or you apply independent for scholarships, you’ll have the aid you need to pay for school.

Resource:¬†Top 25 Online Bachelor’s Degrees With the Highest Percentage of Students Receiving Institutional Financial Aid 2014