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Financial Aid for Online Colleges

There are several forms of financial aid for online colleges and universities. There is Federal Aid, State Aid, Scholarships, Loans, and Employer Assistance. Depending on the student’s situation, there is financial aid for anyone who wants to earn a degree from an online accredited institution.

The best advice for an online student is to investigate each of these types of financial aid, and when they are ready to begin their college education, find the one that best suits them.

For example, Federal Aid comes from The U.S. Department of Education, or ED, which offers different types of aid to students, whether they are online or on-campus. One type of federal aid is called a Grant. A Grant does not have to be paid back to the government unless there are particular circumstances. For example, a student drops out of school and does not finish their education.

They will have to pay back the Grant. Or, for some reason, a refund is in demand, the student will pay back the Grant. But in general, a Federal Grant is at no cost to the student. There are different Federal Grants to choose from.

For example, Pell Grants help students who need financial aid and have not earned their bachelor’s degree. The Pell Grant will also aid students who are enrolled in particular post-graduate classes. Next is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

This Grant is for undergraduate students online or on campus who are in dire need of financial assistance. The government determines a student’s eligibility by their federal assistance application answers.

If the government decides the student does need financial aid, and there is no aid from family members, the student will receive the FSEOG. Since this is under the Grant umbrella, it does not need to be repaid unless there are underlying situations.

Another Grant is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants. This type of Grant provides financial aid to college students, whether online or on-campus, working toward a teaching career. Those interested in this type of Grant will have to follow eligibility requirements and remain within the program to receive this federal aid.

Another type of federal aid is the Federal Work-Study program. This program helps employ students to earn money toward their college tuition. This program is available for every student, whether they are full-time or part-time, and it is also open to undergrads and graduate students. There is also federal aid for students who wish to study abroad, entitled Aid for International Study.

This type of federal aid helps students who want to learn or earn a degree in another country. The last type of Grant awarded to online students is the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. This Grant assists the children of servicemen and women who died in battle during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. If the online student is unable to receive federal grants, they may apply for State Aid.

Some of what the state offers its’ students are loan forgiveness and repayment plans. States can do several things to help online college students. For example, they can agree to begin repayment after the student has evidence of an income. This is called Income-Driven Repayment, and if the student is eligible, they will not receive a bill from their lending institution until they are employed.

The state can also offer their students loan consolidations. This is precisely what it sounds like: more than one student loan, and they are combined with a fixed interest rate to help alleviate paying down several loans with different rates. One fundamental attribute the state can offer its students is an automatic and temporary freeze on their loan payments due to Covid-19.

The pandemic has changed college life for students nationwide, and for those who have been directly affected by Covid, this opportunity will be essential.  One form of State Aid is through a lottery scholarship, in which the student must follow its rules and regulations by keeping up their grades to remain within this program. Another government-funded Grant is The Education and Training Vouchers.

This type of aid is for students who have been and are still part of the foster care program. ETV’s help foster care individuals pay for college and any work training needed. However, state aid can be complex since it is awarded via first come, first serve, making it very competitive. Nonetheless, the student should investigate their state to see if they qualify for the several types of aid provided.

In addition to Grants, there are scholarships for online and on-campus students. Scholarships are awarded to those who show a higher than average intelligence and academic excellence but come from an underprivileged family. There are also scholarships available via the Department of Health and Human Services. This type of scholarship is for students/clinicians who work within Indian tribes.

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) loan repayment plan will help repay student loans for those who lend their time to the Indian population.

Scholarships do not need to be paid back by the student. Another form of financial aid is Student Loans. These loans come from banks and other financial entities, but they also come with interest rates, and paying back student loans can be long and arduous.

It is wise for the online student to investigate before diving into a student loan without understanding how the institution expects repayment. In addition to student loans, there is aid for military families and their children. For students with parents in the military, this type of support can help pay tuition costs.

There is still more financial help for online students—for example, AmeriCorps., the federal agency that increases volunteering throughout the country, will award students who engage in community service. The award that this institution grants students is called the Segal Americorps Education Award. It has been utilized by over 1 million students nationwide.

Besides scholarships, grants, and other types of financial aid, there is money available through the students’ college. This type of financial assistance is the college’s grants and scholarships, and if eligible, students can access these funds to help repay student loans. In the end, online students have a plethora of financial aid opportunities as long as they’re willing to investigate and take the time to find those that fit.