Now that you have made the decision to finish your education through an online degree program, what’s next? Obviously researching and finding the right college is key. But once you have passed that step, there is one more major step that is over looked by many applicants of online schools. What is it you ask? Well it’s applying for financial aid, getting the right loan, or even obtaining grants.
So if you have found the college that you suits you, its now time to complete your free application for Federal Student Aid, or FASFA. This application is published by the Department of Education and is the same for almost every college, online or on campus. The only major difference between filling out this form at an online school and an on campus school is your filling the form out online instead of on paper. Also weather you are applying online or on campus it is totally free of charge.
The Federal Application will give lenders and the government an idea of the funding you are entitled to. Once you fill out the form and send it in, you should receive conformation within a few short days telling you which programs you are eligible for.
Just because you’re taking classes online, doesn’t mean it will cost you less. So you should go even as far as going to your local bank if you have to, and look for a low interest loan with a long payment plan. Getting your education doesn’t have to be as hard on your wallet as it is on your brain!
So obviously one of the first things you can get is a student loan. The government offers a multitude of loans for students, with the limit of the loan usually based on the school you are attending. If you need some information straight from the source follow this link: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov.
All student loans must be paid back, but the purpose of getting a loan is that you can pay it back at a slower pace. The government will determine the type of loan they give you by several different factors, such as your income and your dependants. Some students are even offered subsidized loans by the government, where the government pays the interest of the loan for you. So obviously it in imperative that you find the best loan for you!
The next step on your list is to apply for grants. Grants are free money from the government that you don’t have to pay back. So you need to apply for as many government grants as you can! The government offers grants to students who a in the lower level bracket of income. Usually to get a grant a student must maintain a minimum GPA in order to get the grant and to keep it through to the next semester. The minimum GPA varies from school to school, and varies sometimes because of income. But the average GPA to obtain and keep a grant is between 2.5-3.0 GPA. You can find extra information on grants at the link posted above.
But obviously there are some students who don’t qualify for government grants. Such as students in specific unapproved schools, and those who are not US citizens. These are the students who have to take the option of taking out a private loan from a bank. In order to get a loan from a bank you generally need good and well established credit and or a co-signer who does on the loan with you. Bank loans are generally higher in interest.
Finally, you need to try and get a scholarship. A scholarship is an award given for academic achievement. Like grants, scholarships do not have to be paid back. The only down fall is that scholarships are usually only give out by schools. So in order to get one you need to already enrolled in a school. But if you are it is necessary to know of all the requirements needed to get the scholarships you are eligible.
So apply for as much as you can in order to maximize your educational dollar. There are many programs out there for everyone. If you do the proper research into financial aid you will save money and have more time to study to earn your degree.