Do online programs offer financial aid or student loans?

do online programs offer financial aid or student loans-ts-skd187720sdcLoans are the most common source of financial aid for online programs. A decade ago, when distance learning was first becoming respectable, it was practically unheard of for a student pursuing an online degree to receive a federal loan. That’s changing, but the Feds are still highly selective about what institutions, programs and degrees are eligible for this source of funding.

In order to qualify you to apply for a federal loan, your online program will need to be accredited. Check with the U.S. Department of Education and the financial aid officers at the schools in which you are thinking of enrolling to see if that school is eligible. If it is, that’s still no guarantee you will receive a federal loan. You will be required to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), either online at the Department of Education’s website or as a paper application. The federal government expects your family to make a contribution to your education based on income, savings, family size, and the number of family members concurrently in college, and the amount you are awarded will factor in this Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Private education loans are another popular source of funding for online programs. The drawback to a private loan, of course, is that the interest rates you will be expected to pay are typically much higher than they would be with a federal loan. Check with your bank to see what options are available here.

Some online programs offer scholarship packages as well. Again, speak with the financial aid officers at the schools in which you are thinking of enrolling to see what options are available for you here. Distance learners with demonstrated financial need may also be eligible for a Pell grant if their online program is accredited.

Doing a search for online colleges? Our US college search groups together quality schools in your area to help jumpstart your career. While you’re looking for online colleges, you can also search for online degrees as well. For additional information, use US College Search or find us on Facebook and Twitter as well as searching by zip code.

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