There was a time when online college degrees were only popular amongst working professionals, who did not have the time to take on full-time college courses. Even though most online students are still working professionals, this form of education has become very popular amongst regular students too. The Center for American Progress has released a report that suggests that more than half of the students in the country will take up at least one online course in the 2014 academic year!
The popularity of online education can be attributed to a number of factors – more online degree reviews by former students are making the selection of courses/colleges easier for new students, online courses allow students to finish their studies at their own pace with flexibility, and paying for online education has become much easier.
Online courses are generally less expensive than their full-time counterparts. Whatever the course costs, these are a few ways you can try to pay for online college with ease.
Loans and grants
There are plenty of federal loans and grants that students can now apply for, in order to pay for online courses. The catch is that the online institution of your choice has to be an accredited one. The search is made easy because the US Department of Education now recognizes a list of colleges which are recognized and accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). Federal loans are available with fixed interest rates, and the repayment options are flexible in nature.
Every college has a financial aid office that offers relevant information pertaining to scholarships and other institutional loans. To know about the financial aid packages offered by colleges, you will need approach the college in person/online.
Employers all over the globe know the value of continued education. If you are intending to take up a course that will help you in your current job, chances are high that your employer will be more than happy to offer you some form of financial aid. Online career-training certificates and other degrees that can boost your current position in the company are looked at positively.
However, ensure that you get all possible details from your employer beforehand. Some companies follow the policy of “reimbursement”. This would mean that the initial out-of-pocket expense for tuition and other related fees will be yours to handle. After successful completion of your degree, you stand to receive all/certain part of the money spent from your employer.
Getting a private student loan should be your last resort, in a situation where no other way to pay for online colleges has worked out. Why? These loans have a notoriously high interest rate and the repayment plans are not the easiest to handle. However, private student loans are still a viable last resort.
Be proactive while looking for means to pay for your online college degree. This means that you ought to contact your local State board for assistance, check for applicable tax credits like the Lifetime Learning Credit and fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Put your best foot forward!
Stephanie Colaco is a freelance writer, editor and former HR professional. An Honors college graduate, she spends her free time helping students/professionals achieve their academic goals by answering their many questions on sites like OnlineDegreeReviews.org and CollegesAndUniversities.org.