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Online education allows you to enhance your skill sets and gain more knowledge without discontinuing your existing job. It provides flexibility and convenience to pursue the online degree at your own pace. However, the question remains; how do you finance your online degree or opt for various forms of financial aid?
There are different ways to finance your online education which include:
While federal and state financial aid requires the amount to be paid back to the lenders, scholarships and grants are performance based and are offered based on the scholastic achievements of the students.
If you are considering an online degree and want to consider financial aids, you need to meet certain criteria. If you are considering an online degree or certification program, you should have a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent. You should also have built a good academic performance over the years. If you are interested in specific need-based financial aid, you should first fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) a form used by the U.S. Department of Education. This can be obtained from the website of FAFSA www.fafsa.ed.gov. According to the norms, the financial aid offered cannot exceed the cost of attendance as calculated by the financial aid office of the university.
You can choose from two types of financial aids – merit-based and need-based. You can choose grants, scholarships or government-subsidized loans offered at considerably low interest rate and with education tax benefits. This form should be submitted to the Department of Education by January 1 along with details on the amount your family will contribute to manage the college expenses which is considered as the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The amount that you can get is decided by the federal government.
Grants are offered as Pell Grant and the TEACH Grant based on your performance and the amount received needs not be repaid. However, the federal loan programs are offered as different options and can be Federal Direct Subsidized and Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, the Perkins Loan, the Parent PLUS Loan and Graduate PLUS. These are student loans which need to be repaid with additional interest amount.
Seeking finance for online education is easy and can be done quickly without much complication. You can just approach the financial aid office of your university and collect all relevant information about it and apply for a financial aid by filling the FAFSA form. You can then choose a financial aid which matches your requirement. Most of the loans are offered on a first-come, first-served basis so you need to apply for it at the earliest.
Tags: FAFSA, Federal Loan Program, Financial Aid, Financing Your Education, Online Degree, Online Education, Student Loan
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