The Financing Options for an Online Degree
It can take a herculean effort to enroll in and pay for college. With so many challenges facing us in our day-to-day lives, it is no wonder that only around one in four people successfully earn a four-year degree. Yet when it comes to all of the struggles that can deter people from pursuing a higher education, financial struggles often rank number one.
For those who are struggling to make time for college in their busy lives, online education may be an ideal solution. Yet there is still the issue of paying for courses and credits for which many will need assistance. Here, we’re going to talk about your financing options when considering enrollment in one or more online degree courses.
Apply for Federal Student Aid
Perhaps the most common way people finance their college educations, the use of FAFSA forms to search for low-interest financing of college aid can be a great way to afford school. Through this method, you’ll be able to obtain both subsidized and unsubsidized loans that’ll make it possible to attend college for any degree, whether you’re working toward an online masters in engineering or a bachelors in social work. Federal aid works well for so many because you do not have to begin paying back the loans until six months after you graduate or finish college.
Look for Loans and Assistance Directly from the School
Some online colleges actually offer in-house financing options for needy students. Universities such as the University of California Riverside will work with students to ensure that their financial aid needs are met in time to start school. Colleges understand the financing options available to students, so consulting directly with the school before committing to any loans or financing will ensure you obtain the most competitive and reasonable financial aid options available.
Apply for Scholarships
Another great way to pay for your college education is to apply for scholarships. These are merit-based awards and do not have to be paid back, making it much easier to calculate your long-term interest on what you owe (zero!). These can be earned in a variety of ways, including both athletic and academic ability.
Seek Direct Financing
If you’re looking for yet another way to help pay for that online master of engineering or business, applying for a loan directly from your local bank is another possibility. Depending on whether you have good credit and/or a co-signer, you may be able to find competitive terms on interest and payback through such a method. While it’s usually a better idea to apply for federal student aid first and foremost, there may be opportunities where you need more than what is offered at the subsidized rate. In some cases, unsubsidized federal loans can have a higher interest rate than what your local bank offers, so be sure to compare before agreeing to any terms.
These four methods are just a few of the financing options those attending online college can consider. Always be sure to do your research and investigate each avenue carefully!