Scholarships and Grants for Online Universities
Online education is known to be very affordable in comparison to traditional campus-based colleges. Online students save hundreds every year because they do not have to pay campus fees, housing costs and extra expenses that they would otherwise pay at campus colleges. While online colleges are less expensive, many students still need help paying for tuition and other college necessities. Thankfully, online colleges have the same access and opportunities to participate in Federal student aid programs and offer different funds to students. Some of the best funds to receive are the ones that don’t have to be repaid such as scholarships and grants.
Scholarships are awarded to students who meet the criteria in which the scholarship recognizes. They are another way to receive financial assistance for college without having to pay anything back. The U.S. Department of State lists available scholarships for different groups and eligible individuals. On this Web site, you’ll find specific scholarships for athletes, women, minorities, veterans and many other groups. Scholarship amounts can range anywhere from the hundreds to the thousands in coverage. The amount depends on the specific award and individual applicant. This government site also warns about scholarship scams and how to avoid being tricked into paying money to compete for a scholarship.
Online students can also apply for a grant. Grants also do not have to be repaid and can be awarded for different reasons, such as study in a particular field, conducting research or completion of work in a particular area. They can come from public or private institutions or corporations. A common grant awarded is the Federal Pell Grant, which is typically given to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. According to the Federal Student Aid Web site, the maximum Pell Grant award for the 2009-2010 school year is $5,350. The maximum amount can change every year because it depends on program funding. Students can also receive grants through their individual institutions. These funds are called institutional grants, which are awarded to make up the difference between college costs and what a family can realistically contribute from income, savings, loans and student earnings. Other types of institutional grants, known as merit awards or merit scholarships, are awarded on academic achievement. Merit awards are offered to both students whose families need financial help and to those without regard to their families’ financial needs. Some grants are awarded by special privileges or levels of financial need. Therefore, you will want to do research on the types of grants awarded by the college you are interested in. For a complete list of the available Federal grant programs, check out the official Federal Student Aid Web site for more details on eligibility requirements, conditions and application information. Remember to always do thorough research and investigation on each scholarship and grant you are interested in to ensure that you get the most from you financial aid. It never hurts to apply; it can only help your chances of making online college more affordable.