How to Pay for Online Education

Just like traditional education, online education comes with a variety of costs and fees. Tuition costs can make many students reconsider their online education. If you are planning on pursuing a Kentucky education online, be sure to also investigate possibilities for financial aid. Depending on your academic goals and financial situation, you may be eligible for a variety of support including scholarships, grants, federal or private loans, and even funding from your employer.

Scholarships and grants

The most desirable form of financial aid, scholarships and grants cover large portions of your tuition bill and do not need to be repaid. But as a result, these programs are extremely competitive. Many colleges offer scholarships per academic department or course of study. These scholarships are generally merit-based, which means the recipient has a stellar academic history and demonstrates great academic potential. To learn more about these, you will need to check with both your school’s financial aid office as well as your individual department. Most of these programs have strict filing deadlines. Some also require a demonstrated financial need, so they are given only to those students who otherwise could not pay for their education. Regardless of your situation, it’s worth investigation to see if you’re eligible.

Loans

It seems like a part of life. Student loans are extremely common, even for those students who are learning online. Whether you’ll qualify for a student loan, however, depends on a variety of factors. The type of school you select, the program, and your personal financial need can affect whether any funds are made available to you. Often you will need to demonstrate financial need – meaning that you need to show that paying for school will create a financial hardship – to qualify for federal student loans. But if those are not offered to you, private student loans may be an option. Many banks or other private institutions have student loan programs. You will need to apply for these, but they may be a good solution if money is getting in the way of your educational goals. Check with your school’s financial aid office to learn more about federal student aid.

Outside funding programs

Most students think of just scholarships or loans for funding their education. But did you know that there are other types of funding available? A variety of community organizations and private clubs offer financial aid to students. Perhaps your church group or social organization has such program. It might be worth investigating. But even more common are employee-assistance programs. Many large corporations, and even small family businesses, will help their employees return to school. Ask your company’s human resources manager whether there is an employee tuition assistance program. Generally, these programs will pay for all or a portion of your tuition, provided that you retain a certain grade level (such as a B) and are taking a course of study that will benefit your work for the company. Not all companies offer these programs, but many do. It’s certainly worth asking.