Federal financial aid is the government’s way to help students afford going to an institute of higher learning. College can be incredibly expensive and can cost thousands of dollars per semester even when one chooses to be a part time student. Most people especially adults that are seeking to get a degree look towards getting an education in a way that doesn’t compromise the fact that they have family, work, and other obligations that they must take care of. In order to remedy this there are schools that offer education completely online that cover the same material and have the same workload without having to leave the home. Although online school requires less travel it can still be expensive and tuition alone can cost nearly the same amount as it does for schools that offer classes in person. In order to afford this people usually use Financial Aid. Federal Financial Aid provides students with money on a needs basis based on things such as income in the home and how much money is set aside for those that are wishing to attend school. Federal financial aid offers a list of grants, work-study programs, and loans to help afford college.
Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid
The requirements for financial aid are similar to those that you have to meet in order to attend college – even online college. The first thing that you must have in order to apply for financial aid is a high school diploma or a GED. If you do not have either you must take a test that is approved by the Department of Education in order to get eligibility to attend college. You also must be enrolled in some sort of degree or certificate program that your school allows and be a U.S. citizen or at the very least an eligible noncitizen. To apply you must have a social security number and maintain satisfactory progress during your time in school. The minimum grade point average as of now is 2.0 to keep financial aid.
School Eligibility for Federal Financial Aid
In order to get federal financial aid you are not the only one that has to be eligible but the school has to meet requirements as well. The learning programs that are offered online must meet specific criteria that are established by Congress as well as accredited to be a legitimate recipient of the funds. The number of online colleges that are eligible recently increased due to the removal of the fifty-percent rule. Schools that have more than a 50 percent rate of classes online are now able to get federal student aid as long as they are accredited. In order to be completely sure whether or not your school is eligible for financial aid it is wise to simply call them and ask. Most schools are eligible, except for those that aren’t accredited, so make sure that at the very least you research the accreditation that your school has.
Discover the Aid You Need
It is wise to apply for financial aid sooner rather than later in order to make sure that you get the aid that you need. There are a lot of different forms of Federal Aid you will receive if you are eligible. For work-study aid you must be a part of a work-study program in order to receive the financial aid. Grants are available but you must meet the requirements and unlike loans they do not come at a cost. It is best to make sure you get as many grants as possible to help pay for college.
Student loans are probably the highest amount of aid you will receive if your school is eligible for federal financial aid. There are two types of loans: subsidized loans and unsubsidized loans. Subsidized loans do not have interest accrue while you are attending school as a full-time or part time student. The other types, unsubsidized loans, have an interest rate that accrues as soon as it is distributed to you. Whichever loan you take out, they have to be paid after six months of graduating from school – whether in full or at monthly intervals.
Federal Financial Aid for School
Attending school online makes no difference when it comes to federal financial aid. Due to recent government changes, it is possible to get full financial aid for school while attending classes 100% online – as long as the school and the program that it offers is accredited. Remember that it is best to ask the school if it is eligible for federal financial aid directly before assuming that it is accredited and afterwards it is best to make sure that you yourself are eligible for federal financial aid as well.