Funding Online Degrees: Know Your Options for Paying for College
There’s nothing cheap about going to college, what with the sky-high tuition fees, expensive books, and a multitude of other expenses associated with it. A college degree, however, increases one’s chances of landing a good job, which makes it a worthy investment in the long run – that is if you have any resources to invest with. In most cases, financial resource, mostly the lack of it, is the biggest obstacle to obtaining a college degree. Knowing the different options out there for funding online degrees, however, can take a load off of your shoulders. Most available options involve loans, but if you look hard enough, you might even get your degree for free.
Many students miss out on the opportunity to go through college with little, if any, financial burden by not applying to grants. Here’s the deal with grants: if you’re neither sure of your eligibility for a grant nor your ability to pay for your college degree without having to go broke, then APPLY for a grant. When you come to think of it, anyone attempting to offset their college expenses should try going for a grant first – whether or not they think they are eligible for it. Basically, you’ll never know unless you try.
There are many sources of grants you should consider. Check out the website of your prospective college for any standing grants you can apply to. You can also check out online college forums that may contain information regarding grants available to you, your school, or your specific degree.
A number of scholarships are being offered for online degrees, and they are usually available all year round. Be on the constant lookout for scholarships that may pop out at any point in time. Always be prepared with the usual requirements these scholarships have, such as school records, recommendation letters from some of your past teachers, and a generic application letter you can later alter depending on the scholarship.
If you are currently working and are entering college for the first time or for continuing education, try looking into your employer’s policies for education funding, especially for online degrees. Most companies provide education subsidies that seek to provide opportunities for their employees to become more competitive minus the burden of debt. Companies without subsidy programs may have agreeable loan terms that are comparable, if not better, to more commonly used loan programs by students. Explore your options with your employer or the human resources department of your company to make sure you don’t miss out on a possibly good deal.
One of the most overlooked options for funding college is the Federal Stafford Loan. This loan provides a fixed interest rate that is very generous, as opposed to current standard loan rates. If it seems impossible for you to get your college fund subsidized one way or another, try applying for a federal loan before taking out other types of loans.
There are a multitude of other loans that you can consider, but taking out a loan for college should not be your first option. Exhaust all your other options for funding your education before exploring the possibility of student loans. Should you be in a position where you have no other choice, take your time choosing among the available loan options, and get a cosigner to help you make the decision that will allow you to escape from debt in the shortest time frame possible.