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Financial Tips for Pursuing Online Degree Programs

Financial Tips for Pursuing Online Degree Programs

by Shannon Lee
November 3, 2010

Aiming for that bachelor degree program but not sure you can afford it? Financial aid options are available to help those who qualify. Whether you opt for online schools or go the more traditional college route, these financial aid tips can help you get on the road to success.

Online Degrees Made Easier with These Financial Tips

Ready to start seeking out financial aid? Keep these financial tips in mind:

  • Time Your FAFSA. Typically, potential students are encouraged to send in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid soon after January 1 of the year they hope to start college in the fall. However, new tax guidelines could mean that waiting until after you file taxes for the year might be more appropriate. A quick discussion with an accountant can help you decide exactly when to send out the paperwork.
  • Look for Tuition Breaks. Some colleges will offer tuition discounts or internal financial aid for those students who meet certain criteria. For instance, attending an in-state college is often cheaper than going to an out-of-state college. Online schools might offer tuition breaks as well. Consider the options when narrowing down your "short list" of potential bachelor degree programs.
  • Apply for Grants. Grants are your best bet for paying for college without the financial strain that comes from having to pay it all back. Apply for as many grants as you can, even those that might seem a bit of a stretch. You never know what will pay off in the end -- literally.
  • Avoid Loans. Try all other avenues for financial aid before you borrow to fund your bachelor degree program. Often loans are inevitable, so if you do have to choose one, go with a subsidized loan so you won't have to worry about interest while you are in school.

Financial aid is out there, but it takes some savvy paperwork to get the money you need. For more tips, look at your short list of online schools and contact their financial aid departments.