If you're thinking about going to college online, you're probably wondering about financial aid. The good news is that many online colleges (but not all) offer the same financial aid as brick-and-mortar schools. That means you generally don't have to worry about getting less aid because of your school choice.
What that translates to in dollars and cents: CNBC reports that 2016-17, the average full-time undergraduate student received $8,440 in grants.
Key: Choose online schools that accept FAFSA
If you're considering going to school online, the only way to get federal grant money is by going to a school that accepts FAFSA, otherwise known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
In addition to grant money, most full-time undergrads also received $4,620 in federal loans and $1,340 in other aid, such as tax credits and deductions, and work study. These forms of financial aid are also distributed via your FAFSA application.
Can part-time students get aid through FAFSA?
The good news is that you don't have to be a full-time student in order to qualify for federal student aid. You only need to be enrolled at an eligible college, university, or other qualified post-secondary school.
The key here isenrollment. that means if you're only taking a class but you're not enrolled, you may not be eligible.
Other sources of aid
No matter where you're going to school, remember that financial aid comes in many forms. Be sure to investigate scholarship opportunities (theScholly appis a great place to start), as well as state and institutional grants.
Tip:If you need to take out loans for college, it's wise to max out any low-interest federal student loans before turning to private student loans.
Learn more about how to pay for online college, and how which of these financial aid options must be repaid.
Trish Sammer is Nitro's managing editor. Her work has appeared in Woman’s Day, Redbook, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Forbes. She has also written for various corporate clients, including the tech giant SAP, The Franklin Institute, and PSE&G. When Trish isn’t busy acting as a writing ninja for other people, you can find her … well, writing about other stuff, like divorce and blended family life. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, their combined brood, and the world’s laziest dog. Read more by Trish Sammer