Pursuing higher education often feels like an unscalable mountain due to the ever-rising costs
By thoroughly researching funding options and selecting colleges accepting Federal financial aid, ambitious students can make their academic dreams a reality.
Here are 5 online colleges opening their doors through FAFSA assistance.
5 Popular Online Colleges That Offer Financial Aid
- Western Carolina University: Offering over 80 online programs, this public North Carolina institution strives to make education accessible. With undergraduate tuition under $4,000 per semester for in-state students, WCU welcomes FAFSA submissions to supplement costs through grants, work-study, and loans.
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University: For those interested in aviation, aerospace and engineering careers, ERAU’s flexible online degrees prepare students for industry success. This established Florida school has distributed over $150 million in institutional aid, with availability contingent on annual FAFSA filing.
- Wilmington University: Catering to working adults and parents, WilmU’s online cohort model allows balancing life priorities with advancing education. In-state tuition is around $370 per credit, supplemented for qualifying students by Pell Grants, Direct Loans and other need-based assistance through FAFSA.
- University of Wisconsin – Superior: Over 50 online programs serving 1000+ distance students underscore UW-Superior’s commitment to remote access. As a public university, FAFSA filings connect students to funding solving the equation of education affordability.
- Southern New Hampshire University: With some of the lowest online tuition rates nationwide, SNHU strives to empower purpose-driven students. FAFSA unlocks grants, work-study and subsidized loans as key resources for managing college costs.
The FAFSA application opens the financial aid door at colleges nationwide. By targeting online programs at schools actively dispensing federal and state assistance, the goalposts draw closer to realizing dreams through higher education. Ask the right questions, submit the paperwork, and let potential be unleashed.
The Value of Work-Study Programs
Along with facilitating grants and loans, submitting the FAFSA application enables qualification for federal or state-based work-study programs. These provide part-time employment opportunities, allowing students to earn funds helping offset education costs.
Work-study jobs typically pay at least the minimum wage and may relate to a degree area, like research assistant roles or internships. This practical experience also builds resumes while learning time management balancing studies with a campus or remote job.
Appealing Aid Decisions
If the initial financial aid award package doesn’t adequately cover projected costs, students have the right to appeal. Additional documentation highlighting extenuating circumstances like high medical bills, family size, or lost jobs/income can be submitted to try increasing assistance.
While not guaranteed, this process has helped many students gain more favorable aid results. Having a strong justification and politely following up with the financial aid office may open doors to a revised, more beneficial offer.
Private Loans & Payment Plans
For costs exceeding potential government aid, private education loan providers like Sallie Mae or local credit unions offer coverage options, frequently with lower interest rates than alternatives like credit cards or personal loans. Students build credit through responsible private borrowing.
Many online colleges also structure monthly payment plans easing budget strain by dividing tuition bills into more manageable installments over each semester rather than one lump sum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use FAFSA for online college?
Yes, FAFSA can be used to qualify for financial aid at all accredited online colleges, just as with traditional brick-and-mortar schools. As long as the program meets eligibility criteria for aid, funds apply towards tuition and other costs.
What online college gives the most financial aid?
Western Governors University consistently ranks among the most generous online colleges for financial assistance. In 2021, 99% of enrolled students received aid averaging $6,070 in free cash grants plus additional graduate scholarships.
Will a Pell Grant pay for online college?
Pell Grants help significantly offset tuition at many online colleges, though seldom cover full costs. For 2022-2023, the maximum award is $6,895, usable across two semesters. Schools determine actual award amounts based on FAFSA data and cost of attendance.
What is the cheapest online college that offers FAFSA?
Based on the information provided by EDsmart.org, the most affordable online college that accepts the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the University of Florida. Located in Gainesville, FL, the University of Florida costs approximately $6,000 per year in tuition and fees. When including estimated costs for housing, food, supplies, and other expenses, the total comes to around $15,050 annually.
With an acceptance rate of 30% and a high graduation rate of 91%, the University of Florida provides rigorous online programs at a public school tuition rate. And by accepting FAFSA, students have access to federal grants, work-study opportunities, subsidized loans, and other needs based aid. This makes the University of Florida the most budget-friendly accredited online college for students seeking financial assistance.
What other budget-friendly online colleges accept FAFSA?
Aside from the University of Florida, Western Governors University (WGU) and the University of Wisconsin-Platteville also offer affordable online programs that participate in federal financial aid programs through FAFSA.
WGU costs approximately $7,000 per year in tuition and fees while UW-Platteville is slightly higher at $8,000 annually. When including estimated additional costs, students pay around $15,500 and $12,900 per year to attend these schools online, respectively.
Both WGU and UW-Platteville also have high acceptance rates, making them accessible options for prospective students concerned about affordability and financial aid eligibility.
What about larger universities? Do they accept FAFSA for their online degree options?
Yes, many major state schools and university systems offer online degree tracks while also accepting FAFSA for financial assistance. Schools like Purdue University, Kansas State University, University of Michigan, and Grand Canyon University all participate in federal aid programs for their online students.
While tuition rates may be higher than smaller colleges, expenses at these larger schools could still end up being comparable or even cheaper for qualifying students depending on how much needs-based grants, scholarships, work-study eligibility, and subsidized loans are factored into the overall cost.
With strategic planning and resourcefulness, earning that prized degree through online education can happen! Submitting the FAFSA is the vital head-start to realize dreams through enhanced skills and careers.