Find Out Whether You Can Get Financial Aid for Online College Courses

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A Guide to Financial Aid for Online College Courses

Enrolling in online programs offered by colleges and universities can be as expensive as regular on-campus programs, if not more. Applying for financial aid is the best way to lessen the expenses, but is it possible to get financial aid for online college courses? is here to provide you with answers to all your financial aid questions!

What Is Financial Aid for Online College?

Financial aid for online colleges is federal, institutional, or state-funded aid provided to eligible students who attend classes online. Other than federal financial aid, the programs that are offered by schools to students who attend classes online are usually different from the ones provided to regular on-campus ones.

Can You Get Financial Aid for Online School?

Applying for financial aid requires every undergraduate and graduate student to meet certain eligibility criteria, no matter if a student is enrolled in an online or on-campus program. Without meeting these criteria, students can’t get any financial aid.

The general eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Being a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Having a high school diploma
  • Enrolling in an eligible program as a regular student
  • Maintaining satisfactory academic progress (depending on the year of your studies)

Most schools provide specific financial aid types for online classes. The best way to check what types of financial aid for online classes your school offers is to contact its financial aid office. A financial aid counselor should provide you with all the details about the specific programs at your disposal.

What Federal Online College Financial Aid Can I Apply For?

While state and institutional financial aid programs depend on where you live and what college you’re attending, federal aid programs are unified. You can choose from the following federal financial aid types:

  1. Scholarships
  2. Grants
  3. Loans
  4. Work-study programs

Check out the details in the table below:

Aid TypeAvailable Programs
  • Merit-based
  • Financial need-based
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans
Work-study programs
  • On-campus positions (such as work in the college library or dining hall)
  • Off-campus positions (including pulling data, researching, or compiling information)

How To Apply for Online College Financial Aid

To apply for online college financial aid, most schools require you to fill out and send the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The university board of the school you want to get financial aid from will use FAFSA to determine how much financial aid you’re eligible for.

It’s not uncommon for schools to impose additional requirements (e.g., a CSS profile) for certain financial aid programs. To stay on the safe side, inquire about the specific forms you should fill out by contacting your school’s financial aid office.

If you’re curious about what popular online schools accept FAFSA, check out the list below:

  1. Southern New Hampshire University
  2. University of Florida
  3. Penn State World Campus
  4. Grand Canyon University
  5. Baker College
  6. Purdue University Global

When Should I Apply for Online College Financial Aid?

Not sure when to apply for financial aid? To avoid any complications and ensure you have enough time to deal with any (if they arise), you should apply for aid as soon as possible. If you can, try to apply way ahead of the term start or when applying for admission. Typically, the FAFSA application deadline is June 30th.

If you apply for aid after the set deadline, your application will likely get rejected.

Learn How To Appeal a Rejected Financial Aid Application With DoNotPay!

Schools can reject your financial aid application for various reasons or offer you a low financial aid offer. If this happens to you, don’t worry! We’ll show you how to resolve the issue without breaking a sweat!

DoNotPay can help you appeal a rejected financial aid application or insufficient aid amount in a few clicks! We’ll ask you to provide us with some info and use it to create a financial aid appeal letter on your behalf. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Search for the Appeal for More Financial Aid feature
  2. Provide the necessary info about the college you want to enroll at and your family’s financial situation

After you finish the steps, we’ll create your appeal letter and send it to the financial aid office you choose right away!

Accepting or appealing a low financial aid offer aren’t your only options. You can explore other schools as well and see which one offers you more financial aid support. DoNotPay helps you by providing helpful guides to getting more support money from the following universities:

Princeton University Financial AidHarvard University Financial AidCornell University Financial Aid
New York University Financial AidUniversity of California, Los Angeles Financial AidUniversity of California, Davis Financial Aid
Stanford University Financial AidColumbia University Financial AidUniversity of California, Santa Cruz Financial Aid
MIT Financial AidCarnegie Mellon University Financial AidUniversity of California San Diego Financial Aid
Rutgers University Financial AidPurdue University Financial AidYale University Financial Aid

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