Nontraditional Students: Balancing Work And School
Nontraditional students face unique challenges that can make returning to school stressful. The time commitment required to succeed can be particularly burdensome for distance learners, particularly those who work full time. Time spent in class, doing homework, and studying is time that cannot be spent working, taking care of family, and managing a household.
The cost of school is another barrier. College is increasingly expensive for everyone, but nontraditional students often don’t have the family support or financial resources that some younger students enjoy.
Nontraditional students also often have expenses like daycare and mortgage payments that make finding the money to pay for school even more difficult. These challenges emphasize the need online students have for scholarships.
If Youre Studying Part
Your course needs a course intensity of 25% or more for you to be eligible for student finance.
Youll be eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan if your course is in the UK and one of the following:
- a first degree, for example BA, BSc or BEd
- a Foundation Degree
- a Certificate of Higher Education
- a Diploma of Higher Education
- a Higher National Certificate
- a Higher National Diploma
- an Initial Teacher Training course
- an integrated masters degree
Youll be eligible for a Maintenance Loan if your course is in the UK and one of the following:
- a first degree, for example BA, BSc or BEd
- an Initial Teacher Training course
- an integrated masters degree
- a Foundation Degree in dental hygiene and dental therapy
- a DipHE in dental hygiene and dental therapy or operating department practice
Get Free Information For Your Degree
However, some online schools, such as Penn Foster, have a different type of accreditation and do not accept federal financial aid.
See also: Online Colleges That Accept FAFSA
If your school accepts FAFSA, it’s important to know that there are no income requirements or caps in order to qualify for federal financial aid.
Rather, the number that matters is the expected family contribution or EFC. This is the minimum amount you’re expected to pay toward the cost of college. The EFC calculation is primarily based on the income and assets of parents and students, or just students if you’re no longer a dependent of your parents.
To determine need-based aid, your EFC is subtracted from the colleges total cost of attendance. However, even If you don’t qualify for need-based aid, you can still qualify for other aid, such as scholarships and federal loans.
That’s why it’s important to fill out the FAFSA no matter what your income. In fact, college financial aid staffers tell us that the biggest mistake people make when paying for college is failing to apply for aid through FAFSA. Don’t let this happen to you!
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Q Which Programs Are Commonly Used By Veterans Active Service Members And Spouses To Pay For Online Education
Since the GI Bill 2.0 initiative in 2011, there really isn’t a difference in programs in regard to whether classes or programs are online or in a brick-and-mortar classroom. However, there is a difference in what is available to use for each type of person. Veterans usually use the Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty or the Post-9/11 GI Bill, while active-duty personnel use both of the above GI Bills in addition to Tuition Assistance and Tuition Top-Up.
TA will pay up to a certain amount per credit or per year. The individual is then responsible for the difference. Most of the services will pay up to $250 per credit or up to $4,500 per year. Tuition Top-Up operates the same way, but instead of the service member paying the difference out-of-pocket, they can choose to use their GI Bill to pay the difference.
Spouses use transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill entitlement and, in some cases, the MyCAA program. The Montgomery GI Bill is not available to them, as it doesn’t have a transfer option.
Q What Are The Most Common Mistakes Made Or Misconceptions Held Among Service Personnel And Veterans Looking For College Aid
There’s the confusion for multiple GI BillÂ® holders over the number of months of entitlement they can get. Under the Rule of 48, service members or veterans with two or more GI Bills can use up to a maximum of 48 months between all their GI Bills.
The other common misconception is how they can use each GI Bill to get those 48 months. To get the 48 months, they have to first exhaust their 36 months under the Montgomery GI Bill, then switch to the Post-9/11 GI Bill to get the additional 12 months of entitlement. They can’t do it the other way around. Also, if they switch from the Montgomery GI Bill to the Post-9/11 GI Bill without first exhausting their Montgomery GI Bill benefits, then all they get is the same number of months they had left under the Montgomery GI Bill and not the additional 12 months of entitlement.
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Before Your Turn To Loans
Before you decide to take out a loan, its more important to know what other options you have. Its better to look at some funding options that are easier to handle before you jump into something that will require regular payments. Heres what you should look into prior to sending your loan application:
Q Do Online Students Take Advantage Of Financial Aid And If Not What Commonly Blocks Participation
Due to the growth in online learning, financial aid offices are very familiar with this learning mode. At City University of Seattle, all of our programs are eligible for the federal aid programs we are authorized to offer. However, depending on the institution, there may be online learning programs that are set up in a way that makes them ineligible to participate in federal aid programs. Students should always check to be sure online programs of interest are eligible for federal aid programs.
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Challenges Around Certificate Programs: Financing And Success
Despite the appeal of these programs, one drawback is that it can be difficult for students to find money for the programs if you can’t afford to pay the full price upfront. That’s because many certificate programs aren’t eligible for federal financial aid, including student loans.
Megan Walter, policy analyst at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators , says this is mainly due to restrictions imposed by the Department of Education.
Based on the type of college thats offering them, programs have to meet certain requirements, such as lasting for a certain length of time and providing skills that lead to a related job after completion, to be eligible for federal financial aid, says Walter.
But getting these short-term programs approved by the Department of Education for funding can take a really long time, so most institutions have opted to skip the step altogether. As a result, students have to use alternative forms of funding.
And because very few of these certificates receive federal funding, the institutions are not required to report important data on the programs, such as average completion rates, student debt and career earnings. That makes it challenging to determine whether one of them can help you accomplish what they promised in the first place.
They said that their programs were worth it, and in fact they werent, he says.
Know The Loan Limits For Undergraduate And Graduate Programs
Even though you may be able to get multiple federal loans to deal with your tuition, there is still a limit to the amount of cash you can get.
For instance, for graduate schools, the maximum amount is $138,500, and it should be less in subsidized loans, respectively below $65,500.
Meanwhile, an independent undergraduate can get a maximum of $57,500, while a dependent one can get $31,000. However, the maximum amount for both of them in subsidized loans is $23,000.
As for the other school-based loan program known as the Perkins Loan, the maximum amount for graduate students is $60,000. For undergraduates, the amount is $27,500.
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How Much Can You Get
The amount you can receive depends on several factors, including:
- your province or territory of residence
- your family income
- your tuition fees and living expenses
- if you have a disability
The amount you can receive in grants and loans is calculated when you apply with your province or territory.
To find out if you can receive Canada Student Grants or Loans, use the federal student aid estimator. Note that this estimator doesn’t take into account the provincial and territorial student grants and loans.
Student Loans For Students In England
If you currently reside in England and are enrolling on a postgraduate course with Arden University, you may be eligible to receive the following:
- £11,570 if your course starts on or after 1 August 2021
- £11,222 if your course started between 1 August 2020 and 31 July 2021
The loan will be paid directly to you, and if your course lasts for more than a year, the amount will be divided equally across each year of your course. You can use the loan to pay your course fees and living costs.
Eligible courses include:
- Full-time online masters courses lasting 1 or 2 academic years
- Part-time online masters courses lasting 2 to 4 academic years, but not more than twice the length of the equivalent full-time course.
You can find more information here.
If you’re a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans. If youre from an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, you may be able to get a Tuition Fee Loan and help with living costs from the student finance body in your home country.
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How Much Can I Expect From Grants For Online Students
Grants for online college vary widely in their amounts. It may also depend on the type of aid it is: merit, need-based, or departmental. Average merit-based grant amounts: These awards range from $1,000 , to full rides at private schools of up to $35,000. But for the purpose of an estimate, the average merit-based award is around $5,000. Because need-based aid depends entirely on the financial need demonstrated on your FAFSA, the average need-based scholarship amount received depend from person to person. As a rule: Your need-based aid cannot exceed the amount of your financial need. That said, types of need-based aid vary in their maximum awards. For example, the Federal Pell Grant is generally $5,775, while the FSEOG is between $100-$4000 annually.
The Affordable Way To Study A Degree
The costs associated with getting an Undergraduate Degree can seem daunting, but at Arden we provide flexible payment options to make sure finance isnt a barrier to achieving your goals.
Not only can you pay in instalments and get discounted payment in full, you can also study without paying a penny up-front by taking out a Tuition Fee Loan, if you are from the UK or EU and going to university in 2019/20 and normally live in England. You can explore the full eligibility criteria on the UK Government website.
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Do I Need To Be Enrolled Full
Every grant differs in its eligibility requirements. As more and more students dont fit in the traditional mode, by definition many require scheduling flexibility that goes beyond the usual 15-credit semester. Look for grants that expressly state part-time or part-time basis. In some cases, the amount of such grants may not be much less than for an equivalent grant for full-time students.
For example: The Government Finance Professional Development Scholarship to support the studies of part-time students with a career interest in state and local government finance. There is an equivalent award for full-time students, but both the part-time and full-time awards are $8,000 each in 2016.
Can You Get Student Loans For Online College
Online college can seem like a totally different beast than traditional college, especially when it comes to tuition. Do the regular rules apply in terms of financial aid and funding? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
One big question you may have is if you can get student loans for online college. The answer to that is yes. But just where you get those loansthrough the government or through a private lender, depends on the school. Let’s look at how to get federal and private student loans for online college.
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Check Your Schools Accreditation Status For Federal Loans
If youre considering federal vs. private student loans, its usually a good idea to start with federal student loans. This is because they come with several borrower protections and benefits, including deferment and forbearance options, income-driven repayment, and student loan forgiveness programs.
To be eligible for federal student loans, an online college has to be accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. You can check the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to see if your school is accredited.
Some of the top accredited schools with fully online degrees include:
- Ohio State University
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Who Uses Manitoba Student Aid And Are You Eligible
Whether you are new to post-secondary education, going back to it or planning for your future, we may be able to help you pay for school.
Take this test to see if you are eligible to apply for Manitoba Student Aid.
- You are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person.
- You are a Manitoba resident.
- You will be studying at a designated school and program. If you’re not sure, check the designated schools and programs section or contact Manitoba Student Aid.
- If you are 22 years of age or over and applying for the first time, you can pass a credit check.
If you answered yes to all of the questions above, then you are eligible to apply for Manitoba Student Aid.
Other Requirements and Limits
To remain eligible for Manitoba Student Aid, you must:
- pass at least 60% of a full course load in each term at a college or university
- pass 100% of your courses and keep your attendance above 90% if you are going to a private vocational or private training school
There are limits to the assistance you can receive from Manitoba Student Aid. They include:
The number of certificates, diplomas and degrees
Manitoba Student Aid will fund only one certificate, one diploma and one degree. Generally, you will not get another student loan if you are getting a second certificate, diploma or degree, unless the first one was needed to get the second one.
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Performance Based Entry Route
- If you are registered on a Performance Based Entry Route, you can only apply for a part-time loan application in your first year. This is because you will not be able to register for 105 – 120 credits over both sessions to be considered as full-time.
- Please note, once you have completed your registration on the Performance Based Entry Route, this means you have started the Computer Science programme, and this is counted as your first year. Please ensure that you select the correct course name BSc Computer Science October Start or BSc Computer Science April Start when completing your loan application.
Emfss Online Taught Programmes:
- You can make a full-time or part-time tuition fee loan application.
- For a full-time tuition fee loan application, you need to be studying on a full time basis and register for 120 credits worth of new courses over 2 consecutive sessions. The maximum tuition fee loan available is £6000.
- For a part-time tuition fee loan application, you need to be studying on a part-time basis and register for a maximum of 90 credits worth of new courses over two consecutive sessions. The maximum tuition fee loan available is £4500.
- Each session is made up of two teaching blocks . Depending on your effective date of registration, consecutive sessions are as follows:
If you initially started the programme in Aug/November, you should always calculate your fees for the Aug/November and Feb/May session and if you started the programme in Feb/May, calculate your fees for the Feb/May and Aug/November session.
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Things Borrowers Should Keep In Mind
Always go for free money first, including scholarships and grants. Compare different online programs and factor in price when making your decision. Continue to meet with an advisor so you are taking courses that count towards your graduation.
In many cases, individuals enrolled in online schools are more likely to over-borrow with their student loans. Thats because they dont have many of the additional costs of traditional school like transportation and room and board.
So, take this into consideration when figuring out how much you need to borrow, and avoid taking out more money than you really need.
At Savingforcollege.com, our goal is to help you make smart decisions about saving and paying for education. Some of the products featured in this article are from our partners, but this doesnt influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
How Much You Can Get
The amount of money you can get depends on your:
- education expenses the amount of money you need for tuition, books, child care , personal living expenses , supplies and equipment
- course load whether youre a full-time or part-time student
- program hours for students in micro-credential programs only
- personal financial situation based on you and your familys income, family size, dependants and other factors
If you use money from yourRegistered Education Savings Plan , it wont affect how much OSAP you can get.
Additional funding may be available if you are:
- youth in or from Extended Society Care
- a person with a disability