Online University Scholarships

Online colleges might be more affordable than typical on-site colleges, but most students still have a hard time affording the education without financial aid. Scholarships are a great source for money for college, since they don’t have to be repaid, but many distance education students question whether the scholarship opportunities available for traditional students are also available for those pursuing a degree online. Luckily, there are a number of online university scholarships if you know where to look.

Some organizations actually actively look to give money to students interested in online education. There are scholarships specifically given to distance learning students available from the following organizations:

  • The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association International
  • The Christian Connector, Inc.

Most scholarships out there, however, are not specifically for online students. That doesn’t mean that you can’t apply. Many organizations are happy to give their scholarships to any kind of student, as long as the school being attended is accredited. Accreditation, which is done by organizations across the country, helps to ensure that you’re getting a quality education, rather than just attending a school that hands you a diploma in exchange for money, regardless of your grades or the work you put into the program. When in doubt, contact the committee that makes decisions regarding the scholarship to see if you qualify as an online university student.

Along with organizations, scholarships are available from schools themselves. Scholarships are based on merit, and schools like to reward the students who are excelling within their programs. You can get scholarships based on  your grades, as well as other talents, skills and experiences. For example, many online religious schools give out scholarships based on community service. You may have to write an essay about yourself to win some scholarships, putting you in a competition with other students to earn the money. Race, gender, ethnicity, family military service, marital status, disabilities, and many other factors can all help you qualify for scholarships.Don’t forget to talk to your department head, not just the financial aid office. Some scholarships are given directly through your department, rather than through the college.

The types of scholarships available to you depends on your major. Many scholarship funds are set up to specifically help students pursue an education in a certain field. Common online majors, like business, nursing, and education, usually have a large number of scholarships available. If you’re pursuing a more specialized career, such as interior design, you may have to search harder to find scholarships that apply. Luckily, there are also many funds that don’t limit applicants based on intended major, so you can apply regardless of your educational interests.

There’s no reason to pay for your complete tuition out of pocket. While you may not think that you can afford a better education, scholarships can make it possible for you to pay for your degree, especially at more affordable online schools. Before you dismiss the idea of going back to college, check out all of the options available.

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