It’s no secret that earning a college degree gets more expensive every year. But just how expensive college has become is shocking. On average, earning a degree from a public college or university costs $20,770 for in-state students – and it costs a whopping $46,950 for private college and university students. Each year, that cost goes up too. If you’re wondering how earning your degree can ever be an affordable option, you just need to consider an online degree and grants. Grants offer you free money towards your education, and you can search online to find grants to take advantage of.
An online degree is a cheaper alternative. Online universities can charge rates of just $320 per credit, for example, without any extra on-campus costs. And those cheaper costs paired with the free money grants can provide makes getting your degree an excellent investment. If you’re interested in getting grants towards the cost of an online degree, search online.
Here’s what you need to know about grants that can be used towards an online degree.
Types of Grants
Grants come in many different forms. Some are designed to help low-income students who can demonstrate financial need. Others are designed to help any student pay for their education. It’s important to know what kinds of grants are available so you know which ones you might qualify for.
Here’s an overview of the different types of grants you can find by searching online.
Need-based grants are offered for students who can demonstrate financial need. They’re typically offered by the federal government, and the government will require you to meet certain financial requirements in order to earn one of the grants.
Merit-based grants are offered for students who demonstrate particular skills or attributes. These grants come in many different forms. For example, you can earn an athletic merit grant in the form of scholarships like the Foot Locker Scholar-Athletes Program. Or, you could earn an artistic merit grant like those offered by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers. Tuition waivers like those available for members of the military are another form of merit-based grants.
Merit-based grants and scholarships are also available for students who get good grades, participate in leadership activities, and more. If you have a skill, an interest, or are a member of any teams or organizations, there’s likely a merit grant out there for you.
Academic grants, which are also called departmental grants, are offered to students who are studying specific majors or academic subjects. Typically offered by individual university or college departments, these grants can vary from school to school. You may also be able to find academic grants available through academic institutions and organizations, such as honor societies, research facilities, and more.
Corporate grants are grants offered by companies. Companies large and small can offer grants or scholarships in varying amounts. For example, Coca-Cola offers grants and scholarships through the Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise and Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Scholarship Program. Burger King employees and their relatives can apply for the Burger King Scholar Program, another example of corporate scholarships.
You might be able to find corporate grants offered by the companies you or your family members work for. However, many corporate grants don’t require you to be (or know) an employee in order to qualify. Some are designed for students in need, but others can be given to any applicants.
Grants Can Lower Your Costs and Expenses
Why should you bother seeking out grants for your online degree? Even just one grant could reduce the amount you have to pay to earn that degree.
While online degree programs are generally more affordable, they still aren’t cheap. Taking advantage of available grants can help you keep more of your hard-earned money, all while earning a very valuable degree.
If you’re wondering what’s involved in applying for and earning grants – or even scholarships – here’s what you can expect from the process.
Eligibility Requirements Do Exist
As you search for grants and scholarships online, keep in mind that each one will have its own eligibility requirements. Some may require you to be a full-time student who’s taking a certain number of classes, credit hours, or credits. Others may be designed for part-time students. Some may specify in-person or online learning.
Make sure to take a close look at each grant or scholarship to see if you meet the requirements. It’ll save you time, ensuring you only apply for those you’re actually qualified to receive.
Expect to Get Anywhere From $1,000 to $5,000
Grants cover a wide range of financial awards. You can find grants for $1,000 or as much as $35,000. While many grants are small, some can be far more significant and cover the entire cost of your degree. Typically, you’ll use a combination of grants to lower your overall education cost.
On average, you can expect to receive around $5,000 in grants. This can vary depending on whether you’re applying for more grants or scholarships, and if those grants are need-based or merit-based.
You Need to Apply for a Lot of Grants
Securing grants and getting that free money towards your online degree isn’t exactly easy. While you might think that you’ll get awarded cash as soon as you apply for a grant or two, the process is more challenging than that.
You’ll need to apply for a large number of grants in order to get thousands of dollars of cash. It’s a good rule of thumb to “apply early and often” when you’re seeking grants. Thousands of students apply for each individual grant, making it difficult to actually award the money. There are rigorous application processes and you may not get many of the grants you apply for.
So, make sure you’re sending out a lot of applications. The more grants you apply for, the better your odds of getting a few grants will be.
Search for Education Grants Online
In order to find grants, you’ll need to search online. It’s the best place to find a wealth of different grants, scholarships, and other financial aid for an online degree. And you can easily compare all of the grants you find to determine which are the best fit for you.
Here are a few examples of some of the grants you’ll find when you search online:
- Pell Grants, which are need-based grants offered by the federal government.
- Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, which are open to those eligible for Pell Grants.
- Academic Competitiveness Grants, which are both need- and merit-based grants for undergraduate students.
- SMART Grants, which are offered to students pursuing math and science degrees.
- LEAP Grants, which are offered by state governments for merit-based accomplishments.
- The Jacob Javits Fellowship Program, which offers grants for art students.
This is just a small selection of the kinds of grants you’ll find online. To find even more, make sure to search online. You can find grant opportunities year-round as you work on earning your degree.