Can I Get Financial Aid For A Master’s Degree

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 4 minute read

You may be concerned about the expense of obtaining a Master of Education degree through a convenient online program. Even the most inexpensive online master’s degree programs will most likely cost you several thousand dollars.

With instructors still being underpaid in many places of the United States, this tuition fee may be daunting, especially if you had to pay for all of the charges upfront and on your own.

Fortunately, financial help for an online Master of Education degree is available. Simply grasp your alternatives, which restrictions apply to you, and where to go for funding for your online graduate study.

Understanding the Different Types of Financial Aid

Financial help may come in a variety of forms for both online graduate students and on-campus undergraduates. This is the first thing you need to know. The most frequent forms of help are loans, grants, and scholarships.

Obviously, loans are a sort of financial assistance that must be returned. Both the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program and commercial lenders provide several student loans.

Although financing that does not need repayment, like as grants and scholarships, is desirable, government loans offer greater safeguards and interest rates than private loans for students who must take out loans.

Federal loans can be subsidized, in which case the borrower is not liable for paying interest on the amount borrowed until after graduation, or unsubsidized, in which case the borrower is responsible for paying interest that accrues immediately.

Grants and scholarships are forms of financial help that do not require repayment, if the recipient maintains satisfactory academic progress in line with the terms of the award. Numerous types of government grants are available, the majority of which are provided based on financial need.

Scholarships typically originate from sources other than the federal government, such as state money, institutional funds, or grants provided by private groups.

The federal government also provides financial assistance in the form of work-study money. Work-study recipients make money by doing a part-time job, typically but not always on campus, with their government assistance award funding their salaries. According to U.S. News & World Report, online students are qualified for work-study employment at some colleges.

Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student studying on campus or online, your enrollment status affects your financial assistance eligibility. Students who are not enrolled at least half-time are ineligible for federal loans and must begin repaying previous loans.

How Your Graduate Student Status Online Affects Eligibility

According to U.S. News & World Report, there are no substantial distinctions between applying for financial assistance as an online student and as an on-campus student. The official Federal Student Help website, managed by the U.S. The Department of Education acknowledges online schools as genuine higher education institutions and states that students can obtain financial aid as long as their school participates in federal student aid programs.

While students must still verify that their online school participates, they need not fear that enrolling in an online program would prohibit them from getting financial help.

According to U.S. News & World Report, students may find that scholarship sponsors unaffiliated with their institution or the federal government reject online students from qualifying. Not all scholarship givers, however, make this difference. Some online universities may provide their own institutional scholarships, such as the Hey Teach! scholarship at Western Governors University for students seeking a Master of Education degree.

On the other hand, there are significant changes in the financial help available to you as a graduate student and when you were an undergraduate student. As a graduate student, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form differently. Even if you just completed college and utilized your parents’ financial information on your FAFSA last year, Financial Student Aid considers graduate and professional students to be independent students.

As a result of your changed status, you will no longer utilize your parents’ financial information to justify your need for financial help.

Your position as a graduate student may also influence the amount of help you are entitled to receive. Graduate students can borrow up to $20,500 per year from the federal government, which is higher than the $5,500 to $12,500 limit for undergraduates; nevertheless, your eligibility to borrow depends on your financial need. Typically, graduate students are not eligible for subsidized loans, only unsubsidized ones.

In general, graduate students are not eligible for federal grants, however education students at partnering schools may be eligible for a $4,000 TEACH award. Students must pursue a high-needs profession and commit to teaching for four years in a low-income district.

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