The Ultimate Guide to Online Master’s Degree Scholarships and Grants
Online degree programs can be a great choice for students on a budget, since these educational options are typically much less expensive. However, whether you get your degree online or off, college can cost a pretty penny. Let’s take a look at your financial aid options as an online master’s degree student – these funds make it possible to go to school for little to no out of pocket costs.
What Types of Financial Aid are Available?
The most common financial aid choices for online students are scholarships and grants. Both are available for “free” – meaning that they do not have to be repaid after you graduate. Scholarships are given based on merit an typically require you to write an essay. Grants, on the other hand, are available based on financial need. At the master’s degree level, you’re more likely to find fellowships rather than scholarships. Like scholarships, fellowships are given based on merit, but often come attached to other responsibilities, such as serving as a teaching assistant or completing certain research projects. In addition to grants, scholarships, and fellowships, you can also find student loans, which aren’t free, but don’t have to be repaid until after you graduate.
Where to Find Financial Aid
So now that you know about the kind of financial aid available, how do you find funds that could be awarded to you?
Start by checking with your college’s financial aid department. Although online colleges did not always have options for students, today’s online schools typically have information about financial aid just like you’d find with traditional campus colleges. Outside sources can also offer financial aid. Depending on your major, you can check with government departments, charitable organizations, corporations, and local groups. If you already have a job, don’t forget to also check with your employer. Some offer tuition reimbursement funds to encourage their employees to go beck to school.
Earning Scholarships and Grants
Because funds are limited, the best scholarships and grants are highly competitive. How can you increase your chances of earning one? Here are a few tips:
- Follow directions fully, making sure that you apply be the deadline, compete every part of the application, and otherwise submit your information for consideration according to the directions given.
- Ask a friend or relative to look over your application, especially if you had to write an essay.
- Apply to as many as possible – there are thousands of opportunities out there!