A student loan for online school works similar to traditional brick-and-mortar schools and is available for many online degree programs. Students interested in attending a program from an online school can become qualified for student loans.
Students can use this money for tuition, books and other student expenses. The rising cost of higher education makes it essential for most students to secure as much funding as possible. However, student loans come with interest rates, and this will affect the future amount towed on the loans.
Applying for student loan money requires the applicant to fill out forms and provide supporting documentation. This process for getting student loans for online schools is identical to the one used by students attending traditional institutions in person. However, there are some differences in the way students must expect to communicate with their financial aid office when attending a program from an online college.
Some schools have extra aid for certain programs like teaching and education degrees, or in-demand nursing degrees. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the online college’s methods for communication, form submission, and specifics for your program.
FAFSA – Federal Aid Loans
It is essential for students to understand the basic rules that govern the student loan granting process. This includes criteria that apply to the online college and to the student. For example, federal guidelines require the school to have accreditation status. The student must research the school to ensure that the institution has accreditation because not all online schools will qualify to receive federal funding.
The most important thing to understand about accepting any loan is the funding source. There are some loans that come from the federal government, for example. These are the loans that the student can get by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. These loans are from the federal government to the student, but the online school does not have to accept the aid money. Always check with your institution to ensure they accept FAFSA aid.
Understanding How FAFSA Loans Are Calculated
The most important number that affects the amount of your student loan is the expected family contribution, or EFC. This number considers the income of the parents as well as the student, but only if the student is dependent. Independent students might have an EFC if they have a high income. Then they subtract the EFC from the estimated costs of attending the online school, and this is the amount of need through sources like loans, grants, and scholarships.
Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans
In order to qualify, you must complete the FAFSA. It is important to fill out the application correctly and provide all of the requested information. This is critical for securing your student loan because missing a deadline can result in the loss of financial aid money. Whenever you need information about the deadlines for FAFSA, you can always go directly to their website.
The two following loans are the most common types that are available to students:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to any student regardless of financial need, but the school determines the amount that the student can borrow. Other financial aid can affect the amount. The interest on this loan is due, but the student can choose to let it accumulate.
- Direct Subsidized Loans are only for students at the undergraduate level. The educational institution will determine the amount that the student is eligible to borrow, but it can’t exceed the amount of unmet financial need. The government pays the interest on these loans under certain conditions. For example, the student must remain enrolled at least half-time or be in a period of deferment. There is a six-month grace period on the loan’s interest.
Master Promissory Notes
The Master Promissory Note, or MPN, is a legal document that binds the student to the terms of the loan. It is important for students to understand the implications involved in accepting loans to pay for school. This agreement legally stipulates that the student is agreeing to pay back all of the loans, fees, and interest accrued over time. Most of the institutions authorized to receive loan funds can make multiple loans under a single MPN for a period of 10 years.
Private lenders can provide another source of financing for unmet need, but it comes with a catch. These lenders have the ability to charge a higher interest rate, and this increases the total cost of borrowing for the student. In addition, these loans don’t qualify for certain programs for loan forgiveness unless you consolidate them in the future.
Summary of Student Loans
Submitting a FAFSA is critical for obtaining any student loan money from the federal government. Prospective students must submit the application by the deadline. Make sure to check all of the information for accuracy to avoid costly delays.
Once the school processes the FAFSA, you will receive a student aid offer in the mail, and you can accept or reject all of it or parts of it. In addition to the loans, the FAFSA might also qualify you to receive grants, and you can get scholarships through the school and other sources. Always accept the money from grants and scholarships before deciding how much loan money to accept. It comes with an interest rate, so be aware of the cost of borrowing this money.
Final Tips for Accepting Student Loan Aid
Students should confirm the school has regional accreditation from one of the approved agencies by the U.S. Department of Education. This status means that there is essentially no difference between an online educational institution and a physical campus.
Once you determine the schools where you wish to enroll, simply search their website for the school code number, which is necessary for submitting a completed FAFSA. The school code tells the Department of Education that the school qualifies to receive the loan money through the process of receiving regional accreditation. Stay in contact with your lender after graduation to ensure that you understand your repayment options.
- How Do Online Schools Work?
- Can I Attend an Online School with Kids?
- How Old Do I Have To Be To Attend An Online School?
- Can I Attend an Online School Part-Time?
- What are the Advantages of an Online School?
- Can I Attend an Online School While Working?
- Do Online Schools Count Life Experience?
- Can I Attend an Online School from Prison?