If you have considered going to college to earn a degree but do not have the time to attend classes, there is a solution. Many colleges offer online courses for degree programs that can be completed in less time than traditional classes and they are covered by financial aid. You can get funding to pay for school and complete the classes from the comfort of your own home. This is a good option for many stay-at-home mothers with small children. When you can get paid to go to school online, you can pave the way to a brighter future without having to worry about who is watching the kids or taking care of business at home while you attend classes.
How to Get Paid to Go to School
Apply for federal financial aid. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit as soon as possible. The Federal Pell Grant, as well as many other grants and loans, use this application. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis. By applying early, you may qualify for additional grants if the money is available. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) is an additional grant offered to students who demonstrate extreme financial need. These funds are limited, so those who apply first are the most likely to qualify.
Online Colleges that Pay You to Attend
Getting paid to go to school is not just for students attending traditional schools. Many online colleges will pay you to attend. Southern New Hampshire University, Ashford University and Purdue University Global all offer financial aid for their online programs. Apply for admission to a qualifying school of choice. Many associate and bachelor's degree programs can be completed online. Some good choices are local community colleges and universities, as well as one of the many online colleges offering programs in your field of study. As long as the online school you attend is regionally accredited by agencies that the U.S. Department of Education has approved, you should be able to financial aid funding.
Apply for Multiple Scholarships and Grants
Search and apply for college scholarships for which you may qualify. Once you are enrolled in a degree program it is beneficial to apply for as many college scholarships as possible. Many businesses have donated money for scholarships in various fields such as education, nursing and science. Scholarship searches are free and the application process often involves submitting an application or writing an essay on why you feel you qualify for the scholarship. Any funding you receive from scholarships are added to your financial aid package and disbursed twice per year. Apply for any other college grant programs in your field of study. There are other grant programs for people who are low-income, minorities, members of the armed forces and single mothers. There is available money out there, you just need to look for it.
Cautiously Consider Subsidized Student Loans
Subsidized student loans can help with expenses, but proceed with caution when applying for these loans. Unlike free money such as grants and scholarship programs, loans must be paid back and stay on your credit report unless they are charged off. The number one source of college debt is student loans, so use them sparingly if you must. Loans are due for repayment six months after you graduate or quit school, regardless of whether or not you completed your degree. Before taking any student loans, make sure to do your homework and know exactly what the repayment amounts will be and how much interest you will need to pay.
Set aside time to study every day. Devote two hours of study time for each class to ensure a passing grade. Just because you are not physically attending classes does not mean you can slack off. To keep financial aid grants you must maintain a "C" average in all classes. If you drop below that your funding could be cut.
If you are having trouble with classes or subjects, request help right away. Contact the teacher or school administrator if problems arise. Often times you can be granted an extension for dire circumstances.
- College Scholarships.org: Education Grant Benefits and Opportunities
- Match a College: How to Get a College Pell Grant for an Online University
- Pell Grant Eligibility: What Are Scholarships? By Michael Bennet
- Pell Grant Eligibility: The Official Student Loan Primer by Michael Bennet
- Affordable Colleges Online: Financial Aid for Online Colleges
Lisa Musser is a freelance writer specializing in health and beauty information. She attended Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz. and began a career as a freelance writer in 2008 after spending five years in the health-care field as a certified nursing assistant.