If you’re thinking about going to college online but you’re worried that you won’t be eligible for the same of type of financial aid that you’d get at a traditional school, rest easy.
Most accredited online colleges and universities accept the same federal financial aid as brick-and-mortar schools. That means that students at many online schools will generally be eligible for aid from FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. However, some online schools, such as Penn Foster, have a different type of accreditation and do not accept federal financial aid.
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Online schools that accept FAFSA
Some popular online schools that accept FAFSA include:
- Baker College
- Southern New Hampshire University
- Grand Canyon University
- University of Florida
- Purdue University Global
- Penn State World Campus
Online schools that don’t accept FAFSA
Popular online institutions that don’t accept FAFSA include:
How do I know if the school I’m interested in accepts FAFSA?
Here’s the fast answer: A visit to a school’s web site can turn usually up this information quickly. Just go to the financial aid page. Or, just call the financial aid department. Here’s the more in-depth answer: Most online schools that hold a regional accreditation – which is the same accreditation held by traditional, brick-and-mortar colleges – accept federal financial aid. Online schools that hold a national accreditation generally do NOT accept FAFSA.
With any online learning option, it’s always wise to check that the school has an appropriate accreditation. Accreditation is important not only because of financial aid, but because it ensures that the program you’re enrolling in meets the minimum standards set by the U.S. Department of Education.
See also: Penn Foster Online College Review
If your school is not accredited, you may end up spending a lot of money on a degree that few employers recognize as legitimate.
To ensure that your school is accredited, go to the U.S. Department of Education’s database for accreditation and type in your school name.