Distance Education

Loans Are Available for Online Students

More and more students are turning to online college education. You might pursue distance education for the convenience and flexibility inherent in an online curriculum. If you have a family and career then attending college online could be perfect for you.  When online education came into being students were not eligible for Federal  loans  or conventional student loans because online universities often unaccredited and largely unregulated by higher education.

Now many online universities are accredited and adhere to standards. Therefore, students at many online colleges can get federal, state and traditional student loans. The best way to determine if the online program you want to attend is eligible for federal loan programs.

Types of Government Student Loans

If you are eligible for federal aid, this must be your first choice. Federal loans are the most economical and borrower-friendly student loans available, hands down. The Federal government offers three types of student loans: The Stafford Loan, the PLUS Loan (for Parents and Graduate students) and the Perkins Loan. Graduating students can also take advantage of a Federal Consolidation Loan to combine all of their college loans into one manageable loan package.

Applying for Federal Loans Is a One-Step Process

To applying for any government loan you must complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is required for all forms of Federal aid programs, and it is also required for state programs and for financial aid from colleges and universities. Whether you are applying for a Federal loan, grant or scholarship the FAFSA is your first step and must be submitted early to meet any deadlines for your loan or grant applications. The application form and full information is at www.fafsa.ed.org.

State Student Loans

All states have an extensive program of student loans, grants and scholarships. To find out what your state offers, go to the website of the state higher education authority. The site will have the links to the information you need. A list of the state authorities, their websites and contact information can be found on the Department of Education website athttp://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_ID=SHE.

Private Loans for Online University Students

Private student loans are student loans you get from a bank or from a student loan lender, such as Sallie mae. Used judiciously, private student loans are an excellent way of rounding out your funding picture. But that is precisely how they should be used – to round out the picture. Students should only consider private loans once they have exhausted their federal and state loan options. In general, private student loans carry higher interest rtes than government loans, they have stricter repayment terms than government loans, and they are likely to have much higher, and often hidden, fees than government loans.