How to Earn Scholarships for Online Degree Programs

By Olivia Coleman

Online scholarships have become easier to earn in recent years largely due to the 2006 Congressional bill that allowed online schools to receive federal funding.  Since this point, many more schools have opened up and many students have been able to receive federal Pell Grants and student loans through the government.  This has opened up vast opportunities for students in the online education world and has in turn opened up many opportunities for online scholarships as well.

Scholarships are a direct representation of the amount of funding any type of school receives, both from the government and private donors.  For-profit institutions, however, have difficulties in accruing money for scholarships since their endowment comes solely from their students.  However, the Congressional bill which was passed allowed for-profit institutions to receive a larger amount of funding, and therefore the means to expand their degree programs and their student base.  This has had an enormous affect on the amount of students who have enrolled in online institutions and their ability to earn a degree.

Online scholarships have thus become a direct result of federal funding to for-profit educational organizations and have slowly emerged in the past years.  Many range according to the school’s degree programs and acceptance rates, and are still hesitantly growing.  Online schools which have the most scholarships are typically traditional schools that have ventured into the online education community.  These schools offer many scholarships to any student who enrolls in their degree programs and many of these schools have been able to influence other online schools in their own financial aid areas.

Earning online scholarships for different degree programs is pretty similar to scholarships in traditional schools.  Most scholarships are based on good academic standing and other types of educational involvement in high school, which is what online universities consider as well.  Federal types of student aid additionally offer another type of monetary buffer for most students and help cover what other scholarships may not reach.  These federal funds normally look at students’ backgrounds, their financial situations, and their academic outlook.  As long as you are taking more than three hours of courses, you will qualify for most federal funds.  Most scholarships, however, require that you be enrolled at least full time (the amount of hours varies according to the school, but traditionally is over twelve hours).  Depending on what grades you have made throughout your academic career and your goals in your academic future, you will be able to secure many scholarships and federal funds for a further education. 

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