While tuition and fees for programs can vary according to institutional policies and degree level pursued, online learners can take advantage of financial aid programs just like any other college student. Some programs have in-state and out-of-state tuition fees and others do not. A variety of supplemental fees may apply for additional services and materials depending on the program.
Applying for federal financial aid and other grants, loans, work-study or college-sponsored scholarships begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Directions for completing the online application form and other important information (including a glossary of common terms) are located at the same site as the form.
The application process involves three steps:
1. GATHER THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS AND REFERENCES AHEAD OF TIME.
At the FAFSA site, you will find a Dependency Status Worksheet, a FAFSA on the Web Worksheet and application deadlines. Information is provided on how to find FAFSA school codes and how to create an FSA ID.
2. FILL OUT, SIGN AND SUBMIT THE ELECTRONIC APPLICATION FORM.
When filling out the form, you will need social security numbers, family information, tax, and payroll information and the School Codes for up to three colleges you are considering. If you reach a point in the application where you need more information than you anticipated, save the application in order to gather the necessary information and then re-open and continue the application.
Before the application is submitted you are provided an opportunity to review and verify the information. Using your FSA ID, you are able to electronically sign the application before submitting.
3. TRACK, VIEW, PRINT AND UPDATE YOUR STUDENT AID REPORT (SAR).
Using your FSA ID, you may access the application to view results, check the status, correct or update information, and print your Student Aid Report (SAR).
When your application is processed, the FAFSA site sends your SAR to the college(s) you listed in the application. The college(s) will use your SAR to assess your financial need and determine your aid eligibility.