Archive for November, 2014

The general consensus is that the pursuit of an online university degree is cheaper than the alternative to choose to learn physically at a university. As a general rule, this is very true. One can see, thanks to the courses developed and adapted for the internet age, that more and more universities are offering distance learning course which are typically cheaper and sometime even free. Nothing is better than free, right? An online education is free, but a traditional university can be better than free. This is a purely financial argument, so forget the time and geographic flexibility.

What does better than free mean? Is it possible to receive more help in the form of grants or scholarships than the cost of the course? I anticipate you asking. Better than free means that a person receives more money than he paid out. And this is very possible. The reason that this is possible is that further education institutions understand that some costs go beyond the mere cost of tuition. They understand that a student may need to move, and find his own accommodation. Support for these is often provided. Grants for college can also be supplied to aid with other expenses such as food. Some institutions, such as Oxford University, discourage their students for taking on part-time work, and do so by providing additional grant money. The total aid in the form of grants and scholarships can therefore be enough to help a person with their living costs, and leave some money left over.

So as you can see, online degree programs can be the more expensive alternative, not due to the fees, but the resulting aid which is lost compared to the pursuit of a course at a university.

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Growing demand for a university education has been accompanied by a growth in the number of available online degree programs. One element of the link in the growth between the two is financial. An online education has many advantages. Two of the most cited ones are the ability to pursue an online university degree at the ability to follow the course both at any time and any location that is most convenient for the student. Another element which is also talked about is the relative cost of attending a given university to the cost of selecting one of the many online degree programs available.

This applies primarily to the United States of America, but a growing number of university students are receiving financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. This is linked to the historical rise in higher education costs.. Things such as grants for college have increased access to university. Such aid is not necessarily as good a thing as it might seem. Very little financial aid is provided for online college classes, if any at all. This is due to how much lower the costs in relation to classes on a physical campus.

Another financial consideration is the cost of university accommodation with the accompanying transportation costs. If one does not have to pay rent, one will require to commute to the educational institution.

One must not forget that not only is an online education substantially cheaper than the alternative, but many places offer free online college classes. Two of the high-profile examples are MIT through OpenCourseWare and the Bill Gates-endorsed Khan Academy. Some say that there is no such thing as a free lunch, but and online education is often cheaper, and in some instances, free.

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Can grant get you a job after you finish your education?

This is the second major problem when you study: what you are going to do after it’s over? Yes you can find a grant to support your education in a given field, but after you finish your degree, there won’t be a grant? There is one grant actually that can give you long term plan: Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant.

The TEACH Grant allows students in the field of education and teaching to receive up to $4,000 every academic year till the end of their education and it guarantees you work for four years in secondary or primary school (or educational service agency)after you graduate. Well, the school will be one of low-income but you will have the chance to gain experience and better qualification and then you can aim in something higher.

There are of course conditions that you should meet if you want to qualify for the TEACH Grant:

  • You must participate in TEACH-aligned institution in graduate, post-baccalaureate or undergraduate program;
  • Be on an education professional track;
  • Your score on college admission test should be above 75;
  • You should maintain 3.25 grade points at least;
  • Also you will need to receive TEACH Grant counseling every year in which you will receive the aid;
  • Last but not least you will sign the Agreement to Serve (obligation that you will teach after graduating);

After you finish your study, you commit to teach in low-income K12 school for four years straight from the college. If this condition is not met, you will need to repay all money that you have received to the US Department of Education. If within eight years you don’t fulfill your pledge, the financial aid you got will default in a Direct Stafford loan and the interest will be charged from the date of your receiving of the subsidy.

One of the main advantages is that you don’t need to be in a financial need to be qualified for TEACH grant.

If after reading this you are interested in participation in the TEACH program, the first step is to visit your college financial aid office and to check if the school participates. Then you fill online FASFA form (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and you are already on the right track.

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What grants are available for online universities?

In our age of technology and communication, it’s no longer mandatory to be physically in a certain country or city to be a student in the university. You can pursue degree online in almost any field: literature, art, even you can get online business degree. There are a lot of classical universities that offer such option and there are also schools that are primary online. What is important is always to remember to check if the school you have chosen is accredited.

Only in the USA there are over 260 online colleges. These include most state universities. Usually part or all of the offered campus programs are also available for online students. For more information about the online colleges in USA, see this link:

Although it may seem easier than the traditional education, getting online degree has similar difficulties: funding, time, studying. For the funding you have a chance to get scholarship like in a standard university. Most online universities offer a list of the financial aids that are available for their students but there are also a couple of federal grants that may come in handy:

  1. Federal Pell Grant.

It’s well known grant for the campus students. If you are online student, you can also compete for it. It is meant for students that need financial aid and if your family outcomes are below $20,000, you have better chances to get it.

  1. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

The qualification for these grants is made by the financial aid office o f your college. They are meant as extra help to the neediest students. They are additional even if you already receive another scholarship or other form of financial support. About 4,000 colleges participate in this program and keep in mind that the supplemental grants are only for undergraduate students.

  1. Academic Competitiveness Grant.

This additional scholarship is for sophomore and freshmen students with 3.0 college GPA and completion of a rigorous high school program.

  1. National SMART Grant.

The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant is also supplemental grant that can be added to the Pell one. You must be in your last two years of undergraduate study. If you have interests in the fields of math, engineering, technology, foreign language or life and physical sciences, this grant can add up to $4,000 to your incomes.

  1. Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.

These are just a couple of options, keep your eyes open for other.

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Practical tips on how to get business grants

Theory is good thing. You can have a thousand advices on how a process should work but when it comes to something that should be made on practice, advices from people who have been through it are priceless. Here are a couple of things to o and think of before you head to the local government office to ask for grant.

  1. Ask around.

Contact the local government agency, local business networks and chamber of commerce . Ask them about small business grants that are available to you. Discuss and share the information with your own network of directors and business founders. Creating a tree of people who know what you look for makes it easier to keep yourself informed what grants are available at any particular moment. And don’t forget that this network works both ways and if you have the opportunity you should help and provide information too.

  1. Get to know the people who manage the grants.

Don’t stock them. Sometimes it seems endless torturing repetitive exercise to file a grant application. Gather as much information as possible before you go for it. This way when you meet the manager you will have an idea what he may ask from you and what will be expected from your project papers.

  1. Don’t wait for the last moment.

Sometimes it’s the worst you can do. Not that your documents will be rejected but in business if you want something done on time, you don’t wait till the last minute. Also some grants have limitation about the amount of applicants and being the last one may equal to be the first to be rejected.

  1. Give yourself time.

Documents may seem simple and easy to fill but sometimes they require extra declarations and reports that need time to be filed. Also if you are looking to start a project or to run your company in September, start applying for grants in June. It takes time both to you and to the authorities to take a look at the documentation and to pick the companies that will receive financial aid. Also getting the grant doesn’t mean you already have the money in your account. Sometimes the actual receiving takes up to month.

  1. Extra charges.

Some applications require outer assessment that may be chargeable for you. Don’t think that the process of grant application is always completely free.

And that’s from the practice: every grant has different requirements, read closely.

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What every student should know about the scholarships?

Being a student is not an easy task. Except all the exams and social calendar, you should also think sometimes for money and everything outside of the campus. Here is all you need to know in general for the student scholarships.

  1. If I haven’t chosen college or university yet, can I apply for scholarship?

The earlier you apply the better. Indeed the earliest moment for the scholarship applications is when you are in your high school freshman year. Some organizations offer scholarships only for particular universities and colleges but other will allow you to win scholarship and give you the money when you choose an educational institution.

  1. Do I need to pay for an application?

In 90% of the cases, no. some organizations require handling fee but it is not more than $10. If someone is asking you for money with the idea that you will win certain educational grant for sure, check his legitimacy. Even in the scholarships sphere there are scams.

  1. If I don’t get it once, can I apply again?

Yes. But think how to change your portfolio for the next application. Gain more experience, write better resume and improve your grades if possible. Don’t apply for a scholarship with the idea that the other candidates will be worse than you. Consider also applying in another scholarship competition.

  1. Can I lose the scholarship?

Scholarships are made to promote good grades and successful students, researchers and so on. You need to take it seriously and work for high marks if you depend on this financial aid. Most scholarships are renewable every year and you need to apply every time, so your performance will be tracked closely.

  1. Can I apply for grants for education from college?

Depends on the grants. Read carefully for what kind of students they are meant for. Turn to the financial aid office or to the major’s department for specific information about the scholarships that you can apply for.

  1. Does scholarship reflects on any other financial aid that I may receive?

If your college requires financial reports probably what you are receiving from other sources will be decreased with the amount of the scholarship. Some colleges don’t do that. But be positive, this means you will need to return less money once you graduate.

There are probably more questions that popup in your head now. But stay tuned, we’ll be back to that topic again soon.

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