10 Online Schools That Accept FAFSA (and How to Get Financial Aid)

To limit the spread of the coronavirus in 2020 and 2021, many traditional colleges have encouraged (or require) their students to transition to online study. Therefore, your dream school might lose a lot of its appeal without the “on-campus” experience. But, on a positive note, this expands the number of online schools that accept the FAFSA, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

If you’ll be learning from a computer either way, consider online-only colleges with lower tuition rates. Also, you might want to enroll in an online degree program from a university in a different state if it happens to specialize in your specific degree path.

But can you get financial aid for online college? Well, it depends on the school that you choose. Although many popular online colleges, such as the University of Phoenix and American Public University, accept federal financial aid, other online schools don’t.

If you’re hoping to take advantage of federal student loans or grant programs, choosing a school that can accept financial aid will be imperative. Below, we list several online schools that accept FAFSA and a few that don’t. Additionally, we explain how to find FAFSA-approved online colleges for prospective students.

10 online schools that accept FAFSA

Many of the most popular online schools accept FAFSA, aka federal financial aid. Here’s a quick list of 10 online schools with financial aid (ordered alphabetically):

American Public University

Institutional accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Programmatic accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Council on Education for Public Health

Popular programs: Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Health Studies, Management, Sports and Health Sciences

Location: Charles Town, West Virginia

Financial aid office contact:

Phone: 1-877-755-2787
Email: [email protected]s.edu

Arizona State University

Institutional accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Programmatic accreditation:

  • American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
  • The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  • The Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar

Popular programs: Engineering, Biochemistry, MBA, Sociology, Urban planning

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Financial aid office contact: 1-855-278-5080

Capella University

Institutional accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Programmatic accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Popular programs: Counsel and Therapy, Education, Nursing, Psychology, Public Administration

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Financial aid office contact: 1-866-679-9682

Devry University

Institutional accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Programmatic accreditation: None found

Popular programs: Business, Computer Information Systems, Healthcare Administration, MBA, Media Arts and Technology

Location: Naperville, Illinois

Financial aid office contact: 1-866-338-7955

Penn State World Campus

Institutional accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Programmatic accreditation:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission)
  • American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • The Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
  • The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Popular programs: Business, Computer Information Technology, Education, Engineering, MBA

Location: University Park, Pennsylvania

Financial aid office contact:

Phone: 1-814-867-4244
Email: [email protected]

Purdue University Global

Institutional accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Programmatic accreditation: American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation

Popular programs: Business, Human Services, Health Sciences, Nursing, Psychology

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Financial aid office contact: 1-844-787-3834

Rush University

Institutional accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Programmatic accreditation:

  • American Occupational Therapy Association, Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  • Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Accreditation Commission
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Popular programs: Audiology, Health Systems Management, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Speech-Language Pathology

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Financial aid office contact:

Phone: 1-312-942-6256
Email: [email protected]

Strayer University

Institutional accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Programmatic accreditation: None found

Popular programs: Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Health Services, Information Technology

Location: Herndon, Virginia

Financial aid office contact: 1-866-314-3547

University of Florida Online

Institutional accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Programmatic accreditation:

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education
  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation
  • American Occupational Therapy Association, Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
  • American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
  • American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • The Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
  • The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology

Popular programs: Business Administration, Education, Engineering, MBA, Nursing

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Financial aid office contact:

Phone: 352-294-3290
Email: [email protected]

University of Phoenix

Institutional accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Programmatic accreditation: None found

Popular programs: Behavioral Sciences, Business, Healthcare, Nursing, Technology

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Financial aid office contact: 1-844-937-8679

Online schools that don’t accept FAFSA

The FTC and other government agencies are actively on the lookout for “diploma mills”. Consequently, they will shut down schools that violate federal law.

But not all schools that lack accreditation fall into this category. Here are a few online programs that are popular but aren’t accredited. Therefore, they don’t accept the FAFSA.

  • Ashworth College
  • Atlantic International University
  • Columbus University
  • Hill University
  • Penn Foster

Depending on career choice, online learners may still feel that a non-accredited school is the right choice. But you’ll want to make sure that you’ll be able to cover the cost of enrollment without federal financial aid assistance.

Additionally, keep in mind that some career paths and licensing programs will require degrees and coursework from accredited institutions.

How to find FAFSA-approved online colleges

Schools must meet a variety of eligibility requirements to qualify to receive financial aid. For example, one of those financial aid eligibility requirements is accreditation by an independent agency that’s approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

The accreditation requirement is meant to ensure that all FAFSA-approved schools meet certain minimum academic standards. Unfortunately, some online colleges are “diploma mills” that require little work (or none at all) to earn a “degree”. So, the federal government ultimately does this to protect students from predatory degree programs.

Although the lack of accreditation doesn’t necessarily mean that a school offers an inferior education, it could mean that you won’t be able to access federal financial aid.

Schools that participate in federal student aid programs are called “Title IV schools.” There are about 6,000 Title IV schools in existence today. To see the full list in an Excel format, you visit StudentAdi.gov. You can also compare schools at the Department of Education’s College Navigator tool.

Finally, the Department of Education provides a Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP). Therefore, you can search for each online college by name to see the accreditation (if any) that it currently holds.

How to apply for federal financial aid for online schools that accept FAFSA

Once you’ve found a FAFSA-approved online college, you’ll follow the same steps to apply for financial aid as you would with a traditional school. Those steps are outlined below:

1. Create your FSA ID

An FSA ID is a username and password combination that you’ll use to eSign your FAFSA form. Later in the process, you can use your FSA ID to login to the myStudentAid app. Additionally, you can check your financial aid processing status, sign student loan documents, and more.

You can wait until you’re filling out your FAFSA to create your FSA ID or you can get it ahead of time. However, if you already have an FSA, you can go right into submitting your FAFSA form on the myStudentAid mobile app or on MyStudentaid.gov.

2. Provide your personal information

Here are a few pieces of information that StudenAid.gov says you’ll need as you’re completing the FAFSA application process:

  • Social Security number
  • Parents’ Social Security numbers (if you’re a dependent)
  • Driver’s license number (if you have one)
  • Alien Registration number (for non-citizens)
  • Federal tax information (tax returns, W-2s)
  • Records of untaxed income
  • List of cash assets

Also, it’s important that you keep these records somewhere safe even after you’ve finished submitting your FAFSA as you might be asked to provide them again in the future.

3. List your college(s)

Next, you’ll need to provide at least one school that’ll receive your FAFSA information after it’s been processed. Again, you can use the Federal School Code Search to find traditional or online colleges that participate in Title IV federal student aid programs.

Although only one school is required, you can list up to 10 colleges in any order. To clarify, none of the schools can see the other institutions on your list.

4. Sign and submit your FAFSA form

It’s important that you sign your FAFSA with your FSA ID for the fastest processing. Also, if you’re providing information for your parents on your form, one parent will need to sign the form as well.

The Financial Aid office strongly recommends that you sign your FAFSA online, but you can also print out the signature page, hand-sign it, and mail it to the address listed on the page. Learn more about how to print and mail signature pages.

5. Review and accept your financial aid offer

After your FAFSA has been processed, you’ll receive a financial assistance offer that details the school’s expected cost of attendance. Additionally, it’ll include the various financial aid that’s available to you. After accepting the aid that you want, the financial aid office will apply it to the amount that you owe at your chosen school.

Remember, to get financial aid each year you’ll need to fill out a new FAFSA each academic year. Also, be sure to submit your FAFSA form by the deadline, which is June 30th of the award year.

Related: Learn how to apply for student loans with FAFSA

Other financial aid options for online college students

The FAFSA can help you gain access to federal Direct Loans and other aid based on financial need (e.g. Pell grants which are essentially free money). But you’ll want to make sure to explore other types of financial aid programs for your online education as well, such as scholarships and grants.

For instance, there are several scholarship search sites that’ll consider your degree path, location, ethnicity and more to help you find scholarships that fit you best for online learning.

Learn.org also offers three $500 scholarships that are specifically meant to assist online students, including the Online Associate’s Degree Scholarship, Online Bachelor’s Degree Scholarship and Online Master’s Degree Scholarship.

To find more scholarship and grant programs that could make the cost of your online courses even more affordable, talk to your school’s financial aid counselor. However, if it turns out that you’ll have to take out some loans to pay for college costs, be sure to check out our guide to pre-planning student debt.





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous post Average Student Loan Debt & Statistics (2021)
Next post Navient Student Loans: Updates on the Former Servicer