Online education is a very popular area of interest these days. There are several reason why this subject has drawn so much attention but for good reason. As technology advances students are subjected to more effective means of obtaining education and retaining the information they learn. Online education has brought success to many people from all walks of life the only prerequisites is a computer, internet access, and a willingness to learn. College education is a field which includes financial aid, accelerated courses, online assignments and test, online books, daily requirements, and most of all graduation.
Getting money to pay for college is said to be one of the most frightening things a student experiences while contemplating college. Most students who attend college are using financial aid which is provided by the federal government yet there is a small percentage of students who pay out of pocket and an even smaller percentage students who pay for college expenses by grants and scholarships. All regionally accredited schools are approved to offer their students financial aid to pay for classes and resources like books and dorm expenses. A list of schools who accept financial aid as payment are listed on the department of education website.
Financial aid is a combination of three resources Pell Grant, Student Loans, and Scholarships. When a student fills out a financial aid packet from FAFSA website the application will be review to determine if the student is eligible for Pell Grant, Student Loans, and Scholarships; the student only needs to completely fill out and submit the form. After the student submits the online financial aid application the student will receive an email stating the student’s application status; when the student is approved the student will receive a letter of approval from the department of education.
Financial aid is not based off of credit nor is a credit report pulled when a student applies, the qualification for financial aid are based off of how old the student is, how much money the student makes per year, if the student is current on their taxes, and the students citizen status. The financial aid department of the student’s school will inform the student if the student is approved for financial aid and how much the student will be receiving. The student will be informed how much Pell grant, student loans, and scholarships the student is approved for per year; the student must reapply for financial aid each year. The student will have the option of accepting or rejecting the financial aid after the student has been approved for financial aid; for example, if the student is approved for Pell grant and student loans then the student can reject the student loans and keep the Pell grant to pay classes.
When the student has decided how much of the financial aid the student will use the financial aid department will total the cost of school per year and give the student the remainder of the financial aid; for example, if the student receives 10,000 for financial aid per year but the cost of school per year is only 4,000 the student receives the remaining 6,000 in the form of a check or a direct deposit depending on the institution. The excess money not used to pay for class can be used for living expenses or to purchase products/services which will support academics.
Online education is convenient yet successful because online institution are required by the department of education to challenge online students as equal to traditional students who attend a classroom. Two ways the students are being challenged online is by improving their memory and interactive skills by requiring the students to write papers weekly and interact with fellow classmates. The same process happens at a traditional brick and mortar college in the sense the students are required to attend class and participate in a lecture by listening to the lesson and commenting on the lesson in the form of a dialogue.
When a student attends class online the students repeats this same process daily by logging into the virtual classroom, reading the lesson of the day, and commenting on the lesson. At the end of the week the student is normally required to submit a 750-1000 word essay which amounts to about 3-5 pages worth of writing. Depending on the online institution, students are required to write one written assignment per week and also comment on 2-5 fellow student’s comments. The greatest thing about online is the convenience, the students are able to see when and what time they submitted their assignments and what remaining assignments they have left for the week. When the students assignments are graded the grades are posted in a visible area of the virtual classroom. Before each class starts the students are normally given electronic books which can be paid for by financial aid.
Within the past 3-5 years we have seen an enormous amount of online schools sprout up but how can a student be for sure they are attending the right school. when reviewing schools one should determine what school they would like to attend by evaluating what they want to do; for example, student A wants to be a lawyer so he chooses Harvard but student B wants to be a grant writer so the student choose an online school which offers certifications in grant writing. Regardless of what school what should be kept in mind which colleges are accredited. Accreditation is a fancy word for review colleges and their curriculum’s, the state department has appointed the department of education to review and approved commissioning bodies to review and qualify schools; a common commissioning body is The Higher Learning Commission.
A school’s quality, is based of the schools process of teaching and the content being taught to the students. Some schools do not have or have been stripped of their accreditation and a student should be cautions of attending those schools. The reason being if a student attends a non-accredited school but does not finish their degree but would like to transfer their earned credits to an accredited school the accredited school may not accept the credits from the non-accredited school. Many students have attending a non-accredited school and near completion have tried to transfer all of their credits to an accredited school and have disappointingly found they cannot.
Students who are using federal aid should be very mindful on what colleges are accredited because colleges which are not accredited will not be able to accept federal aid. In additional to federal aid helping students with yearly living expenses students are able to write off the interest paid on students loans on the taxes at the end of the year.