If you are looking to go back to school and get your education online, you may wonder how you are going to pay tuition. Whether online or at a traditional institution, an education comes with tuition and other costs that you will need to pay for. Fortunately there are a variety of options to help pay for your education.
Many employers offer tuition assistance to employees looking to continue their education or training. This can be in the form of grants or tuition reimbursement. The amount of tuition assistance the employers offer varies and can sometimes depend on whether the education or training you are seeking is directly related to your job. Talk to your Human Resources department to find out if your employer offers tuition assistance and what the details are.
Professional returning students may be able to borrow against their 401k or other retirement fund to pay for tuition. Contact your Human Resources department or the company that manages your 401k to find out if this is possible and under what terms and conditions it can be done. In some cases you may to be facing layoff or have been unable to find a job in your current occupation. But borrowing from your retirement fund is a good option if it is available, as your income increase once you are done with school should permit you to pay it back and start making larger contributions.
Contractual Tuition Assistance
For some professions like nursing, hospitals and other health care employers may offer to pay all or part of a student’s tuition in exchange for their promise to work for them for a specified period of times, sometimes at a lower rate of pay than normal. Some states and municipalities offer deals like this for employment fields like teaching. If you decide to take a deal like this, understand that it comes with contractual obligations and be sure to read and understand any contract completely before signing.
Traditional Financial Aid
Sometimes adults assume they are not qualified for student financial aid due to their age or income. Financial aid coming from the government has no age limitation, though some private student aid may have age limits. There are numerous student aid sources that do not discriminate based on age or income. Student financial aid may come from one or more the following sources:
Low interest loans
Federal Work Study
To apply for financial aid you must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it after January 1st and before March 1 in most states. FAFSA uses the previous year’s income to determine financial need, so you will have to use estimates for the income. FAFSA paperwork is available at local colleges and universities, or online at the FAFSA website. If you are curious about the internet possibilities with school, look into the internet options for getting an online education.