Financial Aid: Is Money Available for Online School?

online school piggybank

There are a lot of benefits to getting an education online: studying from home, working at your own pace, saving money on gas and parking, and saving time by not having to commute to campus. And if you've got a lot of other responsibilities, like a job or family that clamor for your time, an online school can be a lifesaver. Online schools have become a reputable, convenient way to start— or renew— your career.

But it still costs money to get a degree or certification. Everyone knows that financial aid is available to students who attend traditional schools. But is there money for students who attend an online school?

See how much you know about financial aid for online school by taking this true/false quiz. You may be surprised at the financial aid choices you'll have for your education.

There are fewer financial aid options available for online schools than traditional schools.

False. Though this is a common belief, the truth is that both provide similar financial aid packages.

Attending an accredited school opens the door to more financial aid options.

True. Accreditation is an important consideration for both online and campus schools, opening the way for federal loan and grant eligibility. Always check for accreditation when researching schools.

In order to apply for financial aid, you must be enrolled half- or full-time in an online school.

True. This applies to both traditional and online schools.

The 50/50 Rule still exists, which restricts financial aid for online students.

False. The 50/50 Rule was passed in 1992 to combat fraudulent online courses. It stipulated that colleges must teach at least half of their students at a physical campus in order to be eligible for federal money. However, the 50/50 Rule was lifted in 2006 because of the rise in the number of accredited online schools. Now online students have equal opportunity for federal financial aid.

The U.S. government doesn't offer financial aid for online schools.

False. You can apply for any number of loans, grants or tax credits courtesy of Uncle Sam. These include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Stafford Loans, PLUS and Grad PLUS loans, the Hope Scholarship Tax Credit and the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. To be eligible, students need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Veterans and their families aren't eligible for education benefits if they choose an online school for their education.

False. There are many education benefits available to military families, including the Reserve Educational Assistance program (REAP) and the Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance Program (DEA).Whether you choose an online school or a campus school, funds are available for military families.

Employers will honor employee tuition programs for online school students.

True. If your company hosts an employer tuition assistance or reimbursement program, they may help pay the bill if your degree or classes relate to your job. Be sure to check with your company to see if they will help pay for your education; advancing your education is a win-win for both you and your company.

College grants for online school do not have to be repaid.

True. Unlike loans, financial aid grants—such as the Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the Academic Competitiveness Grant—do not have to be repaid.

This is all good news for students who are looking to online schools for their education. Financial aid is definitely available to help finance your educational investment into your future.