One of the best ways to pay for school is through scholarships for online degrees. If you are an absolutely exceptional high school student it is possible that a scholarship will find you. It's true; students who get fantastic high school grades or who excel in sports can actually be solicited by schools who want such great talent to come to their campus.
I had a close friend in college who lived in the Virgin Islands. She was a straight "A" student throughout high school. One day she received a letter from some school in the far northern United States that she had never heard of, offering her free tuition for four years. Most people, however, are not so lucky; they actually have to go looking for potential scholarships. If you are among these masses who actually have to do some work to find a scholarship on their own, a scholarship can still be a great way to supplement the cost of an online degree. Remember the following four tips for finding scholarships for online degrees:
Tip #1: Ask Your School's Financial Aid Department
Your first step in finding scholarships for online degrees should be to ask your school's financial aid department. Some schools actually have their own scholarships that they give. For example, a friend of mine attended the University of Alaska and when she applied to the geological engineering department they awarded her a $400 scholarship because she had a 3.2 grade point average and was coming from the lower 48 states. Your school's financial aid department will also know about other major scholarships and will probably be able to give you applications for them.
Tip #2: Ask Your Family
Ask other family members who went to college (siblings, cousins) if they know of any scholarships, perhaps that they applied for. Also, ask older family members if their employer or organizations offer scholarships. For example, I received $200 my first semester from a scholarship fund run by my Grandfather's retired firefighters association. $200 may not sound like much, but if you get a few hundred here and a few hundred there it can add up. And you are welcome to try and get various scholarships - you are not limited to just one.
Tip #3: Search the Web
As you likely know, the Internet is a wealth of information on almost everything. There are many great sites that let you search for scholarships through their database. Use these, but do not get lazy - not everything is listed on these sites. Search the net yourself trying to find more obscure scholarships that may be advertised on the websites of various associations or organizations.
Tip #4: Make Your Application Shine
Finding scholarships for online degrees is just the first step; after you find them, you have to win them. Once you find a few scholarships that you want to apply for make your application stand out from the crowd. Give them every reason to give YOU the scholarship by really selling yourself. Refer to our article, "How to Fill Out Your Scholarship for Online Degree Application" for specifics about filling out your scholarship application.
Or, have you found an interesting scholarship that you do not qualify for but want to share with others? Post in our online forum.