Many students find they would not be able to afford to further their education without the benefit of financial aid.
Fortunately, financial aid is available to all students attending accredited educational programs that have demonstrated the financial need for it. The federal government backs the most common financial aid programs in the United States.
In fact, the federal government limits its financial aid assistance to only the educational facilities that meet the accreditation standards established by the appropriate governing bodies.
Education is an expensive endeavor and it's critically important to invest one's time and money in the best education possible. There are thousands of schools from which to choose and the matter of deciding can seem rather daunting at times.
If financial aid is needed, the perspective student should check with his or her state government's education agency to verify accreditation status of any institutes of higher learning under consideration. Schools must be issued a business license to operate, too, so a check with the state's business licensing entity might be wise, too.
Many online schools offer financial aid programs, even when they are not affiliated with a traditional school environment. Many traditional schools now offer classes online in addition to their regular classroom studies.
Other online schools were established as internet-only schools and may of them, too, offer financial aid to their students. While most people simply understand the accreditation status of the more traditional campus-based school, many people don't understand the accreditation process of online schools.
All online schools that offer financial aid through the federal government are certified by exactly the same regulatory agencies as the more traditional brick-and-mortar schools. The online schools must meet or exceed the same standards as the traditional school.
The federal government will not fund or guarantee financial aid payments to students attending schools that fail to meet appropriate standards, whether the learning experience is achieved online or off.
Financial aid programs meted out from unaccredited schools can be a very risky gamble. These schools set their own rates of interest, repayment schedules, penalties, and fees. Lack of compliance on the student's part can result in financial devastation.
In addition to the potential for trouble where the financial aid issue is concerned, an unaccredited school may not deliver the same high standards of education as an accredited school would, even when their curriculum seems similar. Training materials, class and laboratory areas, and the instructors themselves may be of inferior quality.
The pay-off of an admirable education is one that will last a lifetime and, for many of us, financial aid is the only means of funding the education. Before signing any contracts, however, it is a wise investment of time to investigate the school offering the aid.
And remember, only a school with proper accreditation status is eligible to offer financial aid backed the by the federal government.