Funding A College Degree
College affordability and feeling “overwhelmed” are two significant factors in determining whether a student attends college and is able to succeed. Two of the most common questions we receive are: "How can I pay for my degree?" and "How much will this cost?" Even students who have made the commitment to continue their education often struggle with paying for it. This is especially true since public colleges and universities have experienced such major cuts in state funding, which has led to spikes in tuition across the country, but there are strategies that students can use to help fund their education. Becoming informed about the different things available can be challenging, even for those of us who work in academia. This section is an attempt to provide some helpful strategies, and add new ones as we receive feedback from you.
One strategy, and probably the easiest to implement, is to share information in multiple ways through multiple outlets, including videos, infographics and articles distributed through YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, websites and email. Low on resources? FAFSA has pre-made content and resources that you can share directly on your site.
Federal Financial Aid
Students can review general eligibility requirements for federal financial aid on the Federal Student Aid website. Here are a few basics that may offer some encouragement:
- The first step for students is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even if the student you're assisting doubts their eligibility, they should apply. Approximately 90% of those who apply qualify for some form of aid. A step-by-step guide through the application process can be found here.
- Online courses (semester and non-semester based) are treated the same as face-to-face courses. Once the application is approved, students may elect to take web, on demand or face-to-face courses. Online courses through On Demand require students to complete the course within the semester of registration. Students must have an On Demand Agreement on file with financial aid. Additional information is available here.
The FAFSA application provides an opportunity for students to apply for certain federal scholarships; however, there are also private scholarships available that require a separate application process. Students can search for scholarships that fit their major, life situation, academic performance, professional goals, etc. through TopDollar, WKU's scholarship portal.
Additional information on WKU scholarships for military personnel, transfer students and others, is available by clicking here.
Additional Opportunities For Funding
Online students may also qualify for the following:
- Local grants
- Credit By Exam (CLEP),which has free test prep materials available through the College Board
- Tuition assistance through the military
- Employer tuition assistance
Helpful Resources For Your Students
- Accepting your Award
- WKU Student Financial Assistance | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 270-745-2755
- Guide to Financial Aid
- FAFSA Worksheets, Tips and Pointers
- Student Aid: Types, who qualifies and how to apply
- Scholarships: How to find them, how to apply, and types of scholarships:
- WKU Online's article on the importance of filing FAFSA early to reduce long-term debt
Do you have resources you'd like to share?
Please send them to email@example.com. We will be happy to include them here, and use them to help others. All contributions will be credited.
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