Online Colleges That Accept Financial Aid


Are you wondering what financial aid is all about and how it works? Are you seeking information on the online colleges that accept financial aid? Then, it’s good you are here. 

In this article, we will be discussing what financial aid is all about, how it works and how you can go about it. We will also be showing you the online colleges that accept financial aid with links to their websites so you can check for specific information about them.

So, keep reading!

Meaning of Financial Aid and How It Works

Any college money that does not come from family, personal savings, or work is referred to as financial aid. This includes grants, scholarships, work-study programs, and federal or private loans. Most higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, accommodation, feeding, and other educational supplies can be covered with financial aid.

Financial aid can come from several places. Federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, community organizations, foundations, companies, and others may fall are sources of financial aid. The amount of financial aid you get will be determined by the rules established by numerous sources, as well as federal, state, and institutional policies.

Bear in mind that a student must first apply for federal financial aid by completing a series of questions designed to determine his or her ability to pay for college. The student then has the option of accepting or rejecting the aid offered depending on the application. The nature of assistance provided would determine whether it must be returned. To be considered for scholarships or private aid, a student may need to submit additional applications.

Applying for Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA, is the first step. Many state agencies and schools use this application to determine college aid. The FAFSA can be found on the website of the United States Department of Education.

To determine how to distribute their funds, some schools – usually private universities – employ a supplemental form called the College Scholarship Service Profile, or CSS Profile. This application is more thorough than the FAFSA and can take longer to complete. You can find a list of schools that require the CSS Profile on the website of the College Board. 

Keep in mind that the CSS Profile will look into your family’s finances far more thoroughly than the FAFSA. The CSS Profile, for example, considers assets that aren’t included in the FAFSA. To name a few differences, it considers the value of a family’s home, a small business among others. 

Different Categories of Financial Aid

Need-based and merit-based financial aid are the two primary types of financial aid. In simple terms,  need-based aid is delivered based on an assessment of your financial capacity to pay for education. Merit-based aid is given to students who have shown remarkable talent or ability in academics, athletics, music, or other fields.

Whether you must repay financial aid depends on the type of assistance you receive. For instance, Most scholarships and grants,  do not need to be repaid. On the other hand, the majority of loans do.

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid usually comes in one of the following ways, whether need-based or merit-based, federal or private. These ways include:

1. Grants 

A grant is money that does not have to be repaid (except when you fail to live up to the terms of the grant, such as by leaving school). Grants may be awarded by federal or state governments, schools, or private or nonprofit groups. The majority of grants are based on financial needs, but merit-based grants are also available.

2. Scholarships

Scholarships, like grants, are awards that do not need to be repaid unless you fail to meet the criteria of the award. Scholarships can also come from the federal or state government, institutions, or private or nonprofit groups, just like grants.

Scholarships are typically merit-based, though some are need-based or take both merits and needs into account. Some scholarships are targeted at specific groups, such as women, minorities, and military-connected students. 

3. Work-Study and Non-Work-Study

Work-study usually refers to federal work-study, which is a program that allows you to work part-time on or off-campus while attending school. You can only get federal work-study if you can show that you have a financial necessity. Mere qualifying does not imply that you will be hired.

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You must apply, be interviewed, and be hired. Depending on when you apply, your financial need, and the school’s available financing, you will earn at least the federal minimum wage (more for higher-skilled positions).

Non-work study jobs are also offered at several schools and institutions. These positions are not government-sponsored, pay varies, and money is provided by the department that is hiring.

4. Student Loans (Federal and Private)

Federal student loans are government-backed loans with features that most private loans lack (for example, set interest rates and income-based repayment schedules). There are four types of federal loans available under the Federal Direct Loan Program:

  • Direct subsidized loans are available to qualifying undergraduate students who have proven financial need.
  • Direct unsubsidized loans, not based on need, for eligible graduate or undergraduate students.
  • Direct PLUS loans are accessible to graduates or professional students as well as parents of dependent undergraduate students. They are not based on need, but they do require a credit check.
  • Loans that allow you to consolidate all of your qualified federal student loans into a single loan.

Banks, credit unions, and other state-based entities provide private student loans. These loans have lender-imposed terms and conditions and are usually (but not always) more expensive than government student loans.

Private loan rates, unlike most federal loans, are determined by your credit score, and lenders may give you a variable interest rate (instead of a fixed one). While you are still in school, you may be obliged to begin repaying your private loan. Federal loans allow you to postpone repayment until after you graduate or leave school.

Awarding  Financial Aid

The majority of the processes of seeking financial help are handled at the university or college level. While there are many similarities in the ways universities offer aid, each institution has its method in terms of open dates, deadlines, protocols, and the actual awarding process.

When reading your financial award letter, it’s especially crucial to know the distinctions between scholarships, grants, and loans (These have been discussed already ). Some institutions, for example, claim to pay 100% of your financial aid needs, although this includes student loans.

Others combine financial aid with no debt, and some even enhance your financial aid package year after year to keep up with tuition increases. It’s beneficial to be aware of not only what you’ll receive but also how it will be packaged. The ability of you and your family to pay for college—that is, your expected family contribution—is an important aspect of the financial assistance awarding process (EFC).

All universities to which you applied via your FAFSA or CSS Profile will send you a financial aid award letter at some point. The timing of the letter depends on the school, but you should expect it to arrive around the same time as your acceptance letter from that institution.

The amount of financial help available can range from nothing to the entire cost of attending college. It will be divided into three categories: unrestricted funds, earned funds (via work-study or non-work-study), and borrowed funds (either from federal or private student loans).

Online Colleges That Accept Financial Aid 

Below are the best online colleges that accept financial aid, they include;

1. St. John’s University

St. John’s University, founded in 1870 by the Vincentian Community and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, provides a comprehensive choice of online graduate degree programs. SJU’s online courses deliver the same high-quality education as on-campus courses and are taught by the university’s qualified staff.

The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) at St. John’s University is responsible for federal, state, and university aid, as well as a few privately funded scholarships. More than 96 per cent of St. John’s students receive financial aid in some form. The Office of Student Financial Services at St. John’s provides a  FAFSA checklist to assist students and their families in properly completing their FAFSA.

2. Lewis University

Lewis University, founded in 1932, is a Catholic university with around 7,000 traditional and adult students with degree programs that are flexible, market-relevant, and practical for their future jobs.

Students enrolled in a full-time online degree program obtain an IBM laptop as well as access to several student services such as financial aid management, technical support, library materials, career guidance, counselling resources, online tutoring, campus ministry information, and more.

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Lewis University has numerous campus sites and online degree programs to accommodate an expanding student body. Students who study online are assigned a personal Student Services Coordinator who will assist them during their time at Lewis University.

For those who qualify, loans are available, and candidates are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA. About 97 per cent of Lewis students receive financial aid

3. Seton Hall University

Seton Hall, founded in 1856 and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is one of the country’s major Catholic universities. SHU, which has almost 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, provides over 90 challenging programs that are nationally recognized for academic brilliance and educational value.

Seton Hall’s online learning programs are backed up by a comprehensive set of student services, including online registration, counselling, financial aid, library resources, campus ministry, and career services. They provide the same high-quality training, cover the same topics, and are taught by the school’s award-winning staff.

Additionally, teachers who teach online receive additional training for effective online instruction to ensure that students have the greatest possible educational experience.

About 98 per cent of Seton Hall students receive financial aid. Seton Hall awards nearly $96 million in financial help to students each year. Approximately 97 per cent of students get financial aid from the university in the form of scholarships or grants.

4. Benedictine University

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC), the Illinois State Board of Education, and the American Dietetic Association’s Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education all accredit this college.

Benedictine University’s School of Graduate, Adult, and Professional Education, which was founded in 1887 and has a strong Catholic legacy, offers students the information, skills, and creative problem-solving abilities required in today’s business.

Fully online, flexible on-campus, and hybrid learning are available for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in a variety of areas, including business, education, and health care.

At Benedictine University, grants and scholarships are awarded to 99 per cent of full-time, first-year undergraduate students. A student’s eligibility for Benedictine University Institutional Funding, in addition to their scholarship and federal aid eligibility, will be reviewed during the financial aid process. 79 per cent of full-time undergraduate students receive financial aid depending on their financial needs.

5. Bradley University

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Bradley University, a private, non-profit university founded in 1897, provides over 185 academic programs, including six innovative online graduate degree programs in nursing and counselling. 

Bradley has transformed its approach to graduate education in response to students’ demands for flexibility and affordability and now provides distance learners with a cutting-edge format as well as a rich culture of collaboration, support, and shared values.

The Office of Financial Assistance at Bradley works with students and their families to help them budget for their Bradley experiences. FAFSA, scholarships offered directly by the institution, and work-study programs are all options for financial aid. More than 90% of Bradley University students receive some type of financial aid.

6. Our Lady of the Lake University

Our Lady of the Lake University is a Catholic, private university having primary campuses in San Antonio and Houston, as well as other campuses in the Rio Grande Valley. The institution offers more than 60 high-quality, student-centered bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs. LLU has over 60 undergraduate majors and minors to choose from.

Our Lady of the Lake University is dedicated to ensuring that all families can afford a high-quality private education. About 75%  of Our Lady of the Lake learners receive federal loans. Through a simple link on the OLLU website, students can apply for FAFSA.

7. Concordia University

Concordia University-Portland is a private Christian liberal arts university that welcomes students of all faiths. The College of Education, the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Management, and the School of Law all offer undergraduate majors with concentrations in more than 20 fields, and the College of Education, the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Management, and the School of Law all offer post-graduate degrees.

Concordia University provides a variety of fully online degree programs that are just as challenging and thorough as those offered on campus. The university encourages students to develop the spirit of harmony and teamwork.

Concordia-Portland offers several scholarships, grants, and awards to help students afford a high-quality liberal arts education. Financial advisers at the school go all out to design individualized programs to assist students in achieving their goals. Financial aid is provided to 97 per cent of students.

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8. Utica College

Syracuse University founded this recognized private comprehensive institution in 1946, and it became independently accredited in 1995. UC provides 38 undergraduate majors and 31 minors leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Utica is dedicated to the idea that successful learning can happen anywhere, at any time, and its online programs deliver the same high-quality education offered in traditional classrooms in a manner that caters to students’ changing requirements.

Financial aid is provided to more than 90% of students. The Office of Student Financial Services works directly with each student to ensure that they have the best possible access to a variety of scholarships, grants, student loans, and other types of financial aid.

9. Anna Maria College

The Sisters of Saint Anne created Anna Maria College in 1946 as a private, non-profit Catholic liberal arts university. AMC’s programs combine liberal arts and sciences education with professional preparation, reflecting the Sisters of Saint Anne’s traditions of respect for liberal arts and sciences education.

AMC provides a variety of 100% online undergraduate and graduate programs in addition to the many undergraduate and graduate programs and courses offered at its Paxton, Massachusetts location. Students who enrol in online programs obtain the same respected degree as those who enrol in on-campus programs, but they do so virtually through AMC’s learning management system.

Online students also have access to 24/7 tech support, writing assistance through the Student Success Center, and mentoring from a dedicated Student Services Coordinator.

Financial aid is received by over 98 per cent of full-time undergraduate students. Scholarships are available for $17,500 to $22,500. The Anna Maria website has a simple FAFSA application gateway.

10. Lasell College

Lasell is a private, coeducational institution that offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees through online, hybrid, and on-campus courses and is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Experts in various disciplines who are also educators prepare and equip students for real-world success.

Graduate programs are flexible and convenient, allowing students to access academic guidance, internship support, networking events, and library resources over the Internet whenever they need them.

98 per cent of undergraduate students receive financial aid in the form of grants or scholarships. A total of 80% of students obtain federal student loans. Students can apply for student loan resources by filling out the FAFSA form.

Frequently Asked Questions on Online Colleges that Accept Financial Aid 

  1. How is financial assistance calculated?
  2. FAFSA aid is determined by several factors. These factors include a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the Cost of Attendance (COA) in general. The amount of need-based aid a student is eligible for is determined by subtracting their EFC from their COA. The COA is then reduced from any financial help already received to identify non-need-based funding.
  3. When will I receive a letter confirming my financial aid award?
  4. Financial aid award letters normally appear in the early spring in the mailboxes of college-bound students, usually after or at the same time as a college acceptance offer.
  5. When do students begin repaying their financial aid?
  6. When a student must start repaying financial aid is determined by the type of loan taken out. After leaving or graduating from college, or dropping below half-time enrollment, some federal student loans grant students a six-month grace period before repayment begins.


In conclusion, we hope we have helped you in your search for online colleges that accept financial aid. You should check out the websites of these schools to get more specific information. 

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