The online psychology degree is now a viable way to get experience and education in the field of psychology. Since the price tag of online degrees is comparable to that of in person degrees, some students wonder how to pay for these degree programs. Fortunately, there are several options for financing an online psychology degree.
Cost of an Online Psychology Degree
The cost of an online psychology degree obviously varies based on the quality of the school and the number of credit hours required to complete the degree. The average cost per credit is around $300-$400.
Over the course of the 40 or more credits that it generally takes to complete a degree, these costs can add up. This leaves most students looking for ways to finance their studies, including loans and financial aid.
Financial Aid for Online Degree Programs
Financial aid for online students is not as straight forward as it is for regular students. Some colleges do offer financial aid based on need, merit, or enrollment into a high needs area. However, since many of these schools are state schools, most traditional financial aid is available to residents of the state where the school is located. Online courses do make it possible for students around the country to enroll, but they also take away one of the best links to financial aid. Instead, many students turn to loans and other financing options.
Ways to Pay for an Online Psychology Degree
One option for students is to pay for school out of pocket. This can be done with savings or with current work earnings. For this reason, many online students choose to go to school part time while they hold down full time jobs.
Another option is to get outside aid. The FAFSA should be filled out by every student who has financial need. This is a government form that determines a student’s eligibility for government financial aid. Grants from schools are sometimes also possible, as are grants from outside sources. Every student should also scour the internet for scholarships related to them. Scholarships can come from many sources, and they are offered to students from unique ethnic backgrounds, those with interesting and exceptional research or career ideas, and those with specific regional backgrounds.
Finally, most students need to consider taking out loans to cover the cost of education. The best type of loans to get are Stafford loans. These don’t incur interest while the student is in school. Student loans from private companies can also be a great option, though they tend to have higher interest rates than federal loans. Some students will have to take out personal loans in order to cover their expenses. These loans are the least ideal, since they begin to accrue interest even while the student is still in school. For certain types of loans, membership in a program like the Peace Corp can defer or cancel student loans.
The many options available for financing and online psychology degree mean that students don’t need to consider cost as the main factor in deciding whether or not to study online. Although the support for online students is not as comprehensive as the support for regular university students, there are some resources that help students plan their financial track. Online psychology students should search thoroughly for scholarship opportunities and look for school or government funding and loans before relying on other options. Online psychology degrees are certainly manageable with a little bit of financial planning.