Online courses and degrees have been gaining momentum for years now. They enable students who may not have the flexibility or the right location to take courses and earn a diploma in a field – or at a specific institution – that interests them.
Further, more and more colleges and universities around the country are providing distance learning opportunities. Through this format, students are able to get their Master’s or MBA at a given institution without physically having to be in class. These distance learning degrees allow for flexibility for working individuals, single parents, or returning students.
What’s the difference between online learning and distance learning? That’s a great question. Online learning allows for students to attend class virtually, but in real-time, meaning they can engage with the professor and interact with one another during the course. Distance learning is done on your own time without others.
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Online learning has become especially popular, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students have opted to take courses online, rather than attend class in person. Others have decided to forego starting at their first choice college and take their general education courses online.
With that, students may have questions about scholarships for online learning; and at Fastweb, we’ve got the answers.
Are there online learning scholarships?
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The short answer: absolutely! Many scholarship committees do not necessarily have a preference on where you receive your degree. Rather, they want to be sure you’re receiving your degree or certification from an accredited program. That is their primary stipulation.
When applying for scholarships, it’s important to look at each scholarship provider’s requirements. Do they specify that you must attend a school in-person? If so, don’t waste your time applying for those types of scholarships.
If a scholarship provider doesn’t state exactly where or how you attend school, it’s best to email them and ask! Don’t ever assume that you cannot apply for a certain scholarship. Get clarification so that you don’t miss out on scholarship opportunities.
Just like physical colleges and universities have their own scholarship programs, so do online universities. To see online scholarships for your specific institution, visit their financial aid website.
Finally, Fastweb allows you to indicate on your student profile whether or not you intend to enroll in an online learning program. With that filter in place, you can easily find scholarships that are exclusively for students interested in online learning.
Are there distance learning scholarships?
As stated earlier, a distance learning program is generally affiliated with a physical institution. Because of this, students that are interested in distance learning can qualify for any scholarships with the school. There also may be distance learning-specific scholarships at that particular institution. Ask your financial aid officer or faculty advisor if they know about any opportunities for which you could qualify.
Fastweb also features scholarships that are specific to distance learning:
Distance Learning AA Degree Para-Educator Scholarship
Full-time students at William Penn University
The Distance Learning AA Degree Para-Educator Scholarship is open to full-time students who are accepted in to the Distance Learning-AA program at William Penn University who are employed as a Para-educator. Renewal necessitates that the student maintain a 2.70 cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester (all post-secondary and dual credit courses taken during high school with WPU will factor in to the cumulative GPA).
Our Fastweb Student Profile
also features a filter to search specifically for distance learning scholarships. Be sure you’re utilizing all of the tools here on Fastweb to maximize your scholarship matches.
Can I apply scholarships to online courses?
Are you taking a course to brush up on a foreign language or educate yourself more on art history? First off, that’s awesome. Second, it may limit your scholarship opportunities – but only somewhat.
Although there are not scholarships specifically for one-time courses, there are a plethora of scholarships out there with very general requirements (like our Quick and Easy Scholarships
). For instance, there may be a scholarship that requires you to simply be 16 or older. And that’s it!
Applying for scholarships for online courses will be a lesson in reading the fine print. If there is a scholarship opportunity that you would like to pursue, make sure you read all of the requirements on Fastweb. Then, click the “Apply Now” button on the Scholarship Detail page.
That will take you directly to the scholarship provider’s website. They may list more detailed requirements, like where or how the scholarship must be used. If you still can’t find anything specific – or if it appears that you can use the scholarship however you please – email the scholarship committee to ask!
An important rule in the scholarship search and application process is to always ask questions if you need a specific answer. Don’t assume anything. Assuming that you can apply for a scholarship, when you technically wouldn’t qualify, is a waste of your time. At the same time, assuming that you can’t apply for a scholarship because you don’t see a specific requirement may cause you to lose out on precious scholarship dollars.
In sum: when in doubt, ask questions – and get creative with your online scholarship search!
Online Learning Opportunities through Fastweb
Just like we match students to scholarships here at Fastweb, we also try to “match” our members to relevant online learning programs, if that’s their desire. To educate members on their options, we recently launched our Online Learning portal
Our Online Learning portal
features our trusted recommendations and analysis on a variety of online platforms. We’ve done the research on the best online learning programs out there, so you don’t have to.
Additionally, we’ve provided a handy comparison chart
. You can compare the top online learning platforms to see which one best suits your academic or professional needs.
Finally, we’ve compiled a list of trusted online learning sites
. With this feature, you can search for online learning programs by subject matter or cost. There, you will find anything and everything, from free courses to tuition-based online learning degrees.