Online Education Scholarship

Earning a college degree has never been more essential to a working American, even when factoring in the high cost of college tuition and mounting student loan debt.

According to a New York Federal Reserve study released last June, individuals with a bachelor’s degree made an average of $1 million more in their lifetimes than those with just a high school diploma, and those with an associate degree made $325,000 more.

But if you’re already in the workforce or you’re busy raising a family, attending college classes outside of your work and home life can feel impossible. Thankfully, there are some fantastic online degree programs from reputable colleges and universities that can help you achieve your educational dreams, get your degree and maximize your earnings in the workforce. Not only that, many offer excellent scholarship opportunities that can help offset the cost of your tuition.

Pennsylvania State University—World Campus is ranked No. 1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of 2015 Best Online Bachelor's Programs and has impressive scholarship opportunities available to students. The Jane Ireland Student Fund, for instance, is a scholarship dedicated solely to Penn State World Campus undergraduate degree students. Though the deadline for the next round of scholarships has passed, make sure to check back in a few months for more information on how to apply.

In addition, Penn State World Campus offers an array of other scholarships for those pursuing their degrees online, including scholarships for first time or returning students, adult learners, part-time and full-time students and military students. The good news is only one application is required for all of these scholarships, with the next round of recipients being notified in April.

Central Michigan University is another highly ranked online degree program to explore, and offers a wide variety of majors to choose from. As a bonus, the university also offers a number of scholarships to students earning their degrees online through CMU’s Global Campus.

For example, the Global Campus Endowed Scholarship is available to students pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree, with preference given to single-parent or unemployed applicants. The Global Campus Staff and Faculty Award is similar, but preference is instead given to students admitted to or enrolled in their first semester. Though the scholarship application period for the 2014-2015 academic year is closed, keep an eye on the website so you don’t miss important scholarship information.

Colorado State University awards scholarships every trimester for both undergraduate and graduate students attending classes online.

These opportunities include scholarships for members of the military, parents and guardians, first-generation students and those pursuing associate degrees. Check out their website for more information on how and when to apply.

Many of you have likely heard of popular online degree programs offered through for-profit schools, such as the University of Phoenix and Capella University. If either of these institutions interest you, you’re in luck, as both schools offer scholarships to help offset tuition costs.

For example, the University of Phoenix, in collaboration with Year Up, offers the Year Up Scholarship: full-tuition scholarships that are awarded to five prospective students to attend the University of Phoenix, either in person or online.

The application period opens Jan. 20 and closes March 5, so now is the perfect time to learn more on the website. Capella University also offers some generous scholarships. Visit their website for more information.

Finally, don’t limit yourself to scholarships available strictly for online degree seekers. Many general scholarships and federal financial aid programs can be applied to tuition at accredited online institutions. You’re just as eligible for these opportunities as someone attending a traditional brick-and-mortar institution.

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