Archives for January 2012

Pros and Cons:Traditional vs. Online

You have many options in your education now-a-days. In addition to a degree choice, you have the decision between a ground campus and online degree College Student Reviews-Pro-Conprograms. There are pros and cons to each. Take some time to carefully prioritize what’s most important at this stage in your life. Here’s a general list designed to get you started. Of course, you should cater this list to your personal circumstances to decide what’s best for you. Whatever choice you make, Grantham University wishes you every success in meeting your educational goals.



  • Convenience: Do you have a full-time job? Are you an active member in the military? Do you have family members, including children, at home who you care for? Whatever the reason, not everyone can make time to sit in a lecture hall at 11 a.m. five days a week. If this sounds familiar, an online education would be ideal because of the flexible nature of classes offered. You complete your degree while balancing your work and family responsibilities.
  • Ability to Set Your Own Pace: Some online degree programs have frequent start dates – some even weekly. This allows you the opportunity to complete courses quickly.
  • Affordability: Not all online degrees are more affordable than traditional or community college rates, but some are. Enrolling in an online degree program ensures you don’t have to spend money on gas, parking or child care.
  • Cultural Diversity: Online students are in class with faculty members and students from around the globe.
  • Technology Benefits: Taking classes online and becoming familiar with modern technology will help you in your career. Been on a job interview lately? Employers will naturally like your professional demeanor and upbeat attitude, but a wide range of practical experience with computer software could set you apart from the competition.


  • Time management required: Sure, completing homework at your convenience and on your schedule is a nice perk of enrolling in an online course. But you still have to have the discipline to finish assignments with a deadline in place. If you work 40 hours a week, budgeting time for homework could present challenges.
  • Limited face-to-face interaction: You’ll still get to meet other students in an online setting, but it will typically be via chat rooms or class discussion threads. If you don’t mind independent learning (conversely, built-in support systems through discussion boards exist in many online settings) with limited live interaction, this won’t be a problem.
  • Natural technology problems: Sometimes, you don’t have any control over the situation, but a computer might experience an operation failure. A huge storm may knock out your Internet connection. Without the Internet, you cannot complete your online course work. Make sure you have a backup plan in the event of a power issue. It always seems to happen during the most inopportune time.



  • Networking opportunities: Naturally, you meet more people face-to-face while attending a traditional university. As a result, your contacts will grow, and your networking opportunities will increase. (Of course, for employers paying for tuition reimbursement, this may mean that your employees are networking with future employers.)
  • Experience new places: This holds greater significance for out-of-state students who are not familiar with their university’s town. For some students, experiencing a different part of the country (or the world) is a valuable part of going to school that assists in areas of maturity, diversity and social opportunity.
  • On-site facilities: Students who enroll in a traditional university have the opportunity to take advantage of the institution’s many facilities, including the student union, gym, and athletic stadium.


  • Strict scheduling: Sometimes enrolling in a specific course at a traditional university can present scheduling challenges, particularly for non-traditional students. If a desired course is only offered during the day, it’s difficult for working adults to set aside their full-time job just to sign up.
  • Affordability: Cost will vary, but admission into a traditional university, especially if it’s out of state, won’t come cheap.
  • Limited personal attention: This is particularly true in bigger state universities, where undergraduate lecture halls packed to the brim with 400-500 students is commonplace. One-on-one instruction doesn’t exist as much in these types of settings.

How Financial Aid Works

When going through the financial aid process, many students and parents often ask themselves, ‘How does financial aid work?’ The process depends on a number of factors, and its complexity can be overwhelming for families. The reality is that financial aid is a multi-dimensional process that uses different types of aid to put together a complete financial aid package. By understanding how this process works, students can give themselves an advantage when seeking financial assistance for college.

Everything Starts with the FAFSA

The main component of the financial aid process is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, better known as the FAFSA. This is the form that both the government and the selected school use to determine a student’s level of need. It is through this level of need that the government and schools decide how much they should award each student.

The FAFSA form usually consists of about 130 questions in total, asking questions about parent income and assets, as well as the student’s financial dependence on their parents. Parent income and assets are used to determine the expected parent contribution towards cost of attendance. Depending on how much the parents make, the expected contribution could range from nothing all the way to over half the cost of tuition. The factors determining these price ranges changes yearly as the standard of living fluctuates.

The student’s information from the FAFSA form is used in calculating the student’s contribution towards their education. This usually ranges between $2,800 and $5,000 judging from summer employment and previous savings.

Students who cannot meet this contribution will qualify for the federal work-study program, which provides students a job on campus to give them the money to meet their contribution.

The Types of Aid Available to Students

The different types of financial aid offered are federal grants, loans, and outside scholarships. The Pell Grant is an example of a federal grant that allows students to receive $5,500 that does not have to be paid back. The Perkins and Stafford Loans College Student Reviews paying-for-collegeoffer students loans at the fixed interest rates of 5% and 6.8% , respectively. These are much lower compared to the double digit adjustable interest rates offered on private loans.

In additional to federal aid options, students can receive financial aid from their selected institution. Schools also use the FAFSA form to determine a student’s level of need and award need-based scholarships accordingly. Most schools have scholarships sponsored by alumni specifically for extreme financial circumstances.

Schools also offered merit-based scholarships for athletics and academics. Students who are extremely intelligent or extremely talented in a sport often have most of their expenses paid for by schools in which their talent is in high demand.

Whilst the financial aid process can be complicated at first glance, it is important to know how it works in order to minimize the costs of college. Through the FAFSA form, students can qualify for the grants, loans, and scholarships that make attending college a reality.