05.28.10 | Going to Grad School Online? Get a Grad PLUS Loan!

Posted in Graduate Loans, Online Degree by Student Loan Network Staff

If you don’t have the time to attend a traditional graduate school, you might be looking into getting an online graduate degree.

One question we get quite a bit in our financial aid forums concerns financial aid for an online school. Because online graduate degrees are offered at many institutions that accept federal financial aid, you will most likely be able to use a graduate PLUS loan to pay for your tuition.

The GradPLUS Loan allows graduate students to borrow the total cost for their graduate school needs. You don’t need a co-signer and can defer the payments until after graduation. It also generally carries a lower rate of interest than a private loan.  If you’ve been looking for a cost-effective way to get a graduate degree, here you go.

11.04.09 | Grad School: Making The Tough Decisions

Posted in Graduate Loans, Online Degree, Private Student Loans by Student Loan Network Staff

Grad School FairSo you are a senior and college and you have decided that you are definitely going to go to grad school next year. The job market is tough and you figure with a little bit more education you can get into your field of choice and increase your earning potential. You know that between the Graduate Stafford loan, Graduate PlUS loan and alternative student loans you will be able to pay for tuition, books and any other living expenses. Now comes the hard part; deciding which school and program to enroll in.

The first decision you need to make is whether you want to pursue a traditional graduate degree or an online degree. If an online degree is something the piques your interest Edvisors.com can help you learn more about this possibility and connect you with the best online schools and programs. If you decide to go the more traditional route GraduateCenter.com can help you explore your options and search for the perfect school.

Another great resource is the school you are attending now for your undergraduate degree. Many schools host graduate school fairs or graduate school information sessions. Your school’s career services office can also help you greatly in your decision.

Choosing a graduate school program is an extremely important decision and it should not be taken lightly. When making your decision you should consider the cost of attendance, cost of living, length of the program, whether or not you will be able to work while you are in school, and admission requirements. Remember that this decision will greatly impact your future career so make sure you choose a program you are going to enjoy.

06.08.09 | Midnight Classes Coming this Fall

Posted in Online Degree by Student Loan Network Staff

One, Two, Three O’clock, Four O’clock rock,

Five, Six, Seven O’clock, Eight O’clock rock

Nine, Ten, Eleven O’clock, Twelve O’clock rock

We’re gonna rock around the community college tonight!

The expression ‘burning the midnight oil’ is one the staffers at Bunker Hill Community College have taken quite literally.

According to the Boston Business Journal administrators at the college, straining to fit the influx of students entering Bunker Hill, are implementing a late-shift this fall where the start of class will be at 11:30pm with an end time of around 2am. I hope they allow students to bring their Starbucks and Pepsi’s into the classroom. That is a long night indeed.

You may want to inquire with your school to see if “midnight courses” are on the agenda for the future. Midnight classes are perfect for those working a second shift, or those like my brother who go to bed at 3:30am normally.

Between flexible class times and online education options school is more accessible than ever before. Where will you be when the clock strikes twelve?

05.26.09 | What if my computer crashes during my online exam?

Posted in Online Degree by Student Loan Network Staff

This actually happened to me during my principles of math class last summer. My computer froze up 15 minutes into a 90 minute timed exam.

There was a test each Monday (5 total) and you could take the exam anytime during the week leading up to that Monday if you wished. The first three tests went well. I had no computer issues and scored an 86% or better on each, but my luck ran out with number four.

I eventually had to shutdown and reboot the computer which lost me over 15 minutes of valuable test time. When I logged back into the test the clock was still running and I was still on question number 8. Not knowing how this was going to work I just plugged away and did my best the rest of the way. I ended up scoring a 72%. After which I emailed the professor to explain to him what had happened.

He verified on his end that there was about a 17 minute lapse time between my question 7 and 8 answers. He then gave me one of three options.

  1. Keep the 72%
  2. Take a backup exam which had 20 questions opposed to his normal 50 question exam.
  3. Take the 5th test and if I scored an 89% or better, which was my average, than the 72% would become an 89%. If I score less than an 89% the 72% would stay.

I was kinda hoping he would let me start on question 8 with 75 minutes to go, but no such luck.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that you have an online professor who is there to help you, and chances are you will not be the first person to encounter such an problem. As great as technology is, it is not without a virus or two to frustrate us from time to time. You may also want to check your course syllabus as many professors will list the proticol right there.

By the way, I went with option 3 and score a 95% on test number 5. That’s right, I rolled the dice and it paid off. Next stop Vegas.

05.15.09 | Financing Your Online Degree

Online education has undergone a metamorphoses in recent years, not unlike the ugly caterpillar that blossoms into a beautiful butterfly. The concerns once raised by skeptics centering around the validity and relevance of an online degree in the marketplace have since been quelled. Questions now tend to focused on payment options. I think you may be surprised to learn just how easy it is to finance your online education.

Many online schools participate in the Federal Student Aid grant and loan programs, just the same as any certified ground campus you may attend. That means for schools such as the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, American Intercontinental University, Argosy University, Walden University, Keiser University, Capella University, Everest University, and Grand Canyon University, just to name a few, federal loans are at your disposal. They are all Title IV certified schools that offer federal aid to their students.

To qualify for federal aid you simply complete your FAFSA and list the school or schools (up to four) that you are interested in attending. The school(s) will then receive a copy of your student aid report from the Department of Education which they use to determine your federal aid eligibility. But for those who do not qualify for federal aid, or don’t qualify for enough, private loans are also available to you.

Private loans serve as a great supplement or alternative to federal loans. And with interest rates at historic lows there has literally never been a better time to borrow the funds needed to help cover the cost of tuition, books, and other direct educational needs.

It is also a good idea to sign-up for as many scholarships as possible. Here at the Student Loan Network we give away free scholarships every month ranging from $500 to $10,000 to eligible students. What students love most is that you don’t need to hold a certain GPA or submit an essay to qualify. If you attend a certified Title IV school located in the U.S. you are automatically qualified. Don’t miss out. To register (click here).

Follow your dreams and find the online degree program that’s right for you.


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05.12.09 | Online Classes, is Help Available?

Posted in Online Degree by Student Loan Network Staff

After reading the Top 5 Reasons Online Classes Rock Collette asked a great question. In fact, I thought so much of it I decided to write this blog figuring some others may have similar concerns about the type of help available to you when taking an online class.

Collette’s Question: I would love to take an online course but was wondering:, can you still get help in these type of courses? In most of my classes I work with other students to help learn the material. Without an actual “classroom” is there another way to still get that type of help?

Answer: YES. There are a few notable ways to get the help you need when taking Online classes.

Professor’s: Online classes have an actual professor who is available to students. Some professor’s set a day during the week aside to answer student queries, like say each Monday night from 6-8pm. Other professors instruct students to post questions on the message board with a guaranteed response time of 24-48 hours. Procedures may vary, but a professor is always available. You’ll want to check your course syllabus for further details.

Forum’s: Online classes have forums and/or virtual classrooms where students can bounce thoughts, ideas, and questions off each other. This was a great place for me to go when I took an online class. I read some of the Q&A’s from my peers. I found that extremely helpful.

On Campus: One reader, Sarah, left a post saying she had a teacher tell her she could attend the class on campus if she wasn’t understanding the material.

As you can see help is definitely available to you should the video and audio lesson plans not be enough. Thanks again to Collette for asking that question.


Five most recent student loan help blog posts:

05.06.09 | Top 5 Reasons Online Classes Rock

Posted in Online Degree by Student Loan Network Staff

At this point the cat isn’t only out of the bag, as it pertains to online degrees, it’s a full grown lioness on the prowl. Online degrees were once viewed as a gimmicky soiree into the world of higher education, but oh how things have changed.

I must admit, even I was cynical in the late 90′s when the Online degree rage was taking flight. It felt like a scam. Would my degree be worth anything? Would my resume be passed over time and time again because of how I earned my degree? Never did I believe it would be more revered by many hiring managers who believe online recipients are more versatile. These students are viewed as self motivated independent thinkers who are driven to succeed; all traits which transfer nicely in the workplace.

Yes, Online degrees hold value in the marketplace, but it’s the value outside the virtual classroom that attracts many students to an Online degree. Lets take a look at the Top 5 reasons Online classes have become so popular.

1. Comfort: Having the luxury of taking notes with one hand while shoveling in Doritos with the other is pretty sweet indeed. A comfortable environment produces better results.

2. Convenience: No need to worry if your tank is on “E” or traffic is backed up on the interstate to get to school. When you’re at home, you are at school.

3. Flexibility: Lesson plans are available for you to review anytime throughout the week and tests are usually available over a three day period to fit with your busy schedule.

4. Availability: While campuses are restricted to the number of classes they can offer students based on staffing and capital resources, Online degree programs have no such restrictions. The number of classes you can take is practically endless.

5. Time: Most Online classes do not have specific start-up dates and times. You can jump in whenever you like. In addition, if you have the desire, you may complete your class early in most cases. Many eight week classes are completed in 4-6 weeks by ambitious students.

Request information about Online classes or programs here.

Scholarshippoints.com members can enter the code ONLINEROCK for 15 juicy points to apply toward monthly scholarships ranging from $500 to $10,000!!!

Have you taken an online class or degree program? If so we want to hear about your experience. Would you do it again? Leave a comment below.


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11.24.08 | Online Education Continues to Grow

Posted in Online Degree by Student Loan Network Staff

According to Staying the Course: Online Education in the United States ’08 over 3.9 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2007 term; a 12% increase over the number reported the previous year.

When you consider the overall growth rate for higher education is only up 1.2% it makes that online enrollment figure of 12% even more significant. No doubt about it, online education is now a large piece of the education puzzle.

I actually took an online class over the summer for the first time. It was a Selected Topics in Mathematics class. For cost consideration factors I decided to enroll in the class at a less expensive school and transferred it over to my school. I only needed to score a -C for the grade to transfer. I’m happy to say I earned a B+ for my efforts.

It was great because I didn’t have to leave my apartment. My lego man pajamas could only be scrutinized by my cat. I didn’t have to dash to class, spend money on a parking sticker, or use gas money. I know I will be going this route again.


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