Get Creative For Scholarships And Grants To Fund Your Undergraduate Degree

Students interested in pursuing higher education might consider the advantages of private colleges and universities. These institutions often are associated with small classrooms sizes and providing students with individualized attention. While some contend that private colleges and universities boast abundant opportunities to get involved and that they maintain higher retention and graduation rates, they also tend to be perceived as pricey.

The financial aid offerings at private institutions, however, are increasing and accelerating, according to a recent Bloomberg Businesweek article. The article comes after a June report from the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities noting that scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid at private colleges and universities are up 6.8 percent for the fall 2010 semester as compared with last year. Tuition and fees for fall 2010, on the other hand, are 4.5 percent higher than they were for fall 2009, the report shows.

Students returning to some private colleges and universities this fall, in fact, are to find that tuition and fees haven’t changed at all since 2009, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities President David L. Warren suggested in a news release. While some institutions have “frozen” tuition, others are introducing three-year degree programs, he noted. “The bottom line for consumers is that they should not rule out a private college just because of the price tag.”

The average published tuition and fee at private colleges and universities throughout the country is about $26,273, an amount that after financial aid and federal tax benefits came to $11,870, information from the College Board shows. Even for the 2008-2009 academic year, the average net tuition charge for private college and university students in Wisconsin, after financial aid including loans was considered, was $4,737, a web site for the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities shows. Student loans do have to be repaid, but 71 percent of the $18,478 average freshman financial aid package came in the form of grants that do not, the Wisconsin association reported.

The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities website provides a list of institutions that have frozen their tuition at last year’s rates and those that offer three-year bachelor’s degree programs. The AIB College of Business in Iowa, Fresno Pacific University in California, The Sage Colleges in New York state and Culver-Stockton College in Missouri are among those that have kept tuition rates in check, the site shows. Ursuline College in Ohio and the University of Akron have launched three-year bachelor’s degree programs, according to the website.

Distance learning programs provide additional opportunities to save money – in this instance, on costs associated with meal plans and commuting. While distance learning programs aren’t exclusive to private colleges and universities they are growing among them, according to a recent USA Today report. Christian colleges and universities particularly have an edge in this area in that many Americans have religious ties, according to what an Eduventures consulting group analyst told USA Today.

Distance learning can be particularly appealing to students who have busy schedules that might involve family and workplace responsibilities. Students who enroll in online learning programs might take courses that are entirely online or participate in hybrid programs, spending some time on campus. Scholarships and grants for campus and distance learning programs are often based on a variety of factors. There are so many advantages to putting good best online degree information into play.

The Minnesota Private College Fund alone administers an array of scholarships for its 17 member institutions. Students in some instances might have to demonstrate academic success or community involvement and in others might have had to overcome barriers to pursue a degree. The Private College Fund also awards scholarships to students studying specific subjects.

Students are typically advised to select colleges and universities first according to their individual interests, needs and goals and then to compare the costs, after tuition assistance such as scholarships and grants are considered. Exploring college scholarships materials will get the ball rolling. In addition, students seeking scholarships and grants online for campus and distance learning programs at private institutions might look toward large corporations, non-profit associations and community and civic groups as well.

Scholarships are typically provided when the institution of a student’s choice is accredited by a nationally recognized agency, with this pertinent to both traditional and programs offering courses online. You can determine this on the US Department of Education website and take that information and more into account when make your distance degree college plans.