What Are Some Good Scholarships That You Can Use at an Online College?

There can be a lot of confusion over how online colleges work, even when more people are enrolling in online programs than traditional programs. One of the things that many have questions over is if regular scholarships work for online programs or if a student needs to get a different loan specifically for it. The good news is that both are just fine, but there are also scholarships specifically for people enrolled in online programs.

Types of Scholarships

The two main types of scholarships are institutional scholarships and organizational scholarships.Individual scholarships are usually awarded based on academic performance, the same way colleges award scholarships to high school students. For online students, these institutional scholarships are sometimes only for those attending a college online, but some are made available for any student planning or already attending the school.

Organizational scholarships are those sponsored by a group, or a person. The money isn’t always based on academic performance and sometimes these include more refined hobbies and interests, including music or poetry, or even wood working or stamp collecting. Some of them are awarded through raffle ticket styled drawings. Searching the internet for these might take more work, but they’re out there.

Get Educated Online Distance Scholarship Program

One of the available scholarships to online students only is the Get Educated Online Distance Scholarship Program. It’s available to any student attending almost any online college and is a $1,000 grant awarded twice a year on March 15 and October 15. All students need to do is write a 500-word essay on the given topic, and attach other materials, including their most recent grade report – if applicable, and their most recent FAFSA, along with a few other documents. The award is based on both academics and financial need, so there’s no need for someone to feel like they aren’t qualified because they make too much or their grades aren’t high enough.


Some scholarships aren’t even scholarships per se, they’re contests. The Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest awards a hefty chunk of change with the first-prize winner taking $10,000 to use just about any way they see fit. The contest also awards three second-place prizes of $2,000, five third-place prizes of $1,000 and 75 other prizes of $100 or less. Other essay contests include The Writer’s of the Future Contest and All Ink.

School Scholarships

Similar to traditional schools, many online colleges offered students in-house scholarships. Western Governors University, Walden University, and Pennsylvania State University – World Campus, are just a few of the online institutions with department and general scholarships for student bodies. They operate the same was as any other scholarship offered through a school with some of them specifically for students of specific areas of study, year, need, or academic performance.

Additional Resources

Other sources such as Fastweb.com and Scholarships.com are useful for finding scholarships that work for online students. Searching for specific grants through these sites, and the internet in general, will bring up more possibilities. While these sites are generally thorough in examining the people/groups that list on their site, others aren’t. Be cautious and avoid any site that asks users to pay a fee or give financial information to be eligible or access a scholarship. These are most likely scams.

The good news is that many of the scholarships available to students attending a college at a traditional school are available to those attending online. What’s key is that students and potential students do a little research before hand. With the right amount of work, timing, and luck, there are numerous ways online students can reduce how much out-of-pocket expense they pay for their education.