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How to Get Paid to Go to School Online [7 Options for 2024]

Seeking a traditional education has changed from a sound investment in your future to a synonym for student loan debt in recent years.

Although it’s supposed to open up countless opportunities, it can end up weighing you down instead.

That’s why online degree programs are emerging as a potential substitute if you don’t want to attend college classes.

Aside from the lower rates for every credit, you also get the flexibility of remote learning if you have other responsibilities.

But is it possible to get paid to go to school online?

Some online colleges pay you to attend their classes and graduate with a degree, just like a traditional college. And we’ll cover everything you should know before applying for one of their programs.

Can You Get Paid to Go to School Online?

Student financial aid programs have been around for ages through grants, scholarships, and independent financial aid. However, it’s only logical to expect that the figures are getting smaller and might not cover online college degree programs.

That said, some online colleges that pay their students to complete certain programs might cover some of your tuition fees. And with the money you’re saving on-campus boarding and textbooks, you might be able to completely cover your college tuition with a side job.

How Much Can You Make by Going to School Online?

It’s difficult to estimate the exact figure of tuition reimbursement or financial aid you might receive. It’s worth noting that some establishments offering free online degree programs have tuition fees in the tens of thousands of dollars.

What You’ll Need to Get Paid Go to School Online

Much like a traditional college, there are some prerequisites you’ll need to fulfill to apply to one of the degree programs offered by online colleges that pay you to attend. Here are a few examples of the documents you’ll need:

  • An application: You’ll need to fill out an online application, which usually requires an application fee that ranges from $30–$90.
  • Academic transcripts and GPA: These are official documents that show what classes you took, what grades you got, and your Grade Point Average.
  • ACT, SAT, GRE, or GMAT scores: Depending on whether you’re applying for undergraduate or graduate online programs, you should provide your scores for the qualifying test.
  • A personal statement (cover letter): This is also called a Statement of Purpose, which tells the admissions committee why you should be chosen for the program.
  • An updated resume: This includes all your qualifying educational experience.
  • Letters of recommendation from former teachers or professors: Two of these letters are usually required to support your application.
  • Passing a test or interview: Some online colleges require you to go through an internal test or an interview.

Where to Get Paid to Go to School Online

If you’re looking for a trusted college or university with a tried-and-true financial aid program, then look no further than these establishments:

1. Athabasca University

screenshot of the Athabasca University homepage

Considered a pioneer in distance learning, Athabasca University was founded in 1970 with the sole purpose of facilitating learning remotely. It’s known as Canada’s Open University, but its student base reaches far and wide across the globe.

How Much You Can Make

The amount of financial aid you receive depends on your undergraduate/graduate status and the courses you’re enrolled in.

What Makes This Option Great

With over 850 online courses to choose from, you have full control over what to study. The university also provides a counseling service to provide much-needed insight when choosing your courses.

2. Barclay College

screenshot of the Barclay College homepage

Barclay College was founded in 1917, but back then, it was known as the Kansas Central Bible Training School and was meant as a seminary for Quakers. Its name was later changed to honor Robert Barclay, the first theologian of the Quaker faith.

How Much You Can Make

Full-time online tuition at Barclay College costs $10,800 before tuition reimbursement. For the 2023-2024 school year, online full-time student scholarships can offer up to $1,200 a year in financial assistance to be taken off tuition fees.

What Makes This Option Great

As its original name suggests, Barclay College is a faith-based college that specializes in combining Christian values with real-life disciplines. That means it offers more specialties than a traditional seminary.

You can enroll in one of the following Bachelor’s degree programs online:

  • Biblical Studies
  • Business Management
  • Christian Ministry Leadership
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • RN to BSN

3. Central Christian College of the Bible

screenshot of the central christian college of the Bible homepage

Central Christian College of the Bible is another faith-based college with a main focus on seminary programs. It was founded in 1957 and is accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

How Much You Can Make

Online tuition fees in CCB as of the 2023-2024 school year are $4,480. CCCB boasts an impressive average of $3,200 in scholarships and grants per year and has a financial aid office that serves 85% of its student body.

What Makes This Option Great

If you have your heart set on studying in seminary school but have to work a full-time job, CCCB can be a wonderful option to pursue your studies online. You can enroll in the following online degree programs:

  • Associate of Biblical Studies 
  • Bachelor of Religious Studies (Christian Leadership)
  • Bachelor of Science in Biblical Ministry (Can be completed entirely online)
  • The Certificate of Bible & Ministry (1-year program) and The Certificate of Biblical Knowledge (2-year program)

4. Columbia University

screenshot of the Columbia University homepage

Columbia University is one of the oldest, most influential Ivy League research universities in the United States. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, it belongs to an exclusive club of 9 universities that were established in colonial America.

How Much You Can Make

While you won’t receive direct financial aid from Columbia unless you apply for a scholarship, the university offers a huge selection of its material for free online.

What Makes This Option Great

Columbia University partnered with the online platform edX to launch ColumbiaX. This program offers course material from top-rated Columbia instructors to be audited for free. You can also receive certification for a fraction of the cost of tuition at the actual university.

5. Southern New Hampshire University

screenshot of the Southern New Hampshire University homepage

Southern New Hampshire University is a non-profit university. It’s one of the colleges that pay you to attend through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is a need-based financial assistance program.

It’s also accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

How Much You Can Make

The financial aid offered by SNHU differs based on your profile. After applying for FAFSA, you receive a personalized offer with any loans, scholarships, or free grants you’re eligible for.

What Makes This Option Great

SNHU offers its students a selection of 200+ courses that lead to undergraduate degrees in the following fields:

  • Art & Design
  • Business Administration
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Health
  • Liberal Arts
  • Math & Science
  • Psychology & Counseling
  • Social Science
  • Technology

That means you can find online classes that serve your vision for the future and get funding to pursue your dream.

6. Lewis University

screenshot of the Lewis University homepage

Lewis University is a Catholic, Lasallian private university located in Romeoville, Illinois. Instead of being another faith-based seminary, Lewis started out in the 1930s as a technical school with an emphasis on aviation and aeronautics.

How Much You Can Make

Lewis University supports 98% of its students through financial assistance in the form of grants, scholarships, employer partnerships, student work programs, and payment plans.

The amount of funding you receive depends on the type of program you enroll in and what funding you qualify for.

What Makes This Option Great

You can enroll in one of the following online undergraduate or graduate programs from Lewis University:

  • Health Information Management, MS
  • Healthcare Management, BS (Accelerated)
  • Criminal Justice, BA (Accelerated) and MS
  • Business Administration, BS (Accelerated) and MBA
  • Cybersecurity, MS
  • Organizational Leadership, BA and MA
  • Public Safety Administration, MS
  • Business Analytics, MS
  • Computer Science, BA (Accelerated) and MS
  • Aviation and Transportation, MS
  • Data Science, MS
  • Professional Studies, BA,

The accelerated programs aim to help adult online students balance attending classes and earning a degree with a full-time job.

7. Lipscomb University

screenshot of the Lipscomb homepage

Lipscomb University is named after one of its founders, David Lipscomb, who donated his land to build what was known as the Nashville Bible School.

It was intended to serve as one of the many Christian colleges with seminary programs on this list, but it branched out as it grew to include other disciplines.

How Much You Can Make

The figure depends on the type of student financial assistance you receive, which ranges from grants to loans. The list also includes the Michael Nugent Scholarship for undergraduate students, named after a student who passed away at the age of 28.

What Makes This Option Great

Lipscomb Online offers undergraduate courses that include:

  • Business Leadership
  • Customer Experience
  • Data Analytics
  • Entertainment Management
  • Hospitality Management
  • Integrated Studies
  • Organizational Communication
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Supply Chain and Operations Management
  • Technology Management
  • RN to BSN

You can also pursue a graduate degree program, like:

  • Public Administration
  • Professional Studies
  • Leadership Coaching
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Global Leadership
  • Business Leadership
  • Competency-Based Program Design
  • Performance Coaching
  • Sustainability
  • Strategic Leadership

That means you can find a course that fits your career plans as an undergraduate and other professional development programs aimed at graduate students.

Why You Should Consider Getting Paid to Go to School Online

If you’re still on the fence about whether to attend college online, there are some valid reasons why this might be the right move for your education, like:

  • It’s a chance to pursue higher education at a lower cost: Enrolling in online programs often costs less than tuition costs for college students. If you can’t afford to go to school, one of the online colleges that pay you to attend might be the answer.
  • You can have a full-time job and still get a college education: If time is the detrimental factor to your college dreams, then you can choose an online university with flexible course schedules.
  • Multiple prestigious universities offer free online courses: Going to a private university is costly. You can get a similarly high-quality education (and get certified) at a fraction of the cost.
  • Undergraduate courses can be transferred to a traditional college: If you intend to complete your studies by pursuing a graduate degree, you can find credit-eligible courses that you can transfer to your next college.

Problems With Getting Paid to Go to School Online

Deciding to attend college online might seem like the perfect option for you. However, you should be aware of the following problems you might face:

  • Limited majors and concentrations: Not all majors or programs can be pursued through distance learning. Some degree programs require you to attend classes in person and close monitoring from instructors.
  • Not all schools provide online programs: Universities have their limitations regarding what undergraduate and graduate degrees they can offer online. You might find the course you’re looking for, but it’s unavailable online.
  • You might fall victim to an online college scam: If you choose one of the universities on this list, you’re safe. However, some other online schools end up being elaborate scams with no accreditation.
  • Many scholarship opportunities come from faith-based colleges: Many college scholarships are offered by Christian colleges with an emphasis on combining faith and education. If you’re not comfortable with being in such an atmosphere, you might want to steer clear of their offerings.

How to Get Paid to Go to School Online: Step-By-Step Instructions

Finding an online university that will pay you to attend isn’t an easy task. That said, with the current attitudes toward online college education and the abundant options for financial aid, you might find just what you’re looking for. Here’s how to find an institution that will pay its online students:

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you apply to any of the online colleges being advertised as the most financially sound decision, you should do some research about what they can offer you.

Find out the average price for a credit hour in your city and feedback about the instructors and course content.

If it’s not a well-known university, learn more about its accreditation and whether your credits are transferrable to a university or a local community college.

Step 2: Have Your Documents Ready

It pays to have everything in order once you begin your application journey. After all, you don’t want to be unprepared for any application requirement you don’t have on hand, especially if you’re applying to different online colleges.

The process of personalizing the application to make it look like every school is your first choice is crucial to make you stand out among other applicants.

You should have the following ready:

  • Academic transcripts and GPA
  • ACT, SAT, GRE, or GMAT scores
  • A personal statement (a personalized cover letter)
  • An updated resume (for graduate students)
  • Letters of recommendation

Step 3: Fill Out Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If you’re in the United States, most online colleges that pay you to attend do so through FAFSA. This is a federal program that matches scholarships, grants, and loans with deserving applicants in every state.

If you’re unsure how to fill out your FAFSA form, here are some helpful instructions.

Keep in mind that you’ll be entering some pretty sensitive information like your social security number and federal tax information.

That’s why you should be extra careful not to click on any phishing links or emails and only enter the information through the official website.

Step 4: Compare Your Offers

Once you’re done applying to your preferred online universities, you should receive offers from more than one college or university.

Compare your offers in terms of what you can afford, the percentage of the tuition coverage, and the status of the institution.

Only accept the offer if you think it suits your needs as a student.

Things to Consider When Getting Paid to Go to School Online

Here are some things to consider when you’re looking for one of the online colleges that pay you to attend:

1. Type of Program

Online colleges and universities offer a wide array of program types that cater to every need. That said, you should be aware that credit-eligible courses are more expensive than non-degree programs solely because of the accreditation.

Getting into a non-degree program might sound like a waste of time and money. However, if you’re after the experience and the educational resources, you’d see the benefit of these programs.

Similarly, a two-year degree is likely to cost less than a four-year degree in the same field. That’s because the time needed to monitor the students is much longer, and these courses require more hands-on involvement from the instructors.

2. Type of Financial Assistance

Hoping for a full tuition scholarship when you apply for financial assistance is probably wishful thinking in this economy. Even the most qualified students who demonstrate academic excellence still end up having to pay for some of their tuition costs.

Other financial aid options include one-time grants, partial scholarships, and long-term loans with subsidized interest. If you find an online college that offers assistance based on financial need or academic achievement, be prepared to supplement that with another income source.

3. Status of the Online Institution

In a world where reputation means everything, bigger-name schools will always cost more than lesser-known, relatively new online colleges.

Just be careful not to compromise on education quality because of the school name. Finishing a course with an engaging instructor would benefit you much more than graduating from a big-name school without interacting with your professors.

You should also only join the online programs you’re passionate about and are relevant to your field, not the ones that sound nice on your resume.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Companies That Pay You to Finish Your College Education?

Yes. Companies with a partnership program with a local college might offer you tuition assistance to attend school. These include Starbucks, Amazon, and Disney.

What Is the Most Common Grant for College Students?

Federal Pell grants are the most frequently awarded among undergraduate students. They are need-based grants for low-income students who’d never earned a Bachelor’s degree.

Similar Ways to Get Paid

If you think college isn’t for you but would like other methods to get paid, check out these tutorials:

Wrapping Up

Going to college has become less of a job market necessity and more of a financial decision you might take decades to recover from.

That’s because the highly-competitive market for a college education doesn’t consider perfectly adequate alternatives, like going to an online college.

However, some colleges are starting to understand the appeal of online education. That’s why some will pay you to attend and finish one of their online programs.

Attending online classes doesn’t just save money, and it also allows you to focus on other responsibilities, like having a job or being a parent.

And while getting paid doesn’t always mean free tuition, you get to cut a huge chunk out of potential student debt.

So what do you think? Is going to school online the right move for your career? Do you think undergraduate or graduate programs have a bigger impact on a person’s future?

Let us know what you think in the comments below, and please share this if you found it helpful!

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