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Before you choose an online degree program it's important to consider how you will pay for it. While an online degree might cost less than going to a brick-and-mortar school, it will still be an expensive purchase and you should shop around to see where you would get the best value for your money. One of the best things about online learning is that there is no restriction as to the choices available. You could live in the far northwest and take online courses from a school located in Florida and vice versa.
It's especially important to make sure the quality of your program is high if you'll need federal student loans or private loans to pay for your online schooling. For one thing, you'll need to make sure that a recognized national or regional accreditor has accredited your program. This is one way to make sure that it meets at least minimum standards. This also increases the odds that any credits you earn will be transferable if you change your mind and decide to attend a different school midway through your degree program. There are schools that are actually beginning to refuse to accept transfer credits from online programs regardless of accreditation. This is because they believe some online programs have very low standards.
Key fact #6: Borrow as little as you can
Whether you use federal funds or private loans to pay for your online degree it's critical to borrow as little as possible. Student loans will stay with you until you repay them. The standard repayment plan for Direct Federal Student Loans is 10 years at a fixed interest rate. As of this writing it is 3.86% for both Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans. What this translates into is if you were to borrow a total of $20,000 to pay for your online degree your monthly payment would be approximately $193. Fortunately there are ways to drive this down through what's called Income-driven Repayment. You can learn more about these options by clicking on this link. The fact is that getting federal student loans can actually be too easy. So if you think an online education is for you, be sure to pick a program that will deliver the maximum amount of value at the least possible cost so you can keep your borrowing to the very minimum.