Top 9 Online Schools That Accept FAFSA

Online Schools That Accept FAFSA

If you are concerned about the burden of school fees, there are many online schools that accept FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Numerous sources provide school/college financial aid, which will make your education journey easier.

It becomes difficult for some students to afford the rising school fees. That’s why the Federal and state governments and some universities provide school/college financial aid to support the students.

There are several online schools that accept FAFSA to help students get financial aid for their education. If you are unable to attend school physically, you can enroll in that online school, and make your education path smooth with school financial aid.

What is Financial Aid?

Financial aid includes a range of financial aid programs designed to help students and families afford higher education costs. These programs include grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans provided by federal and state governments, colleges/universities, and private organizations. Their goal is to ease the financial burden of tuition, fees, and living expenses for eligible students.  

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the primary federal financial aid program, which determines eligibility based on the financial circumstances of a student’s family. Financial aid is critical in increasing educational access and making higher education more affordable for diverse student populations.

Types of Financial Aid

Financial aid options include a range of assistance programs to assist individuals with various aspects of their financial well-being. Here is a description of the main types of financial aid:

  • Federal Student Aid: These programs, such as grants, loans, and work-study opportunities, are provided by the federal government to help students cover the costs of their education.
  • Scholarships: Merit-based or need-based scholarships are offered by institutions, private organizations, and foundations, which provide financial aid that does not require repayment.
  • State Financial Aid: Each state may offer its financial aid programs, including grants and scholarships, which are often tailored to residents based on academic performance, financial need, or other criteria.
  • Work-Study Programs: Students can participate in part-time employment through work-study programs, allowing them to gain work experience as well as earn money for educational expenses.
  • Grants: Grants, usually need-based, provide financial assistance and are available from federal, state, and private sources.
  • Federal Assistance Programs: Federal programs, such as SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid provide financial assistance to people in need, providing assistance with nutrition, temporary financial assistance, and health care.
  • Housing Assistance: Housing assistance programs, such as Section 8 vouchers, help low-income individuals and families secure affordable housing.
  • Emergency Financial Assistance: Charitable organizations and non-profit organizations often provide emergency financial assistance to individuals facing immediate financial crises.

How to Find FAFSA-approved Online Colleges?

To find online schools that accept FAFSA, first, access the Federal Student Aid website and use their school search tool. Select the “Online” or “Distance Learning” filter. 

Verify that the chosen institution has accreditation, which is a requirement of the FAFSA. The US Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) provides accreditation verification. 

Additionally, you can research online colleges that offer programs that fit your academic and career objectives. Visit their financial aid department’s web pages or contact them to confirm FAFSA eligibility. Finally, choose a reputable, accredited online college that suits your educational and financial needs.

List of the 9 Best Online Schools that Accept FAFSA

1. Capella University

Capella University
Capella University

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Capella University, a private online institution recognized by the Commission on Higher Learning, offers access to federal student aid through the FAFSA for eligible online students, including grants and loan opportunities. As one of the largest exclusively online universities, it offers a wide selection of 47 online degree programs and over 1,670 courses.  

Discover the benefits of online schools that accept FAFSA as you tailor your education to your needs. Whether you prefer structured learning with GuidedPath or a more flexible self-paced approach with FlexPath, these institutions provide the opportunity to customize your learning experience.

The university excels in providing a comprehensive curriculum in areas, such as business, health care, nursing, information technology, and so on. Self-paced options are available for specific programs.

2. California Baptist University

California Baptist University
California Baptist University

Location: Riverside, California, US

California Baptist University has achieved national recognition for its online undergraduate and graduate degree programs. This online school that accepts FAFSA offers a diverse list of over 40 majors, including Healthcare Administration, Public Health, Psychology, Graphic Design, English, Information Technology, and others. 

The course has been designed with flexibility in mind, catering to full-time and part-time study options for working students. Prospective students looking for financial aid can determine their eligibility for federal and state grants by filing the FAFSA. Both undergraduate and graduate students have access to loans as well.

3. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University

Location: Phoenix, Arizona, US

Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers a wide range of academic programs spanning from undergraduate to doctoral studies. These programs cover a wide variety of disciplines, including Education, Liberal Arts, Business, Nursing, and Health Sciences. GCU also serves local Phoenix students by offering hybrid degree programs that allow students to connect with the campus.  

At these online schools that accept FAFSA, the faculty is a diverse team comprising devoted full-time professors and well-informed assistant instructors. These educators excel in their respective fields and possess a deep understanding of effective online teaching techniques.

The application process for GCU begins on October 1st each year, coinciding with the opening of FAFSA applications. To support your education, GCU offers a variety of financial aid options, such as grants, scholarships, and loans, with the FAFSA serving as a prerequisite for consideration.

4. American Public University

American Public University
American Public University

Location: Charles Town, West Virginia, US

American Public University (APU) is an online institution recognized by the Higher Learning Commission that specializes in providing higher education to adult learners with a focus on military and public service professionals. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, particularly in areas, such as Health Studies, Intelligence, Criminal Justice, and business administration. 

This online schools that accept FAFSA is renowned for its online education programs, which are designed to accommodate students with busy schedules, including military personnel deployed around the world.

5. Baker College

Baker College
Baker College

Location: Owosso, Michigan, US

Baker College is a non-profit, private educational institution that provides a diverse array of academic programs. This online school that accepts FAFSA offers a broad spectrum of academic programs, including associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees, online and at various campuses and satellite locations across the state.  

Baker College’s online programs include an impressive array of degree and certificate options in areas, such as Automotive Services Technology, Accounting, Baking and Pastry, Business Administration, and more.

6. Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global
Purdue University Global

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, US

Purdue University Global is an online public university affiliated with the Purdue University system. It specializes in offering a wide range of online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, meeting the needs of adult learners and individuals with busy schedules. 

The popular programs of this university are Human Services, Business, Health Sciences, Psychology, and Nursing. This is another best online schools that accept FAFSA, where you can submit FAFSA for financial aid.

7. University of Arizona Global Campus

University of Arizona Global Campus
University of Arizona Global Campus

Location: Chandler, Arizona, US

The University of Arizona Global Campus is an online-based university that offers numerous degree programs and courses, giving students the convenience of studying virtually anywhere. 

This renowned university offers various programs, such as Business, Education, Psychology, and Healthcare Administration. and more. You can choose this online school that accepts FAFSA for your quality education.

8. Lewis University

Lewis University
Lewis University

Location: Romeoville, Illinois, US

Lewis University offers a diverse selection of online degree programs covering a variety of levels, including bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These programs span 18 major areas, including Computer Science, Aviation and Technology, Nursing, Business, Criminal Justice, and more. 

The flexibility of these online programs allows you to set your own study pace while meeting assignment deadlines and engaging in weekly discussions through the Blackboard platform. When seeking financial aid from federal and state sources, you may consider submitting your FAFSA to Lewis University.

9. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire, US 

Situated within Southern New Hampshire, SNHU is a private university. SNHU is notable for its comprehensive online degree programs. This online school that accepts FAFSA offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

The university is widely recognized for its commitment to accessible and affordable higher education. Its online courses and innovative teaching methods have made it a leading institution for distance and non-traditional learners.  

What is the application process for securing Federal Financial Aid at online schools that accept FAFSA?

To apply for federal financial aid for online schools that accept FAFSA, follow these steps:

  • Complete the FAFSA: Begin by filling out the FAFSA form on the Federal Student Aid website, ensuring you include the Federal School Code for your chosen online school.
  • Wait for Your SAR: After submission, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). Review it for accuracy and make corrections if needed.
  • Receive and Review Aid Offers: Once your FAFSA is processed, you’ll receive financial aid offers from the online school. Review these offers carefully.
  • Accept Aid: Accept the aid you wish to receive and follow the school’s instructions to do so.
  • Meet Additional Requirements: Complete any extra requirements specific to online students as requested by the school.
  • Maintain Eligibility: To continue receiving aid, maintain satisfactory academic progress, and meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Renew Annually: Remember to renew your FAFSA each year to continue accessing federal financial aid.

Completing the FAFSA accurately and on time is crucial for securing financial aid for your online education.

What Challenges Do Online Students Face with Financial Aid?

Online students face several specific challenges related to financial aid. They include:

  • Access Barriers: Online learners often find themselves geographically distant from their educational institutions, making it cumbersome to physically access resources.
  • Strict Eligibility Criteria: Some financial aid programs impose strict eligibility criteria, including full-time enrollment requirements, which may be difficult for online students to meet due to the flexibility of their study schedule.
  • Technical Barriers: Online students may encounter technical issues when completing the FAFSA application, which is important for securing financial aid.  
  • Verification Complications: The verification process required for certain types of financial aid can present challenges for online students due to the remote nature of their studies.  
  • Limited Work-study Opportunities: Work-study programs and other campus-based aid options are typically available to on-campus students. It may be limited or unavailable to online learners, constraining their financial aid options.  
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress: To retain eligibility for financial aid, students must uphold a satisfactory academic progress record.. Online students must meet this requirement, often without personal guidance from their on-campus peers.
  • Disbursement Timing Concerns: The timing of financial aid disbursements may be uncertain for online students, potentially impacting their ability to receive course materials on time or meet living expenses.


1. What is the FAFSA?

FAFSA is short for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is important for online schools because it helps determine your eligibility for federal financial aid, including grants, loans, and work-study programs.

2. Do all online schools accept FAFSA?

Some online schools accept FAFSA, but not all online schools accept FAFSA. Eligibility requirements may vary. So it’s important to check with the specific online school you’re interested in to see if they participate in the federal financial aid program.

3. What type of financial aid can I get through FAFSA for online education?

The FAFSA may provide a variety of financial aid, depending on your eligibility and financial need. They include Pell Grants, federal student loans, and work-study opportunities.

4. How do I find online schools that accept FAFSA?

You can find online schools that accept the FAFSA by visiting the FAFSA website or contacting the online schools directly. Additionally, many online schools provide information about your FAFSA eligibility on their websites or during the admissions process.

5. Is it possible to receive financial assistance for an online degree program?

Yes, you can receive financial aid for accredited online degree programs if the school accepts the FAFSA. Accredited online programs are generally eligible for federal financial aid.


Online schools that accept FAFSA applications present an important opportunity for students seeking higher education. These digital platforms provide flexibility and convenience, making educational activities accessible to a wide range of learners. 

Taking advantage of the FAFSA can help students secure financial aid to defray tuition and related expenses.  

Nevertheless, it is important for students to carefully select accredited online schools that suit their academic and career objectives. 

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