You are considering returning to graduate school or have already applied to a graduate school program. First and foremost, congratulations on your decision to further your education; many graduate school programs provide prospective candidates with the specialization needed to succeed in their careers.
Student loan default is an economic problem in the United States. 44.2 million Americans already owe $1.5 trillion in overall student loan debt, according to a recent survey. For graduates from the class of 2017, the total volume of student loan debt was about $40,000, a 6 percent rise from the previous year. The amount of debt will take decades to pay back and poses a financial strain that causes many young adults, such as getting married, owning a home, or adopting children, to put off big life decisions.
Every year, the U.S. Department of Education receives more than $120 billion in financial assistance. But in order to tap into the funds available, it is important that graduate learners be well versed in the different forms of grants, loans, and work-study services by which this money is disbursed.
The central mission of Federal Student Aid is to guarantee that all qualifying Americans benefit from federal financial assistance—grants, loans, and work-study programs—for college after high school. Federal Student Aid services are the nation’s primary provider of student financial assistance: during the 2010-11 academic year alone, Federal Student Aid delivered about $144 billion in new aid to almost 15 million post-secondary students and their families. In addition to Washington, D.C. headquarters, a workforce of 1,200 is located in 10 cities.
Universities and colleges offer versatile or self-paced study formats for students. In 2018, more than 35% of U.S. college students enrolled in certain distance classes, and only 17% enrolled in online courses solely. The same virtual curriculum, advanced preparation, and support services can be offered by online programs as conventional courses, and students will have access mostly to the same financial assistance.