Scholarships aren't only for full-time, on-campus students — there is college cash earmarked for distance learners, too. No matter your field of study, there are awards that can help you complete your program online. From specialized scholarships to more general awards, take a look at eight scholarships that can help you fund your educational pursuits.
1. Geteducated.com Distance Learning Scholarship
- Award: $1,000
- Requirements: Eligible recipients must be a U.S. citizen enrolled in an accredited online degree program located in the US; must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
This scholarship for distance learners is funded and maintained by GetEducated.com, which is dedicated to all aspects of online education. Award recipients may use this scholarship at any accredited online school. Because the scholarship is awarded based on both merit and financial need, students will need to complete the FAFSA as well as submit a 500-word essay.
2. Undergraduate Distance Learning Degrees Academic Scholarships
- Award: $500
- Requirements: Eligible recipient must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent U.S. Resident enrolled (or accepted) in an accredited college or university and planning on continuing the next year
Provided by Study.com, this academic award can be applied to any degree specialization. The main eligibility requirement is that the student must be pursuing an associate or bachelor's degree via an accredited distance learning program. One scholarship award is granted annually based solely on academic history and extracurricular activities. The application can be found online, at Study.com's website.
3. AFCEA Educational Foundation
- Award: Varies, up to $5,000
- Requirements: Eligible recipients must be U.S. citizens enrolled as a sophomore or junior in an accredited four-year institution at the time of application, with a current overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
The AFCEA Educational Foundation offers scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields related to the organization's mission, including cybersecurity, computer engineering, mathematics, physics, robotics and homeland security-related disciplines, among others. Applicants must be currently enrolled in at least their second year of undergraduate study to be eligible. The application asks for a current official transcript issued by the school's Registrar Office, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation from faculty in the major.
4. GIA Scholarships
- Award: Varies
- Requirements: Eligible recipients of the U.S. scholarship must be U.S. residents, while eligible recipients of the international scholarship must not be U.S. residents
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) offers scholarships to online students of its gemology, jewelry and design programs, courses and lab classes. Their Distance Education eLearning scholarship is reserved specifically for U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. However, GIA also offers an International Distance Education scholarship.
5. Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship
- Award: Varies, up to $7,500
- Requirements: Eligible recipients must be a Phi Theta Kappa member in good standing with a minimum 3.5 GPA; be enrolled at a two-year college, but intend to transfer to a regionally accredited four-year college; have completed a minimum of 45 college-level semester credit hours
The Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society offers a multitude of scholarships to its members to assist them with the cost of their online degree programs. The Hites Transfer Scholarship, Guistwhite Scholarship, and GEICO Pathway to Completion Bachelor's Degree Scholarship are just a few of the many awards available to eligible members, totaling over $90 million.
6. Dawn Drake Excellence in Education Scholarship
- Award: $500
- Requirements: Eligible recipients must be degree-seeking students enrolled in any UW-Platteville Distance Education Program with a minimum 3.0 GPA; must have successfully completed at least one class toward a degree and plan to continue studies with UW-Platteville's distance education programs
Established by Dawn Drake, Executive Director of Alternative Delivery Systems at UW-Platteville, this scholarship aims to honor the profound impact that distance education had on Dawn's own life. It exists in recognition of the sacrifices that distance learners often make to balance their personal lives with educational goals. Winners are chosen based on academic achievement and a one-page essay on why they believe they are deserving of the scholarship and why they are a distance learner.
7.UNICAF MBA Scholarships
- Award: Varies
- Requirements: Eligible recipients must be earning less than $20,000 per year and be able to commence their academic studies within six months from the date of receiving admission
The UNICAF Scholarship Programme was established to provide accomplished but underprivileged students with the opportunity to further their education through online study. (Students may also choose blended learning if completing their studies through Unicaf University programs.) To be eligible for this award, students must first meet the requirements for entry into a program of study (such as a Master's in Business Administration) at University of South Wales, Marymount California University, University of Nicosia or Unicaf University. The scholarship recipient is then chosen based upon the qualifications and financial need of the applicants.
8. Christian Distance Learning Scholarship
- Award: $2,500
- Requirements: Eligible recipients may not currently be enrolled at a Christian college or Bible college. However, they must have plans to enroll for the first time as a full-time student at a Christ-centered Christian college or Bible college within 16 months of being notified that he/she has won the drawing
The Christian Connector, Inc. offers this Christian college scholarship drawing to help assist students with the cost of their education. Though the winner is selected at random, potential recipients must fill out a free information request form in order to put themselves in the running. Recipients can apply their award to any Christian or Bible college that is a member of the CCCU, NACCAP or ABHE.