Obama's TARP Plan Offers Much-Needed Aid for Higher Education, Including the Fast-Growing Online Education Segment, According to Online Education Expert

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Two important components of the economic relief plan for higher education are an increase in Pell Grant spending and a larger subsidy for banks involved in the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL) program.

Because of its convenience, flexibility, and variety of options, distance learning is quickly becoming the top choice for working adults who want to earn a college degree

President Obama's economic bailout plan, labeled the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), offers extensive relief to school districts and higher education programs throughout the U.S. According to Sheila Danzig, founder of Degree.com, an information hub on accredited online degree programs, it's critical that the proposed aid for students pursuing college and graduate degrees online be kept in the plan, as interest in online education continues to increase sharply (http://www.degree.com ).

"Inquiries about distance education degree programs at Degree.com jumped by 50 percent in 2007 and by around the same amount again in 2008," Danzig notes. "Other sites show a similar jump in interest. In the last quarter of 2008, TheCollegeDegrees.com (http://www.thecollegedegrees.com) reported a 10 percent increase in students inquiring about distance learning degree programs. Another site, TheDegree.com (http://www.thedegree.com), reported the highest number of queries in its ten-year history in January 2009, and a similar increase in interest showed up at 4CollegeDegrees.com (http://www.4collegedegrees.com ). This popularity of online degree education demonstrates how critically important it is that any additional assistance for higher education in a bailout plan include students in online degree universities in the U.S."

Two important components of the economic relief plan for higher education are an increase in Pell Grant spending and a larger subsidy for banks involved in the Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL) program.

According to New York Times journalist Sam Dillon, President Obama's plan would provide an additional $8 billion in Pell Grant dollars to students in financial need. Furthermore, additional monies would be available to banks that issue guaranteed loans to university students. The proposed $150 billion in extra federal education funding would increase the U.S. Department of Education's current budget by more than 100 percent.

Students enrolled in online degree programs offering Associate Degree or Bachelor Degree programs are currently eligible for Pell Grants to help finance their college education. Additionally, many students who pursue distance learning to earn a college degree depend heavily on student loans to finance their education.

"Because of its convenience, flexibility, and variety of options, distance learning is quickly becoming the top choice for working adults who want to earn a college degree," says Sheila Danzig. "More than four million people are currently enrolled in online degree programs throughout the United States, a number that continues to grow by double digits each year. TARP funding can provide both lenders and students the critical relief necessary to continue this helpful trend."

For more information about the wide variety of online degree programs that offer online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit Degree.com (http://www.degree.com), which provides free information about online certification programs and online programs for associates, bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees.

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Sheila Danzig

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