The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the application for all federal and state financial aid.
The Federal Pell Grant
Need-based grant determined by the FAFSA calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Part-time and full-time undergraduates may be eligible.
Pell Grants amounts are adjusted to reflect changes in enrollment status, if made prior to the 5th week of classes.
After the 5th week of classes, Pell Grant amounts will not be adjusted based on subsequent changes to enrollment statuses (i.e.-course load).
The maximum number of equivalent full-time semesters a student is eligible to receive a Pell Grant is 12 semesters (the number of semesters will vary for part-time students).
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant (SEOG)
Need-based grant ranging from $100-1,000 annually.
Awarded to those students demonstrating the greatest financial need.
Typically, you must qualify for the federal Pell Grant to receive an SEOG Grant.
The Federal TEACH Grant
Up to $4,000 in annual award for those planning to enter teaching profession full-time.
Award is pro-rated based on enrollment status ($4,000 annual award for undergraduates taking 12 or more credits; $3,000 for undergraduates taking 9-11 credits, $2,000 for undergraduates taking 6-8 credits and $1,000 for undergraduates taking 3-5 credits). There is currently a 6.9% award reduction taken as a result of Federal Sequestration cuts.
Basic student loan available to all students, regardless of financial need.
The education loan most students borrow first, before all others.
If your Direct Loan is subsidized, the government will pay the interest while you are in school.
If your Direct loan is unsubsidized, you have the option of capitalizing the interest or of paying the interest quarterly during the in-school period.
On both the subsidized and unsubsidized Direct Loan, payment of your principle itselfdoes not begin until six months after graduation, provided the student remains enrolled on at least a half-time (6 credits) basis.
Direct Loans have a variable-fixed interest rate, meaning, the rate will be set each year, effective July 1st, but once set, will remain fixed for the life of that particular loan.
Awarded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania state residents demonstrating financial need.
Awards are need-based, based on your federal EFC (Expected Family Contribution) from the FAFSA and your annual cost of attendance.
You must file the FAFSA by May 1st to receive consideration. First-time applicants will also be required to complete a supplemental form which you can link to when completing the FAFSA.
You must take at least 6 credits a semester to be considered.
If you are enrolled in a fully online program, in a program that is more than 50% online or, you are taking more than 50% of your credits online in any given term (regardless of program), you are not eligible for PA State Grant funding for that term.
Questions regarding PA State grant aid can be directed to the PHEAA Grant Division at 1-800-692-7392 or students can visit www.pheaa.org.
If you are not from Pennsylvania, check with your local state agency to determine your eligibility for grant aid from your individual state.