The information below has been provided to help students and parents navigate Financial Aid. If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to reach out to your counselor. For school specific Financial Aid questions, it is best to contact that Financial Aid department at the individual school. Additional resources about The Financial Aid process are provided on this page via video presentations from The Department of Education Federal Student Aid website.
The cost of an education is considered to be one of the most important aspects when determining your Post-Secondary plans. It is a reality that students are unlikely to pay for college on their own. The intention of the Financial Aid process is to help make college affordable for students. Financial Aid is a vital part of the college going or post-secondary process. Funds are provided by either the federal government, the state in which the student lives, the college/school the student plans to attend, and other public or private institutions. Financial Aid can be categorized as:
It is important to note that some forms of Financial Aid may need to be repaid as indicated in the financial aid “package” or letter. You will also find that each school/college may present their Financial Aid “packages” differently. In order to be considered for Financial Aid, you need to complete the FAFSA.
START HERE: The Financial Aid process starts with filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
To start the FAFSA, students and parents much create a FSA ID, which is considered to be your electronic signature during this process. The FSA IDs of the student and parent must be verified before it is considered to be active. Please visit create your FSA ID to complete. Remember: A separate FSA ID must be created and verified by both the student and the parent.
To fill out the FAFSA, please visit: FAFSA.ed.gov
Some things to remember:
NEXT STEP: The next step in the Financial Aid process is to apply to the Pennsylvania State Grant Program or PHEAA. Pennsylvania State Grants are provided through PHEAA and are based on financial need. Once the FAFSA is complete, on the confirmation page students can choose to “transfer my information to the PA State Grant Program”. Students can also visit Pennsylvania State Grant Program and create an account to fill out the Pennsylvania State Grant Application. In order for the application to be complete, the students and parents must print-out, sign and mail-in the completed application to the Harrisburg address listed at the top of the printed page.
After these steps are completed, the Financial Aid information will be sent to the schools that you indicated on your FAFSA and PHEAA application. The Financial Aid Office at each school will then process your information. This may take a few weeks. In order to determine how much need based and merit aid you qualify for a Financial Aid “Package” will be sent out to the student. You may need to provide more information, such as a CSS PROFILE OR income verification so please be sure to check your email or college/school portal account.
Account Access - PHEAA’s Student Portal
Students can complete the PA State Grant Form (SGF) and update their State Grant record through Account Access at PHEAA.org. New users will need to create a username and password prior to completing the SGF and making corrections to their State Grant record. Once they are logged into their individual account, they can complete their SGF and update their State Grant Record with their choice of school.
Students may also use Account Access to update information related to enrollment, program of study, and housing plans. Information regarding the student’s State Grant eligibility is also available.
When you receive your Financial Aid Package or Letter, you will find that Financial Aid consists of several different types: grants, student loans and scholarships.
PRIMARY COMPONENTS OF FINANCIAL AID
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