A college education has become a significant expense for most families and requires careful planning. Whatever your financial situation is, we encourage you to use this information to help you understand college funding so you can navigate the financial aid process with greater ease.

State Financial Aid

States provide many financial aid opportunities to help ease the cost of a college education. Please select the state you reside in to learn about state sponsored internships, scholarships and financial aid programs for undergraduate students and assistantships, fellowships, and residency programs for graduate and professional students.

STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA FINANCIAL AID PROGRAMS

For more detailed information on state financial aid programs contact:

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

(800)-233-0557

www.pheaa.org

Please go to this website for ALL the information about each program .

The following are financial aid programs available to students who are residents of the state of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State Grant Program

A Pennsylvania State Grant is based on financial need. Before you apply, check if you are eligible.

Am I Eligible?

Make satisfactory academic progress (as defined by PHEAA)

Not have already earned a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent

Be a Pennsylvania resident, as stipulated in the Pennsylvania State Grant law

Be of satisfactory character (for example, not be incarcerated)

Not have received the maximum number of Pennsylvania State Grants permitted

Not be in default or pending default on an educational loan. This also applies to any program where the award has been converted to a loan due to failure to meet all eligibility or service requirements and the loan is in a default status.

File and complete the application process by the appropriate deadlines

For more detail, read the Rights and Responsibilities Certification Document

Children Of Soldiers Declared POW/MIA

We provide a special state grant to children of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who has been designated a “Prisoner of War” or as “Missing in Action” and:

  • Served on active duty after January 31, 1955.
  • Was a resident of Pennsylvania for at least twelve (12) months preceding his/her service on active duty.

Students do not qualify if they are a child of any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who deserted, defected to the enemy, or was discharged under conditions other than “honorable.”

To apply, file a FAFSA and the POW-MIA application. You may obtain the POW-MIA application by calling:

1-800-692-7392 (toll-free)
TDD (for hearing-impaired ONLY): 717-720-2366.

Students should file as early as possible. Funds permitting, we may be able to consider applications for the full academic year as long as they are filed with the Agency before April 1 of the spring term for which aid is being requested.

Pennsylvania National Guard Members EAP

Together with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), we administer the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) for members of the Pennsylvania National Guard. This program provides tuition assistance for students who enter into a service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard, typically for a period of six years.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be a bona fide resident (domiciliary) of Pennsylvania.
  • Be enrolled in a degree- or certificate-granting program of study at an approved Pennsylvania institution.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) Scholarship

The Pennsylvania State Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)scholarship is a federally funded program that supports college readiness through early interventionactivities in middle and high schools, and offers a scholarship for postsecondary education. PHEAAadministers the GEAR UP scholarship on behalf of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

To receive a GEAR UP scholarship, a student must:

  • Have graduated from one of the following schools in the Philadelphia or Harrisburg school districts:
    • Young Women’s Leadership School at E.W. Rhodes High School
    • John Bartram Main High School
    • Martin Luther King High School
    • Strawberry Mansion High School
    • Harrisburg High School (including Sci-Tech High School, William Penn High School, ACTS and CTA)
  • Be deemed scholarship eligible through participation in college readiness activities
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program at a postsecondary school in Pennsylvania that is approved for federal student aid
  • Be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant each year
  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Be less than 22 years old at the time of first scholarship award
  • Complete a GEAR UP Recipient Agreement
  • Meet all federal student aid requirements

The annual maximum GEAR UP scholarship is equal to the maximum Federal Pell Grant for the same academic year. The GEAR UP scholarship may be reduced based on enrollment status, Expected Family Contribution (EFC), fund availability, or unmet cost as determined by the school’s financial aid office. Awards are contingent upon federal funding and are not guaranteed.

SciTech Scholarship-NETS

SciTech Scholarships provide up to $3,000 per year based on total educational costs (tuition and mandatory fees, room and board, and an allowance for books) to students who are enrolled full-time, for a maximum of three years (with certain exceptions for approved five-year degree programs).

To qualify you must:

Technology Scholarship – NETS

Technology Scholarships provide up to $1,000 per year based on total educational costs (tuition and mandatory fees, room and board, and an allowance for books) to Pennsylvania high school graduates who don’t seek a four-year education but do want to succeed in a technology-based economy. Part-time students enrolled for at least three semester credits per semester or the equivalent are eligible to be considered for a scholarship based on tuition and mandatory fees as reported by the school, less any Federal Pell and State Grant aid, up to a maximum of $1,000 or 20 percent of their tuition and mandatory fees, whichever is less.

To qualify you must:

Partnership For Access To Higher Education (PATH)

PHEAA is committed to providing as many sources of money for higher education as possible. Luckily, we have equally dedicated partners throughout the Commonwealth who have joined our efforts. Through the PHEAA PATH program we offer qualifying students additional financial aid via educational grants. In order to be eligible to receive a PHEAA PATH grant you must first be awarded a scholarship or grant by a participating PHEAA PATH partner.

Through the PATH (Partnerships for Access to Higher Education) Program, qualifying students who have already been awarded a scholarship or grant by one of our PHEAA PATH Partners may be eligible for additional grant money.

Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant (ETG) Program

This federally funded program offers grants to Pennsylvania undergraduate students aging out of foster care who are attending an eligible postsecondary institution.

PHEAA administers the Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant (Chafee) Program on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as authorized under the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and amended by the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001.

Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

The purpose of the Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program is to encourage individuals to enter and continue in the teaching profession. You may qualify if you teach full-time at a low-income school and meet other qualifications.

Am I eligible?

To view full details of the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, including the eligibility requirements, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

How do I apply?

It’s easy to apply. Go to aesSuccess.org and follow the instructions.

Agriculture Education Loan Forgiveness Program

The Agriculture Education Loan Forgiveness Program helps eligible graduates repay student loans when they return to Pennsylvania to work in a qualifying agriculture field. PHEAA will forgive up to $2,000 per year on outstanding American Education Services (AES)-administered, federally insured student loans for each year of satisfactory employment.

Am I eligible?

To be considered for this program, you must:

Hold a degree in veterinary medicine or agriculture from an accredited college or university

OR

Have a current teaching certification in agriculture from a postsecondary institution in Pennsylvania

Be a resident of Pennsylvania

Have a current outstanding balance on AES-administered, federally insured loans as approved by PHEAA (does not include commercial loans or personal loans from relatives or friends)

Meet additional eligibility requirements specific to the qualifying agriculture field of employment

Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program

This program honors individuals who lost their lives protecting the citizens of this Commonwealth by providing their children with a waiver of tuition, fees, and room and board charges. An act was signed into law that provides financial assistance to children of Pennsylvania police officers, firefighters, rescue or ambulance squad members, corrections facility employees or National Guard members who died in the line of duty after January 1, 1976.

On November 30, 2004, the Governor signed into law an amendment to this Act, to also include sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, National Guard members and certain other individuals who are on federal or state active military duty, are Pennsylvania residents, and who died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.

This program provides a waiver of tuition, fees, and room and board costs charged by public postsecondary institutions. This waiver is only applied to charges that remain after all other grants (federal, state and outside scholarships) have been applied to your student account.

PHEAA-Administered Work-Study Programs

The State Work-Study Program (SWSP) provides Pennsylvania students with employment opportunities in high-technology and community-service fields. Through SWSP you gain career-related, on-the-job work experience while earning money to help pay for your higher education. You may work up to 40 hours per week during term breaks and the summer and no more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session.

To qualify you must:

  • Be a Pennsylvania resident.
  • Be enrolled at least half-time (6 – 11 credits) in a PHEAA-approved higher education institution, in a program of study at least two years in length.
  • Be a State Grant or subsidized federal loan recipient.
  • Be able to benefit from a career-related work experience in a high-tech or community-service job.
  • Not owe a State Grant refund or have defaulted on any student loan.

Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program

This federally funded program offers grants to Pennsylvania undergraduate students aging out of foster care who are attending an eligible postsecondary institution.

PHEAA administers the Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant (Chafee) Program on behalf of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as authorized under the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 and amended by the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Amendments of 2001.