Financial Aid Requirements

Financial Aid Requirements

Financial Aid Eligibility

Financial aid eligibility is governed by federal, state, and University regulations. Generally, the student needs to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. The student must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen as identified by the Department of Homeland Security.
  2. The student must be a high school graduate or have a GED.
  3. The student must be accepted as a degree-seeking student without restriction, and must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (at Penn State, half-time enrollment is six credits per semester).
  4. If the student is male and between the ages of 18 and 24, he must be registered with the Selective Service.
  5. The student cannot be in default on any prior student loan, or owe a refund on any prior federal or state grant.

The Financial Aid Process

By submitting your student aid application, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you begin the process known as "need analysis."  Once your FAFSA is submitted it is strongly recommended to check the status of your Pennsylvania State Grant by navigating to and logging in to your online student account.

The FAFSA collects basic information about your family's income and assets, your household size, and the number of family members attending college. This information is entered into a federal formula developed by the U.S. Congress that estimates your family's "ability to contribute" to your educational expenses.

Your "ability to contribute" is called your estimated family contribution.  When your family contribution is subtracted from the school's total cost of attendance (typical expenses incurred for meeting college costs such as tuition, fees, room and board, books, and miscellaneous expenses), your "financial need" is set.

This figure determines your eligibility for most student aid programs. Adult learner students and most graduate students follow the same formula, but parent income and asset information is not required.

Because you are asked to report income and asset information, it is necessary for you to keep copies of your federal tax returns handy. The Office of Student Aid will notify you if these or any other documents are needed to meet federal verification requirements. Tax returns or other documents may also be requested by the state grant agency (PHEAA).



Contact the Financial Aid Office at 570-963-2500 or visit us in Dawson Room 5.