Types of Federal and State Financial Aid
FEDERAL PELL GRANTS
The Pell program is a federally administered program available to needy students. Eligibility is determined by the federal government and notification is sent directly to students.
FEDERAL PERKINS LOANS
The Federal Perkins Loan provides needy students with long-term, low-interest loans for educational expenses. The University determines the amount of the loan to be offered within certain federal guidelines. Interest at the rate of 5 percent per year on the unpaid balance begins to accrue nine months after the student ceases at least half-time study. The loan repayment period may be as long as 10 years, depending upon the total amount borrowed.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE GRANTS (PHEAA) AND OTHER STATE GRANT PROGRAMS
Pennsylvania state grants are administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). Eligible students must demonstrate financial need, meet Pennsylvania residency requirements, and be enrolled at least half time. Full-time students must complete a minimum of 24 credits per year, while half-time students must complete a minimum of 12 credits annually. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filed by May 1 to be eligible.
PHEAA requires students to have at least 50 percent of their registered credits to be on campus. If more than 50 percent of a student's registered credits during a given semester are for online classes, the student will not be eligible to receive a PHEAA State Grant for that semester.
Other states in addition to Pennsylvania have scholarship programs for their residents. Information and applications are available from the respective state boards of education.
FEDERAL WORK STUDY PROGRAM
The Federal Work Study Program provides needy students with the opportunity to be eligible for part-time jobs on campus. The funds earned do not provide direct tuition relief, but they are intended to help meet incidental expenses encountered by students. Students are paid on a biweekly basis for the number of hours worked. The total amount that may be earned through the work program is determined by students’ needs and availability of funds at the University. Students work an average of 12 hours a week throughout the academic year. Please see the Web site for job listings.
FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANTS (FSEOG)
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) program is a federally funded, college-administered program available to needy students who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients.
FEDERAL DIRECT SUBSIDIZED LOAN
This is a low-interest loan awarded on the basis of need made directly by the federal government. Repayment begins six months after leaving school or enrolling less than half time with a maximum of 10 years to repay. Depending on need, students may borrow up to $3,500 a year as freshmen,
$4,500 as sophomores, and $5,500 as upperclassmen. Students must be enrolled half time to be eligible.
FEDERAL DIRECT UNSUBSIDIZED LOAN
This is a low-interest loan offered to students who are ineligible to borrow the maximum amount of the Direct Subsidized Loan and to independent students who need additional funds. This loan is the same as the regular Direct Subsidized Loan except students must make interest payments while in school and during the grace period. The loan maximums are the same as those listed above for the Federal Direct Subsidized Loan, except dependent students may borrow an additional $2,000 each year, while independent students may borrow the additional amounts as follows: $6,000 as freshmen and sophomores, $7,000 as upperclassmen, and $12,000 as graduate students. Students must be enrolled at least half time to be eligible. The financial aid award letter will provide application instructions.
FEDERAL DIRECT PARENT LOANS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
The Federal PLUS Loan is a non-need-based loan for the parents of undergraduate students who are enrolled as at least half-time students. Borrowers have the option of beginning repayment on the PLUS loan either 60 days after the loan is fully disbursed or waiting until six months after the dependent student, on whose behalf the parent borrowed, ceases to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis. The interest rate is 7.9 percent with a 4 percent origination fee (For example: A loan of $10,000 will disburse to the University as $9,600).