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Investing in your education may be one of the most important financial decisions you will make. Our expert team of Student Aid professionals are here to help educate and plan for your education.
How to apply for financial aid
- Create a FSA ID. Keep this code, as you’ll need it for other federal financial aid documents.
- Complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA)
Send your FAFSA information to Penn State University by selecting "Search by School Code" and using the code: 003329.
- Pennsylvania residents: apply for Pennsylvania aid from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) after completing your FAFSA.
- Out-of-state students: check with your state grant agency to see if you are eligible for a grant.
Financial aid filing dates
- The FAFSA becomes available on October 1.
- Penn state's recommended FAFSA filing date for new students is December 1.
- Returning Penn State students should submit their FAFSA by April 15.
- Award notifications for admitted students with submitted FAFSAs start sending in February.
- New students should accept their offer of admission by May 1 to avoid aid expiration.
- Pennsylvania residents: complete the Pennsylvania State Grant applications by May 1.
- Out-of-state students: verify if you are eligible for a state grant and what your deadline is with your own state grant agency.
Keep in mind that many student aid sources, especially University funds, have limited funding and are awarded to eligible students on a first come, first served basis. Waiting to file the FAFSA may mean you will not be awarded funding for which you would otherwise qualify because the available funds have run out.
Types of financial aid
First, it's important to understand the types of aid you can apply for. Grants and scholarships are appealing because you don't have to pay them back, while loans expect repayment, and work-study allows you to earn funds through a campus paycheck.
Grants are awarded based solely on financial need and have no requirement of repayment. They may come from the Federal government, the state or the University.
Federal Pell, Children of Fallen Heroes Scholarship, Supplemental Educational Opportunity (SEOG), and TEACH Grants may provide additional funding sources.
Pennsylvania offers several grants for state residents, the most popular being the Pennsylvania State Grant by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) to undergraduate Pennsylvania residents who demonstrate high financial need. To apply for the Pennsylvania State Grant, complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by May 1 and continue on to the PHEAA website.
Penn State Academic Grants are funded by the University and awarded to undergraduate students with demonstrated high financial need.
Select states outside of Pennsylvania offer grant and scholarship programs for their residents who attend Penn State, including Delaware, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont and West Virginia.
Scholarships are awarded on academic achievement, and financial need is an additional criterion of eligibility for many University scholarships. There is no requirement of repayment for scholarships.
Penn State Shenango awards more than $700,000 annually, a life-changing gift made possible by generous donations from campus alumni, local leaders, foundations, corporations, the University, and friends who wish to extend the opportunity of higher education to students.
More than 93% of Shenango students receive some form of financial aid. In fact, most students can expect to earn a merit award based on their high school GPA between $2,000 and $4,000!
How to apply for Penn State scholarships
To be considered for any student aid, including merit-based scholarships, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Penn State automatically awards most incoming students based on need and academic merit without need for additional essays or internal applications.
Regardless of whether a student thinks they will be awarded aid, Penn State recommends that every student submit a FAFSA to be eligible for maximum consideration.
To receive maximum aid consideration, we recommend applying for admission by November 1 and accepting your offer of admission by May 1. Students who are eligible for need and merit scholarships will receive notification of an award shortly after an offer of admissions, typically starting in February.
All students should submit the FASFA to be considered for need-based awards no later than February 15.
Academic merit scholarships
Campus applicants are typically awarded for merit scholarships based on their high school GPA.
Discover Penn State Award for Pennsylvania border state residents
The Discover Penn State Award is a four-year award is available to first-year and transfer students who are residents of Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, and who enroll at one of Penn State’s 19 Commonwealth Campuses.
Residents of Pennsylvania border states can earn even more
Students in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia can save $6,000 for their first two years and $7,000 during their last two years at Penn State Shenango. Students who transfer for their junior year may be considered for an award of $6,500 a year for three years to help them earn a bachelor’s degree.
The four-year Provost's Award is automatically awarded to select first-year students at Penn State’s 20 undergraduate campuses. Both Pennsylvania and non-Pennsylvania residents are considered for this award.
Students currently attending Penn State Shenango should complete their renewal FAFSA by April 15 and have a class schedule in place for the following fall no later than May 1. If eligible for scholarship consideration, students will be notified by email in early June.
You may be eligible for outside scholarships from businesses or organizations in your local community with which you have affiliations, like your high school, parents' employers, religious organizations or professional associations.
If you have been awarded an external scholarship, notify the Bursar's office.
While loans need to be repaid, federal options are typically recommended before turning to private options. Our Student Aid department can help you explore Federal Direct, Parent PLUS, private, and University loan options.
The Federal Work-Study program can allow students to work in impactful roles on campus. This type of aid is not applied to the student bill, rather, these funds are earned as work hours are completed and the student will receive a paycheck. Applying for the Federal Work-Study program is part of the FAFSA application. Work-study funds are limited and campus jobs are not guaranteed. Learn more about work-study.
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