Financial aid can be defined as any resource that supplements what parents and students are expected to contribute to meet the costs of a college education.
Penn State students receive four types of student aid: grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study.
Applying for financial aid
- Create a FSA ID. Keep this code, you’ll need it for other federal financial aid documents.
- Complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). Finish your FAFSA by December 1 for maximum financial aid consideration. Penn State’s FAFSA code is 003329. The FAFSA will use income information from two years prior to the academic year.
- Is you are a Pennsylvania resident, apply for Pennsylvania financial aid from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). May 1 is the deadline to apply for state PHEAA grants.
Federal financial aid filing dates
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available on October 1. Penn state's recommended filing date is December 1.
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
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. More information about grants.
Scholarships are awarded on academic achievement. For many University scholarships, financial need is an additional criterion of eligibility. There is no requirement of repayment. More information about scholarships.
Loans are low interest awards that must be repaid after students terminate their studies at the University. To learn more about the various types of loans, visit our Student Aid site for more information about loans.
Work-study is awarded based upon the financial need of the student. Students can earn money towards their school expenses. Work study earnings are not applied directly to your semester bill. Students receive a paycheck. More information about work-study. Find work-study jobs on campus.