Financial Aid Process
Make applying for financial aid simple by following the steps below. Your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is your application for federal grants and loans, and if you are a Pennsylvania resident, it also doubles as your application for state grants offered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Because the FAFSA is free, you should never pay to have it processed. Use the link in step 1 below to access FAFSA’s official website.
Student Financial Services Office Hours
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
- Thursdays: 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
1. Submit A FAFSA
Starting the financial aid process begins with completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be completed for each year in which you would like to receive financial aid.
If you have never completed a FAFSA before, you will be required to create an FSA ID in order to start your FAFSA. Your parent may also be required to establish their own FSA ID if you are required to include their information on your FAFSA.
The FAFSA becomes available on October 1 for the next academic year. For example, if you want financial aid at any point during the Fall 2023, Spring 2024, or Summer 2024 semesters, the 2023-24 FAFSA becomes available October 1, 2023.
All undergraduate Pennsylvania residents are encouraged to complete their FAFSA by May 1 each year in order to be considered for a Pennsylvania State Grant.
The FAFSA determines what financial aid you may be eligible to receive by collecting your household’s financial information, some of which includes tax and banking information. To easily include the most accurate information, we encourage you to utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT). The IRS DRT imports the majority of your household’s tax information directly from the IRS.
PA College FAFSA School Code: 009863
2. Complete Required Documents
After you submit your FAFSA, PA College will review your application. Sometimes either the Department of Education and/or PA College will need to collect additional documentation from you in order to determine your financial aid eligibility. It is imperative for you to review all PA College emails for important updates regarding your financial aid.
All requested documentation must be submitted before you can be awarded with financial aid. Your specific list of required documents, if any, can be found in our interactive Self-Service portal. Accepted and current students can access Self-Service using the link below.
3. Accept Your Financial Aid
You will receive an e-mail notification once your financial aid award is ready to be reviewed. Your financial aid can consist of grants, scholarships, and loans. While you must enroll in at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduate students; 5 credits for graduate students) to be eligible for loans, your grant amounts may vary based on your enrollment.
All free money (grants and scholarships) will automatically be accepted for you. You will need to accept any financial aid that will need to be repaid (loans). If you receive both a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan and a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, it is important to review the differences between these loans prior to accepting them.
To review and accept your financial aid, select “Financial Aid” after logging in to Self-Service.
4. Loan Recruitments
If you accepted a Federal Direct Loan (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) and are a first-time borrower, the Department of Education requires you to complete the following steps:
- Entrance Counseling – an interactive, online learning module to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower; and
- Loan Agreement (Master Promissory Note) – the legally binding document that you sign agreeing to repay your loan(s).
Until these two steps are complete, your loans will not apply to your student account. Delays in this process could lead to holds and/or late fees being assessed.