Office of Student Financial Aid

Office of Student Financial Aid

The Office of Student Aid administers all major types of federal, state, and University student financial aid at Penn State and coordinates multiple funding sources on behalf of sponsoring agencies. The primary sources of student aid funding at Penn State come from federal and state programs.

Applying for Aid

If you and your student have not yet completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web, do so as soon as possible so your student can be considered for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. The FAFSA is the only application required to apply for financial aid at Penn State. If you have not yet completed it or need to submit corrections, you can do so online at fafsa.ed.gov.

Students need to submit the 2017-18 FAFSA in order to be considered for aid for fall 2017, spring 2018, and summer 2018. Students who are admitted for summer 2017 also need to submit the 2016-17 FAFSA by June 30, 2017, if they wish to be considered for aid for summer 2017. 

Student Aid Notification

Students who submit the FAFSA will receive an email notification from our office with information about the types of aid they are eligible to receive.

Federal Direct Subsidized & Unsubsidized Loan

To receive the Federal Direct Loan, your student must take the following steps:

  • Complete the FAFSA at fafsa.ed.gov
  • Loan information will appear on the Award Summary in LionPATH and he/she will need to accept the loan
  • Sign a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) at www.StudentLoans.gov
  • Complete entrance counseling at www.StudentLoans.gov

After all of the steps above have been completed, the Federal Direct Loan will appear as a credit on the student’s bill.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

The financial aid listed on the Award Summary in LionPATH may not cover all educational costs. As a parent, you may apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. This is a federal loan available only to parents of dependent undergraduate students.

Private Alternative Loans

If the PLUS loan is not an option for you, your student can seek additional funding from private alternative loans.

Scholarships

All students who are offered admission and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to Penn State are considered for scholarships awarded by the Office of Student Aid. If your student was awarded a scholarship from the Office of Student Aid, it will be listed on the Award Summary in LionPATH. Some academic colleges, campuses, and administrative units require separate applications.

Work Study

All students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to Penn State by February 15th and answer “yes” to the federal work-study question on the FAFSA are considered for work-study. If your student was awarded work-study, it will be listed on the Award Summary in LionPATH.

If your student did not receive a work-study award, there are many employment opportunities other than work-study, you can learn more at: www.psu.jobs.

Rights and Responsibilities of a Financial Aid Recipient

As a financial aid recipient, it is crucial that your student is well informed about his or her rights and responsibilities. Be sure your student carefully reviews this important information on our website and understands Penn State’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard and what is required of students to remain eligible for student aid.

FAFSA Verification

The Office of Student Aid is required by the federal government to confirm the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA—a process known as verification. If students are selected for verification by Penn State, they will be notified by the Office of Student Aid requesting the specific information needed and the due date. Please respond promptly to any requests from the Office of Student Aid for verification documents to avoid a delay in the processing of student aid. Please do not submit any documents unless you or your student receives a request.

Check Penn State E-mail Frequently

The Office of Student Aid communicates with students through their Penn State email account, which they can access via WebMail (webmail.psu.edu). They will also be able to access their student aid information in LionPATH. Be sure to ask your student to share any pertinent student aid information with you or grant you access to his/her Award Summary in LionPATH.