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 2023-2024 FAFSA to be considered for aid for fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024. Students who are admitted for summer 2023 also need to submit the 2022-2023 FAFSA by June 30, 2023, if they wish to be considered for aid for summer 2023.
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
- Accept the loan in LionPATH
- Sign a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note
- Complete Entrance Counseling
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/stepparents 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, which typically require a cosigner.
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.
All students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to Penn State by December 1 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 may be other employment opportunities available.
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.
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. This notification will include 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
Students should check their Penn State email frequently. The Office of Student Aid communicates with students through their Penn State email account. 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 their Award Summary in LionPATH.