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Student Aid Summary Guide for Current Students

This guide explains how to read your financial aid checklist and award package listed on the Student Aid Summary in eLion.

Student Aid Checklist and Status Explained

The Student Aid Checklist contains action steps required for you to finalize your aid.

If you are selected for verification of the information listed on your FAFSA, you will see the items our office needs listed here.

Student Aid Summary Checklist
Student Aid Summary Checklist (click on image to enlarge)

Your aid funds will not disburse until the items listed on your checklist are complete.

Items will be removed from the checklist after you take action and we update your record. Some items may take longer to process than others — monitor your checklist often.

The Student Aid Status section shows your current financial aid eligibility and other important information. Here, you can confirm our receipt of your FAFSA, determine if you are meeting Penn State’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard, view a summary of your loan debt, and check for holds on your financial aid.

After reviewing the checklist and status sections, click the green "View Aid" button to view your financial aid award.

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Breakdown of Sections in the Summary

1. Credits for Student Aid Purposes

Most awards are based on full-time enrollment. If you are an undergraduate student who is taking fewer than twelve credits or a graduate student taking fewer than nine credits, your aid may be adjusted accordingly.

Student Aid Summary Guide
Student Aid Summary Guide (click image to enlarge)

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2. Types of Aid

This section of the Student Aid Summary lists all the sources of financial aid you are eligible to receive based on the information submitted on your FAFSA. The Federal Pell Grant and Pennsylvania State Grant award amounts are contingent upon final federal funding and state appropriations.

Your award amounts are estimated, subject to change, and non-negotiable.

Scholarships are limited

Penn State scholarships are limited and highly competitive. We regret that we are not able to recognize all students who have achieved significant academic honors. University scholarships make-up only 9 percent of all financial aid awarded to students.

Educational loans are a primary aid source

Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford and/or Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan(s) are awarded as part of your financial aid package. You can cancel or decrease your loans by selecting "Loan Decrease" on eLion.

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3. Estimated Costs

Estimated billable educational expenses at Penn State are based on full-time enrollment, the campus you will attend, your living arrangements, and whether you are an in- or out-of-state student.

In addition to billable expenses, you will need to pay for estimated non-billable expenses such as books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses like laundry and personal care items. You can use the refund from your financial aid to pay for your non-billable expenses, including off-campus housing.

Final tuition and fees are set annually in July by the Penn State Board of Trustees.

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4. Financial Aid Planning

Using your Student Aid Summary, subtract the total estimated amount of student aid from your total estimated costs to calculate the amount you can expect to pay.

If you need additional resources to pay for your education, we recommend applying for federal loans before considering higher-cost private loans and reading our financing strategies section.

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What's Next

  • Monitor your Student Aid Summary Checklist and complete all action steps listed.
  • Know your rights and responsibilities. As a student financial aid recipient, it is your responsibility to know and comply with the rules governing the aid you receive.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for financial aid.
  • Monitor your Penn State email account. Check it regularly for financial aid notifications.
  • Complete your registration. Tuition bill notifications are emailed in July for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester. You must complete/confirm your registration on the tuition bill every semester—even when your aid covers your bill or when you are expecting a refund—to ensure your aid disburses into your student account on time.

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