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Student Aid Summary Guide for New Students

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

Jump to:

  1. Student Financial Aid Award
  2. Estimated Costs
  3. Financial Planning

 

1. Student Financial Aid Award

Sample Student Aid Summary
Student Aid Summary example
The Types of Aid section on your Student Aid Summary lists all the sources of aid you are eligible to receive for the academic year, based on the information you submitted on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Your aid may consist of loans, grants, scholarships, and/or federal work-study based on your eligibility. Your award amounts are estimated, subject to change and non-negotiable. Federal Grant and Pennsylvania State Grant award amounts are contingent upon final federal funding and state appropriations.

Scholarships are limited

Penn State scholarships for first-year students are limited and highly competitive. We regret that we are not able to recognize all students who rank at or near the top of their class or who have achieved other significant academic honors.

In fact, University scholarships make-up only 10 percent of all financial aid awarded to first-year students. For more information read our Student Aid and Scholarships Policy.

Educational loans are a primary aid source

Due to limited student aid funding, including University scholarships, Penn State is unable to meet the full demonstrated financial need of most students. 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 on eLion after June 1 and after you have attended the New Student Orientation. Federal Parent PLUS loans and private alternative loans are also available. Before applying compare the Federal Parent PLUS loan to private alternative loans.

2. Estimated Costs

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

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

3. Financial Planning

When making the decision of whether or not you will attend Penn State, it is important to determine how you will pay for your education costs not only for the first year, but for all four years, by looking at both the billable and non-billable educational expenses you will incur. You can control the non-billable expenses to some degree by making smart spending choices. You will be more likely to succeed at Penn State if you are well prepared, both financially and academically.

Using your Student Aid Summary, subtract the estimated amount of student aid from your estimated costs to calculate the amount you can expect to pay. Consider your cost of attendance, including both billable and non-billable expenses.

The shopping sheet, a standardized award letter designed by the federal government, is also available for your use when comparing financial aid packages and costs between universities. If you are admitted for summer, you should note that your summer costs and aid are included on your Student Aid Summary, but they are not included on your shopping sheet.

After you have paid your admission fees, review:

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. Be sure to read your rights and responsibilities and maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for aid.

Monitor your Penn State email account. Most communications from the University will be sent only to your Penn State email account.

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