Current Undergraduate Student Checklist for Summer 2020
Apply for aid (FAFSA)
The 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted by June 30, 2020 using your 2017 Federal Income Tax Return information. If you have already submitted your FAFSA for the Fall 2019 and or Spring 2020, you will not need to re-submit the application.
- Schedule all the courses you intend to take during Summer Session(s).
- Monitor your Award Summary on LionPATH in late April for notification of summer eligibility.
Respond to requests for information
Verification is a federal regulation that requires colleges and universities to verify the information provided by students and parents on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We will notify you via your Penn State email if you have been selected for verification. You can find prompts in the "To Do List" located on the Home when you log into LionPATH.
Review your Aid Award
- Your eligibility will be determined once you have scheduled all of your classes for summer 2020**.
- Your federal aid eligibility may be limited if you have already used the aid in the Fall and Spring semesters.
- Review your summer cost information for the 2020 Summer Session to determine if you will need to apply for additional funding.
**If your aid has not been awarded by the time your bill is produced, contact our office for a review of your record.
Types of aid you can expect for the summer:
Federal Pell Grant
The Office of Student Aid will automatically determine your eligibility for a summer Pell Grant. If you are eligible, your grant will appear on your Award Summary on LionPATH and as a credit on your summer tuition bill.
Federal Work-Study (FWS)
To be eligible for Federal Work-Study, continuing students will need to be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credits and had work-study during the Fall 2019 and/or Spring 2020 semesters.
PA State Grant (Pennsylvania residents)
If you wish to apply for the summer PA State grant (summer 2020 only), you must complete the Summer PA State Grant application available on the PHEAA website by August 15, 2020.
- Summer PA State grants will be credited to eligible student accounts at the end of July, so all students must plan accordingly.
- The Office of Student Aid is responsible for reviewing all preliminarily eligible Summer PA State Grant recipients to ensure they meet all of the summer PA State Grant Agency basic requirements (enrolled at least half-time, academic progress review, repeated coursework review, 5 week enrollment requirement review, taking 50% or more of summer classwork in the classroom).
- It is possible the PA State Grant Agency will preliminarily approve a student's summer PA State Grant application prior to the school's PA State Grant requirement check.
- Eligible students only receive 8 total semesters of the State Grant throughout their academic career. Using the grant during the summer semester can take away potential fall or spring eligibility later.
- Apply for the Summer PA State grant at the PHEAA summer application website.
- Graduating seniors: If you are graduating or are in your next-to-last semester, enrolled for 9 to 11 credits, and receiving the PA State Grant, you may be eligible for a full-time grant. This exception to full-time enrollment is intended to permit continued eligibility for students who normally enroll full-time, but only need to complete 9 to 11 credits during one of the terms of their final year of study. If you would like to be considered for this PA State Grant exception, please complete the PA State Grant 9-11 Form (Summer).
Federal Direct Loans
You may be eligible for the Federal Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan if you have not received the maximum amount of Federal Direct Loan eligibility during the previous fall and spring semesters, or have increased in grade level (i.e. first year to sophomore). Most students use their annual limit of Federal Direct Loan eligibility during the fall and spring semesters of the academic year.
You will be awarded once you become enrolled at least half time (6 credits).
Accept your loans
- Borrowers will need to accept the Direct Loan in LionPATH under the Finances section by clicking on "Accept/Decline Awards". Once you choose an aid year, you can update totals, click on the loans that you wish to accept, and hit submit.
- If you are a first-time borrower, in addition to accepting your loans in LionPATH, you will also have to go to studentaid.gov, sign in using your FSA ID, and complete the following requirements:
Choose "Complete Entrance Counseling":
- Select "I am an undergraduate student."
- Continue until you receive a confirmation that you successfully completed Entrance Counseling.
- You can choose to view and download your completed Counseling Verification from the confirmation page.
- If you selected Penn State in the School and Loan Information section, our office will be notified electronically that you completed Entrance Counseling, typically within 3 to 5 business days.
Choose "Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN)":
- Click on "Subsidized/Unsubsidized."
- Continue until you receive a confirmation that you successfully completed the MPN.
- Our office will be notified electronically that you completed your MPN, typically within 3 to 5 business days.
If you experience technical problems completing Entrance Counseling or e-signing your MPN, contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Loan Support Center at 800-557-7394.
Find additional financing options
Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan
If you no longer have eligibility for subsidized/unsubsidized loan in the summer or need additional funding and are enrolled at least half time, your parent(s) may want to consider a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. For further information on the PLUS and how to apply you can visit the Parent PLUS loan page.
Private Alternative Loans
If you are an independent student who is ineligible for federal or state student financial aid or have remaining financial need, you may apply for alternative student loans through private lenders.
Dependent students typically need a creditworthy co-signer on their loan application. Independent students may or may not need a creditworthy co-signer on their loan application.
The maximum private alternative loan amount you can request is your total cost of attendance, minus all other student financial aid listed on your Award Summary on LionPATH.
Summer private alternative loan term dates: May to August 2020
Pay your statement
For information on accessing your bill or paying your statement, visit the Bursar's website.
Sign up for eRefund
If your financial aid exceeds your total charges, you may receive a refund. Students should sign up for eRefund on LionPATH to expedite the refund process.
Summer refunds will be generated closer to the beginning of Summer Session II. After an eRefund has been generated by Penn State to your financial institution, the process may take up to 3-5 business days before it will appear as a credit in your account.