Graduate 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**.
- Monitor your LionPATH and your PSU email accounts.
- 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 Work-Study (FWS)
Federal Work study will likely not be available in the summer. Summer 2019 awards are only available if funds are not fully spent in the Fall 2019 and Fall 2020 semesters.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Students who do not utilize the annual maximum eligibility during the previous fall and spring semesters may be eligible for the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
Your summer aid will be awarded in LionPATH at the point you become enrolled at least half time (5 credits).
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS
If you no longer have eligibility for unsubsidized loans in the summer, and are enrolled at least half time, you may want to consider a Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. For further information on the PLUS and how to apply, you can visit the Graduate PLUS Loan page.
Accept your loan
- 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 a graduate/professional 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 "Federal Direct Loan."
- 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
Private Alternative Loans
If you are ineligible for federal student financial aid or have remaining financial need, you may want to apply for private alternative student loans through private lenders. The maximum private alternative loan available is your cost of attendance less all other student financial aid listed on your Award Summary on LionPATH for Summer Session(s).
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. Summer refunds will be generated closer to the beginning of Summer Session II. We encourage students to sign up for eRefund on LionPATH to expedite the refund process.