First-Year Undergraduate Student Checklist for Summer 2020
Apply for aid (FAFSA)
- Create a FSA ID.
- Submit the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by June 30, 2020* using your 2017 Federal Income Tax information.
*Note that our recommended filing date is December 1, 2019 for first-year students.
Give your Parents Delegated Access
Parent access to student information in LionPATH is called Delegated Access. Delegated access gives parents, guardians, or other individuals access to view:
- class schedule
- enrollment verification
- financial aid
- to do list
Students are responsible for setting up delegated access in LionPATH and for determining which areas the individual can access.
For help on how to use delegated access, visit the "Using Delegated Access" online tutorial.
To log in, access the Guardian Delegation Login page.
When a student does grant you delegated access, you need to accept the invitation for delegated access before you can log into the account.
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 Student Center when you log into LionPATH.
Review your Aid Award (Begins mid-April)
- Your eligibility will be determined once Penn State receives your 2019-20 FAFSA and you have paid your acceptance fees**.
- Monitor your LionPATH and your PSU email accounts.
- Review your summer cost information 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 Federal Pell Grant is a need-based grant. Eligible students will be automatically awarded the grant based on their FAFSA information and the number of credits. First-year undergraduate students starting in summer generally take six to seven credits, which is considered half-time enrollment.
New students will not be awarded summer Work-Study.
Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans
You are eligible for federal loans if you are enrolled at least half time (or 6 credits). The loan Limits for eligible first-year students*:
Dependent Undergraduate students: $5,500
Independent Undergraduate students: $9,500 (not exceeding their total costs)
*Summer 2020 is the last semester of the 2019-20 academic year, so the summer 2020 Federal Direct Loan will not affect your loan eligibility for the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 semesters. For this reason, this will likely be the only semester that you will receive your full loan award in one semester.
PA State Grant
The Pennsylvania State Grant is funded by the Commonwealth and awarded by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) to undergraduate Pennsylvania residents who demonstrate high financial need and are enrolled at least half time (6 credits). If you wish to apply for the summer PA State grant, 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 PA 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.
Accept your loans (after the May 1st acceptance deadline)
- 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 - Available April 15th
If you 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 - Available April 15th
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 Private 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 close 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.