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Graduate Student checklist for Summer 2017

Application Information

1. The 2016-17 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted by June 30, 2017 using your 2015 Federal Income Tax Return.

2. Review the cost information for the 2017 Summer Session(s).

3. Schedule all the courses you intend to take during Summer Session(s).

Federal Work-Study

New and current students will not be awarded Federal Work study in the summer.


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.

Summer awarding will be an automated process in LionPATH.  This process will award your aid eligibility at the point you become enrolled at least half time (5 credits). 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, sign in using your FSA ID, and complete the following requirements:

  • Choose Complete Entrance Counseling and then select "I am a graduate/professional student." Continue through the application until you receive a confirmation that you successfully completed Entrance Counseling. You can choose to view and download your completed Counseling Verification Page 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 three business days.
  • Choose Complete Master Promissory Note (MPN) and then click on "Federal Direct Loan." Continue through the application until you receive a confirmation that you successfully completed the MPN. Our office will be notified electronically that you completed your MPN, typically within three 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.

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.

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    Additional financing options to consider

    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).

    The loan term date for a summer private alternative loan runs from May to August 2017


    If your financial aid exceeds your total charges, you may receive a refund. Summer refunds will be generated on June 28. We encourage students to sign up for e-refund on LionPATH to expedite the refund process.

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