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You are here: Home / Summer 2018 / First-Year Undergraduate Student Checklist for Summer 2018

First-Year Undergraduate Student Checklist for Summer 2018

  1. Application Information
    1. Federal Work-Study
    2. Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  2. Additional financing options to consider
    1. Private Alternative Loans
  3. Complete/confirm your registration
    1. Refunds

check mark blueApply for aid (FAFSA)

  1. Create a FSAID.
  2. Submit the 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by June 30, 2018 using your 2015 Federal Income Tax information.

check mark blueGive your Parents Delegated Access

Have your parent(s) visit the LionPATH launch page for parent access to your record. Under the heading "Student Records" they can access the "Delegated Access" login and tutorial.

check mark blueRespond 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.

check mark blueReview your Aid Award

  1. Summer awarding will begin in early April.
  2. Your eligibility will be determined once Penn State receives your 2017-18 FAFSA, you have paid your acceptance fees, and scheduled your classes for summer 2018.
  3. Monitor your LionPATH and your PSU email accounts.
  4. Review your summer cost information to determine if you will need to apply for additional funding.

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.

Federal Work-Study

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 2018 is the last semester of the 2017-18 academic year, so the summer 2018 Federal Direct Loan will not affect your loan eligibility for the Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 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.  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 between mid-March and  August 15, 2018.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • enrolled at least half time (6 credits)
  • 5 week minimum enrollment (Maymester classes will not be eligible)

Eligibility Review:

  • 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.
  • The Office of Student Aid is responsible for the final review of all preliminarily eligible Summer PA State Grant recipients to ensure they meet all of the summer PA State Grant Agency basic requirements (enrollment, academic progress, and repeated coursework).
  • If it is determined that you are not eligible for the summer grant, you will need to make other payment arrangements.

Please note:

Summer PA State grants will be credited to eligible student accounts at the end of July, so all students must plan accordingly to satisfy their charges and to avoid late fees. Short-term loans will not be given.

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 in a later semester.

There is no State Grant Distance Education Pilot Program (SGDEPP) funding for World Campus students and/or students taking more than 50% of their summer courses online for Summer 2018. Students with medical disabilities as defined by the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) may request an accommodation to the 50 percent in-classroom instruction enrollment requirement. ADA forms will go out to ALL students that have a home campus location of World Campus (WC) and all students taking more than 50% online. ADA forms that are approved by PHEAA will be eligible for the regular summer PA State Grant. 

Apply for the Summer PA State grant

check mark blueAccept your loans

  1. 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.
  2. 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":

  • 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.

check mark blueFind additional financing options

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

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

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 2018

check mark bluePay your statement

For information on accessing your bill or paying your statement, visit the Bursar's website.

For those planning to enroll in the payment plan for the summer (requiring three payments), you will have to make the first 1/3 payment by May 22, 2018 prior to your summer billing on June 1st. After this date, you will have to make a 2/3 payment to enroll in the payment plan.

check mark blueSign 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 on June 27th. 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.


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