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Pennsylvania 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.

The Pennsylvania State Grant does not need to be accepted. If the grant is listed as "offered" on your LionPATH Award Summary, it will be applied to your student account once the grant has been funded by PHEAA.

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.

The Pennsylvania State Grant is available for a maximum of eight semesters to students enrolled in four-year programs and a maximum of four semesters to students enrolled in two-year programs.

Spring 2018 Grant Reductions

Due to changes on the 2017-18 FAFSA, including the use of student and family 2015 income to determine aid eligibility, there was a significant increase in the number of 2017-18 PA State Grant applications.  This increase in applications has limited the resources available to Pennsylvania higher educational institutions from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).

What to expect:

  • This may result in the reduction of your Spring 2018 award.
  • PHEAA will contact you about your new award amount.
  • Contact PHEAA with questions or concerns: 1-800-692-7392


How to apply

Submit the FAFSA, which contains a direct link to the state grant form, by May 1. If you have already submitted your FAFSA without completing the form, you can do so on the PHEAA website.

If you wish to apply for the summer PA State grant (summer 2018 only), you must complete the Summer PA State Grant application available on the PHEAA website by August 15, 2018.

Please note that summer PA State grants will be credited to eligible student accounts at the end of July. Students will not receive this funding at the beginning of the summer session(s) 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). Therefore, 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 Pennsylvania 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.   

PA State Grant for 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 is an exception intended to permit continued eligibility to 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. This exception is not applicable to part-time students.

If you would like to be considered for this PA State Grant exception, please complete the form for the appropriate semester: PA State Grant 9-11 Form (Fall/Spring) or PA State Grant 9-11 Form (Summer).

PA State Grant for World Campus students and/or students taking more than 50% online instruction

The Office of Student Aid (OSA) at University Park manages state regulations pertaining to web and hybrid course delivery and student eligibility to receive the PA State Grant to meet the University’s compliance to these regulations. This eligibility is evaluated per student based on registered courses.  Courses that are determined to be web-based courses, or any variation including hybrid courses, are not considered grant eligible courses. Per the state grant regulations, Penn State is required to count a hybrid course as a "web" course if the course is more than 50% on line or at a distance.

PA residents who are enrolled in a program that is structured more than 50 percent online, or are taking more than 50 percent of their semester credits online will be nominated by the University for a PA State Grant through the Distance Education Pilot Program. Nominations for the PA State Grant Distance Education Pilot Program (SGDEPP) occur on a weekly basis.

Funding for this program is limited so every nominee may not receive funding. Nominees will be notified by e-mail or letter and directed to view their PA State Grant status through their PHEAA Access Account.

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