Navigating the world of financial loans and scholarships can be the least fun part of embarking on a new and exciting journey into higher education. Websites abound with rules and guidelines that can sound confusing to the uninitiated, and rarely is all the necessary information in one convenient place.
In this article, we’ve tried to gather as much information for residents of Pennsylvania to provide a solid foundation for navigating their state’s financial aid possibilities. Pennsylvania residents have many options to choose from, including grants, scholarships, and private financing. But, the information is scattered over hundreds of different pages, so we’ve decided to consolidate it for your convenience. With an average cost of attendance of $42,887, 65% of Pennsylvania students graduate with student loan debt.
What scholarship programs does Pennsylvania have?
Scholarships, both academic and athletic, are much sought to fund academic life. While individual schools offer athletic scholarships to particularly gifted athletes based on superior performance, academic scholarships require much more research and often specific qualifiers.
In this section, we’ll show you some of the most prominent and popular academic scholarship options available in Pennsylvania. Not all students qualify for these scholarships, so pay special attention to the requirements and ask your local guidance counselor to help you navigate the application.
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) set up the Ready to Succeed Scholarship up to reward high-achieving students with a financial gift during their second year of college, issuing awards of $1000 for part-time students or $2000 for full-time students. To qualify, students must have a 3.5 GPA or higher when the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) checks your records.
Applicants must be residents of Pennsylvania, citizens of the United States and demonstrate that they’ve achieved second-year status through their total credit hours earned. Students must submit a one-time application as students can’t renew it for successive years. For more information, check the PHEAA website here: https://www.pheaa.org/partner-access/rtss/
If you’re a resident of Pittsburgh and have been enrolled as a student there since the 9th grade, PHEAA provides a significant scholarship to help you attain your educational goals. With a total award of up to $5,000 per year, it’s one of the most generous allotments available. However, the actual amount distributed is only applied after your institution subtracts all other grants and loans.
For eligibility, students must have been enrolled in a Pittsburgh school since 9th grade, and carry a cumulative GPA of 2.5 with 90% attendance. The award is distributed directly to participating institutions, and you can transfer if you choose to switch schools. For more information, click on the link or contact your financial advisor.
The Ernst R. Behrend Scholarship program is another regionally-based scholarship designed for residents of Erie County with priority given to children of Hammermill paper company employees. The program presents up to 8,000 dollars annually for Erie County residents who qualify within the eligibility guidelines, submit an essay, and apply.
To qualify, students must be residents of Erie County and hold a minimum GPA of 3.3. They must also score at least 1650 cumulative on the SAT, and have a family income below the threshold of $80,000. You must submit an essay and a FAFSA application to qualify, but the award is renewable yearly.
Pennsylvania also offers incentives for students to seek higher education in specific fields needed by the state. The Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program encourages students in several different areas like energy production, engineering, and agriculture, providing up to 75% of tuition costs to eligible students.
Qualified candidates must have a high school diploma or certified equivalent and be accepted into one of the program-approved school, as well as seeking education in one of the approved fields for up to two years, and be residents of Pennsylvania. Applicants must submit a FAFSA and an application by May 1st. For more information, click the link below.
Disadvantaged students often face a considerable burden in pursuing higher education. Fortunately, Pennsylvania attempts to rectify some of the economic disparities with homelessness by providing formerly or currently homeless residents of Allegheny County with a scholarship worth 2,500 dollars to help defray education costs.
Eligible students must submit two letters of recommendation and an essay relating to their homelessness and be under 24 years old. For more information, click the link below for further requirements and how to apply.
What grant programs does Pennsylvania have?
If you haven’t found a suitable scholarship fund to apply for, Pennsylvania still offers several grant opportunities for prospective students. And, students are still eligible for the popular federal grant program, the Pell Grant, which is often issued based on financial need when you fill out a FAFSA application.
Grants work similar to scholarships, though they frequently have lower eligibility requirements, making them more accessible to students who can’t meet scholarship requirements. Grants need not be repaid and are often renewable, so you don’t need to worry about filling out repeated applications.
In this section, we’ll provide an overview of a few of the most prominent Pennsylvania grant programs and discuss a few of the requirements to make students eligible. For more information, though, contact your school’s academic advisor, or work with your high school guidance counselor.
The Pennsylvania State Grant program, offered through PHEAA, is the most extensive state-sponsored and funded grant program, issuing up to 3,722 dollars per year or $1,866 per semester. It works much like the federal Pell Grant, providing additional funds to students who demonstrate financial need with their FAFSA application. The FAFSA, once filled out, is transferred to PHEAA for assessment, and awards are issued directly to the institution once all other grants and scholarships are calculated.
Students must be residents of Pennsylvania, demonstrate financial need, and take at least six credits per semester — 50% of which must be in the classroom. The student must also be enrolled at a school approved by PHEAA and cannot already have a bachelor’s degree. For more information, contact your school’s financial aid office or click the link below.
Another great grant made available by PHEAA is the Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant program, which provides needs-based financial assistance to resident students who grew up in the state’s foster system. The award amount depends on your exact needs and won’t exceed the cost of attendance less any other financial aid, but you should receive the maximum amount of $5,000 if you meet all eligibility criteria and don’t have massive loans that exceed your tuition. The grant can be renewed for up to five years of undergraduate study.
To be eligible, you must be a high school graduate under the age of twenty-six that was in foster care by or before age sixteen. You must be an undergraduate at an accredited post-secondary institution and must be enrolled with at least a half-time course load.
It’s incredibly tragic to lose a parent to their duty as firefighters or police officers. The State of Pennsylvania honors their sacrifice with the Pennsylvania Post-Secondary Education Gratuity Program, which helps the children of fallen civil service workers attain their educational dreams. The children of police, firefighters, or other public servants are eligible if their parents have died in the line of duty or been seriously injured, affecting their employment.
To be considered, students need to be 25 years old or younger, residents of Pennsylvania, complete a FAFSA application, and a State Grant Application. For more information, please click the link below.
What student loan programs does Pennsylvania have?
Like most states, Pennsylvania offers no specific state-funded loan programs providing financing for student’s academic progress. But, it does offer a relatively comprehensive and straightforward grant programs. Of course, you’re still eligible and encouraged to apply for federal student loans and Pell Grants through FAFSA, which accesses many of the scholarship and grant programs specific to Pennsylvania.
There are also private student loan lenders to consider. These lenders operate outside of the usual route of student loans and aren’t subject to a FAFSA application. They frequently offer very competitive loans with flexible rates and terms, making it convenient to budget their payments.
Federal student loans
Prospective Pennsylvania students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA).
Private co-signed student loans
There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.
No co-signer student loans in Pennsylvania
Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.
What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In Pennsylvania?
Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based off of models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.
Below is a table listing all of the schools in Pennsylvania that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6 year graduation rate.
|Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||74|
|Bryn Athyn College of the New Church||No||No||Yes||Yes||56||76|
|Bryn Mawr College||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||87||92|
|California University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||53||73|
|Carnegie Mellon University||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||89||96|
|Cedar Crest College||No||No||No||No||46||82|
|Chestnut Hill College||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||79|
|Cheyney University of Pennsylvania||No||No||No||No||15||56|
|Clarion University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||53||74|
|Clarks Summit University||No||No||Yes||Yes||57||64|
|Delaware Valley University||No||No||Yes||Yes||53||71|
|East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||50||70|
|Edinboro University of Pennsylvania||No||No||No||No||45||66|
|Franklin and Marshall College||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||83||92|
|Grove City College||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||82||89|
|Gwynedd Mercy University||No||No||Yes||Yes||54||84|
|Harrisburg University of Science and Technology||No||No||No||No||43||67|
|Holy Family University||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||78|
|Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus||No||No||Yes||Yes||56||72|
|Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)||No||No||Yes||Yes||66||82|
|Kutztown University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||55||74|
|La Roche College||No||No||Yes||Yes||55||67|
|La Salle University||No||No||Yes||Yes||67||76|
|Lancaster Bible College||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||76|
|Lebanon Valley College||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||73||81|
|Lincoln University (Pennsylvania)||No||No||No||No||47||68|
|Lock Haven University||No||No||Yes||Yes||54||70|
|Mansfield University of Pennsylvania||No||No||No||No||46||71|
|Millersville University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||77|
|Moore College of Art and Design||No||No||Yes||Yes||59||77|
|Mount Aloysius College||No||No||No||No||45||59|
|Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts||No||No||Yes||Yes||52||76|
|Pennsylvania College of Art and Design||No||No||Yes||Yes||59||77|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||85||93|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Abington||No||No||Yes||Yes||54||83|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona||No||No||Yes||Yes||64||82|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Beaver||No||No||No||No||46||76|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Berks||No||No||Yes||Yes||59||78|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Brandywine||No||No||No||No||47||74|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend College||No||No||Yes||Yes||66||84|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette- Eberly||No||No||No||No||49||78|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Greater Allegheny||No||No||No||No||46||73|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Harrisburg||No||No||Yes||Yes||63||88|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Lehigh Valley||No||No||Yes||Yes||63||81|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington||No||No||No||No||47||78|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill||No||No||No||No||44||82|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Wilkes-Barre||No||No||Yes||Yes||53||81|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Worthington Scranton||No||No||No||No||40||76|
|Pennsylvania State University-Penn State York||No||No||Yes||Yes||53||77|
|Pennsylvania State University-World Campus||No||No||No||No||29||54|
|Point Park University||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||78|
|Robert Morris University||No||No||Yes||Yes||64||81|
|Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary-Overbrook||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||71||82|
|Saint Francis University||No||No||Yes||Yes||69||85|
|Saint Joseph's University||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||80||91|
|Saint Vincent College||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||77||86|
|Seton Hill University||No||No||Yes||Yes||66||85|
|Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||53||71|
|Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||67||81|
|Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia||No||No||No||No||47||86|
|The University of the Arts||No||No||Yes||Yes||62||82|
|University of Pennsylvania||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||95||98|
|University of Pittsburgh-Bradford||No||No||No||No||42||66|
|University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg||No||No||No||No||35||65|
|University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown||No||No||No||No||48||72|
|University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||83||93|
|University of Scranton||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||82||87|
|University of the Sciences||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||77||85|
|University of Valley Forge||No||No||Yes||Yes||53||70|
|Washington & Jefferson College||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||73||87|
|West Chester University of Pennsylvania||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||75||85|
|Westminster College (Pennsylvania)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||73||78|
|Yeshivath Beth Moshe||No||No||No||No||21||89|
|York College of Pennsylvania||No||No||Yes||Yes||59||81|
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