Frequently Asked Questions about PHEAA Grants
How do I apply for a PHEAA state grant?
To apply for a PHEAA state grant, you must first submit a FAFSA for the academic year you are or will be attending. Your FAFSA information will then be electronically transmitted to your home state's higher education agency, which is PHEAA for Pennsylvania residents. New students (and their parents) will be notified via e-mail by PHEAA to complete PHEAA's State Grant Form. More information.
Returning students may also receive e-mails from PHEAA requesting information. Be sure to respond thoroughly to any requests for information from PHEAA.
I received a PHEAA Grant last year. Do I need to reapply for the next academic year?
Yes. To reapply for the PHEAA Grant, you must submit the next academic year's FAFSA before May 1. PHEAA will review your FAFSA information and your academic progress and determine if you are eligible for a PHEAA Grant next year.
How do I change my college and/or housing information on PHEAA’s records?
- Log onto PHEAA’s Account Access
- Click on ‘View the Status on my PA State Grant’ from the menu on the left side of the screen. (see example)
- Select the correct academic year (if more than one year is listed) and click ‘View Details’. (see example)
- Select ‘Update School Information'. (see example)
- Make needed changes to your college of attendance or housing status on the ‘Change of School Information Form’, click ‘Submit’ and you are done. (see example)
Note: There is no winter term at Penn College.
If you change your housing status, you should check your Penn College Financial Aid Application (FAA) via SIS to be sure your living arrangements (housing) match PHEAA's housing status during the same academic year..
Can I receive a PHEAA State Grant while taking distance education classes?
PHEAA has a policy regarding distance education classes and distance education programs. PHEAA’s policy states that students must complete at least 50% of their coursework credits in a particular program of study (major) through classroom instruction. PHEAA defines classroom instruction to include “…faculty instruction within a laboratory, shop or hospital clinical setting.” PHEAA defines classroom instruction to exclude “…videotaped courses used in the home setting, correspondence courses, or on-line courses.” PHEAA considers hybrid courses as distance learning courses.
- Reference: Section III-D-1
PHEAA's Pennsylvania State Grant Certification Procedures
2011-2012 Academic Year and 2012 Summer
Students with PHEAA Grants must monitor the percentage of distance education course credits they take to ensure they do not exceed the 50% limit in their program of study. Credits earned from a prior program at the College may or may not impact the 50% limit in your current program. However, credits earned in a prior associate degree program are not considered in the % calculation for students enrolled in a bachelor degree program. The PHEAA policy does allow for exceptions for students with documented medical disabilities that prevent them from taking classroom courses.
The policy also states that students enrolled in a program of study that is greater than 50% online are ineligible to receive PHEAA awards, with no exceptions.
According to the above definition, the following are Penn College distance education programs of study (majors). Students in these programs are ineligible to receive PHEAA awards:
- Applied Health Studies (PDA/BDA)*
- Automotive Technology Management (BAM)*
- Dental Hygiene: Health Policy & Administration Concentration (PDD/BDD)*
- Health Information Management (BHI)
- Nursing: RN to BSN completion (NRB/BSN)
- Technology Management (BDT)*
* These programs are distance education options of programs that can also be taken predominantly via classroom instruction.
I am a full-time student but my PHEAA Grant was changed to a part-time grant. Why?
PHEAA requires students' schedules to consist of at least 50% regular (non-developmental) credits. Students with 3 regular credits and 9 developmental credits are only eligible to receive a part-time grant, even though they are enrolled on a full-time basis.
PHEAA also limits the number of semesters that developmental credits can be considered as part of enrollment status for grant eligibility. PHEAA refers to such semesters as 'remedial exceptions', and limits the number to two (2) full-time semesters or four (4) part-time semesters. If a student previously used two (2) remedial exceptions and is enrolled as a full-time student but has less than 12 regular credits, that student can only receive a part-time PHEAA Grant.
PHEAA's consideration of developmental credits can be hard for students and parents to understand, so if you have questions, don't hesitate to contact the Financial Aid Office.
What is a PHEAA 'Gift Aid' overaward?
PHEAA State Grants, along with Federal Pell Grants, tuition waivers, scholarships, and other 'free' funding are considered 'Gift Aid.' PHEAA regulations require the Financial Aid Office to review a student's total amount of 'Gift Aid' and compare it to that student's charges for tuition and fees in addition to an average allowance for books, room, and board. If a student's 'Gift Aid' total exceeds PHEAA's Gift Aid maximum, there is an overaward, and we must reduce or remove the PHEAA Grant. Students with a 100% tuition waiver and a significant Federal Pell Grant are most likely to be impacted. Note that loans and Veterans Benefits do not factor into the 'Gift Aid' total.
How do I apply for a summer PHEAA Grant?
First, you should understand that PHEAA Grants have limits. Your summer courses must extend for a total of eight or more calendar weeks. Students in an associate-degree program have a maximum of four semesters of full-time PHEAA Grants, and those in bachelor-degree programs have a maximum of eight semesters of full-time PHEAA Grants. If, for example, you only have two full-time semesters of eligibility remaining, using a summer PHEAA Grant will mean you will only have one full-time semester remaining after summer.
Also, please understand that PHEAA does not determine awards until May or June, which may be too late to help you cover your Penn College eBill for summer classes. Furthermore, you must
You can complete the 2012 Pennsylvania Summer State Grant Online Application from PHEAA's Account Access beginning in the spring of 2012. The deadline will be in mid-August.
I plan to enroll in one of the College's certificate programs. Can I receive a PHEAA State Grant?
It depends on which program. PHEAA's policy states that an eligible program require a minimum of 60 credits and be at least two years, or four semesters, in length. Most of the College's certificate programs do not meet PHEAA's criteria. However, the following certificate programs are eligible programs for PHEAA Grants:
- Electrical Occupations (EO)
- Diesel Technician (DC)
- Automotive Service Technician (AM)
- Aviation Maintenance Technician (AC)
- Collision Repair Technician (CL)
Students enrolled in the programs above must meet all other eligibility requirements in order to be credited with a PHEAA Grant.
I am not a Pennsylvania resident. Can I receive a grant from my home state to attend Penn College?
Some states provide grants to eligible students who attend Penn College. Other states, for example, New Jersey, New York, and Maryland; do not provide grants for any student to attend Pennsylvania colleges. If you are unsure about your home state's policy, you should contact your state's higher education agency.
Additional FAQs about PHEAA State Grants from PHEAA.