There are a number of applications which must be completed and submitted as you go through the process of applying for various types of financial aid. There are also deadlines to consider, the possibility of Federal Verification, and things which you can do to make the process go more smoothly.
Applications to be Completed
- Penn College Financial Aid Application (FAA) – This is part of your Application for Admission. Students that attend in any one year will have a FAA automatically generated for the following year. However, students must review and make any necessary corrections to subsequent years' FAAs via the Student Information System (SIS). If you can not access SIS, you can submit the FAA from our forms page. We must have a valid FAA on record in order to consider you for any type of financial aid.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – You submit this online via the U.S. Department of Education's FAFSA site. Use Penn College's Federal School Code of 003395. In order to submit, both student and parent (of a dependent student) need a Federal PIN, which you can apply for the same day you submit the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the initial application used by college students across the country for grants, students loans, work-study, and other forms of aid.
- Student and/or parent loan program applications – Refer to the Loans page to apply online. You must complete a loan application(s) in addition to the FAA and the FAFSA .
- Scholarship Applications – Apply online through Penn College or the scholarship sponsor. For suggestions on where to look for private scholarships, refer to the Financial Aid Checklist and our External Scholarship Listing.
Financial Aid Application (FAA) – This must be reviewed or, if needed, submitted each year, and is used for an entire academic year. You should review your FAA and submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible, but no later than Penn College's priority FAFSA submission date of April 15 for fall or spring semester enrollment, which ensures that Pennsylvania residents will meet the Pennsylvania State Grant May 1 deadline. Other states may have earlier deadlines. We recommend that parents and students complete their federal income tax returns before completing the FAFSA. Applications submitted after May 1 will be considered for aid on a 'funds available' basis.
Loan Applications – To learn when we recommend you submit loan applications, please refer to the answer to the 'When should I apply' question for each specific type of educational loan on our Loans page.
Scholarship Applications – Pay very close attention to application deadlines and criteria, as they vary from program to program, and are determined by the sponsor. The best time period to apply for Penn College Scholarships for the following academic year is December 1 until the time we start awarding, which is early March. For scholarships not funded by Penn College that do not have online applications, pay attention to whether the deadlines are a 'postmarked by' date or a 'received' date. A good practice is to apply more than one week before the specific deadline date.
NOTE: You do not have to be accepted by the College in order to apply for government financial aid. Apply by these deadline dates even if you have not been accepted, or have not decided which college you will attend.
For your convenience, review our Federal Verification tutorial.
About 1 out of 3 students who submit a FAFSA are selected for an official review in a process called Federal Verification.
Incomplete or conflicting information on your FAFSA may lead to Verification, or your FAFSA may be chosen at random. Regardless of the reason, the Financial Aid Office must compare FAFSA data with Verification information received from students (and parents). We must complete Verification before we can process Federal Direct Loans, any federal grants, Federal Work-Study, or private alternative loans. That means no federal aid or private loans will be applied toward your eBill until Verification is finalized.
If your FAFSA is selected for Federal Verification, the Financial Aid Office will mail you a detailed letter and Verification Form that explains what you (and parents) need to do. The Verification process is becoming more and more ‘customized,’ so not all students and parents are required to provide the same information. However, everyone needs to complete and return the Verification Form we mail.
Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) on your FAFSA makes the Verification process go faster! The DRT allows taxpayers (student or parent) to transfer key financial data from their IRS Tax Return directly to a FAFSA. Students and parents who use the DRT and did not change any of the transferred items will, with very few exceptions, not have to provide us with any financial documents for Verification. Taxpayers who were unable to (or chose not to) use the DRT will, in most cases, need to provide us with signed copies of IRS Tax Return Transcripts ordered directly from the IRS. You can request a Tax Return Transcript online, by phone, or by mail. Note that we can not accept your copies of your tax return; a Transcript must come from the IRS.
Wage earners who don’t need to submit tax returns will need to provide us with copies of all of their W-2 Forms for the calendar year stated on their Verification Form.
Once we have everything we need from you (and parents) we compare your FAFSA data with Verification information received and, if needed, we will adjust your FAFSA information. In some cases, we may require additional information. Please respond quickly to prevent delays in processing your financial aid.
From late winter into the summer, we receive a large number of Verifications and we cannot process them as quickly as we would like to. If your FAFSA is chosen for Verification, we appreciate your patience. Promptly providing us with all of the information we request and, if eligible, using the DRT, will allow us to complete your Verification more quickly. Note that you can check on your Verification status using the 'View Financial Aid Information' section of SIS.
PHEAA has a similar but separate review for Pennsylvania state grant recipients called Validation. If you receive an email or letter from PHEAA describing the Validation process, you will need to submit to PHEAA the financial documents it requests, even if you have previously sent us documents for Federal Verification.
- Read all instructions carefully before completing applications. Use the 'Help and Hints' guidance on the FAFSA.
- Complete every question unless the instructions tell you to leave an item blank.
- Students and parents: Use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on your FAFSA, if eligible. Do not change any items transferred from your IRS Tax Return.
- Round dollar amounts to the nearest dollar. Do not include cents.
- Be sure each question is answered correctly. Some common mistakes are:
- Adjusted Gross Income (use the correct income figure from IRS tax return)
- Untaxed income (include child support received, worker's compensation, IRA/Keogh contributions, etc.)
- Income tax (use correct line from IRS tax return, not income tax withheld from W-2s)
- If you (and parents) are required to report Assets, report all required investments.
- Household size (include yourself) - read FAFSA instructions carefully
- Number in your household enrolled in college (include yourself, but not parents)
- Student's Social Security number (check it against your Social Security card)
- Make sure you include all required signatures.
- Re-check everything before you submit it.
- Save copies of your federal tax returns, other financial documents, and all applications you submit.
- Include our College name (Pennsylvania College of Technology) and our Federal Title IV code number: 003395
- We do not recommend that you pay someone to help you with the application process. Contact us for free help, and put your money toward your college expenses.