News for Parents
Summer 2014 Aid
Remind your students to check ‘myPCT Portal’ for details on summer loans and other summer financial aid. They choose ‘Departments’ and then ‘Financial Aid’ to read all about it!
Federal Direct Loans
Parent PLUS Loans
If you plan on borrowing through the Federal Direct PLUS Loan Program for the summer 2014 semester, you can begin applying any time after your student schedules for summer classes. However, if you are applying for the fall 2014 semester, it is important that you do not start the application process until after June 1. Check the Loans page for additional information on the PLUS Loan application process.
Students who have borrowed through the Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program and are graduating in May 2014 are required to complete an online Exit Counseling Session. The Penn College Financial Aid Office will notify students via letter and email if they need to complete this session. For additional information on the Exit Counseling Session, refer to the Loan Counseling and Services section of our Loans page.
FAFSA, Federal Pell Grant & SAP
Every week, we receive scores of 2014-2015 Free Applications for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) . However, many new and returning students have yet to complete the coming year’s FAFSA. If your son or daughter is one who has not yet submitted a 2014-2015 FAFSA, don't delay. Refer to the information provided in the February newsletter. That issue also contains relevant information about Federal Verification of FAFSAs, Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), and Pennsylvania State Grants.
- Reminder: April 15 is the College’s Priority Deadline for the FAFSA and for Penn College Scholarship Applications.
After a student’s FAFSA is finalized, which means we have completed Federal Verification (if required), the Financial Aid Office mails a letter informing students if they are eligible or not for a Federal Pell Grant. Those students eligible for a Pell Grant will also be able to view the Pell amount via the Student Information System (SIS).
Eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is determined based on FAFSA information following federal regulations. The FAFSA ‘items’ that play key roles in Pell eligibility are:
- Taxed and untaxed income of parents and students
- Number of family members supported financially by parents
- Age of parents
- In some cases: assets of parents and students
Sometimes students are ineligible for any Federal aid including a Pell Grant because they did or will not achieve Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). We don’t calculate SAP until after all spring semester grades are in so sometimes a student will receive a Pell-eligible letter from us only to be followed by a letter in May informing them they have not achieved SAP and are ineligible for federal aid. That letter will also explain how students can appeal to regain eligibility.
Financial Aid Information on SIS
Students can track the status of their financial aid and estimate their cost of attendance quickly by using the Student Information System (SIS).
To access financial aid information, they follow these steps:
- Log in to SIS.
- Click on ‘Financial Information’
- Click on ‘View Financial Aid Information’ and read any relevant messages.
- Select the 2014-15 academic year and click on ‘Continue’ to access their 'Financial Aid Award Summary'
The Financial Aid Summary Page provides the following information:
- 'Received' or 'Not Received'
- 'Complete' or 'Incomplete'
- Federal Verification
- ‘Verification Required,’ ‘Verification Received,’ ‘Verification Processing,’ or 'Verification Complete'
- Direct Stafford Loan and Private Loan Status
- 'Received' or 'Not Received'
- Direct Parent PLUS Loan
- Credit check: 'Approved,' 'Denied,' or 'Not Received'
- Master Promissory Note (MPN): 'Received' or 'Not Received'
- Grants, loans, scholarships, and veterans benefits award amounts (once they have been awarded – refer to this timeline)
- Click on 'Grants' and then 'PHEAA (PA State Grant)' to learn if and why a PHEAA Grant is on a 'Hold' status
- Estimated Cost of Attendance (COA)
- Tuition and fees are estimated for 15 credits a semester
- Tuition and fees will be underestimated for students who enroll in more than 15 credits a semester
Encourage your student to always check SIS before contacting the Financial Aid Office. You can also have your student give you guest access so you can check financial aid status, too.