News for Parents

Parent Newsletter article – Summer 2013, Issue 1

Awarding of Fall Aid

Summer is our busiest time of year! We are working hard processing loans, grants, Federal Verification information, Penn College Scholarships, and Veterans’ Benefits in the order that information is received. During June, we cannot process all aid as quickly as it arrives. However, please understand that our goal is to have all aid awarded* by the time eBills are available during the second week of July. And we will continue to award aid the rest of the summer based on applications that are completed after eBills come out.

* We can’t award aid if applications are incomplete.

Contacting Financial Aid

The Financial Aid Office protects students’ confidentiality. Students must provide their full name and Penn College ID number when asking questions about their specific financial aid information. Parents whose information is on their dependent student’s FAFSA are welcome to ask questions about their student’s aid.

  • If you contact our office by phone or in person, please have your student’s ID number ready.
  • If you contact us via e-mail, please provide your student’s full name and ID number. Please do NOT provide your student’s social security number via e-mail.

The volume of phone calls and e-mails we receive and the number of individuals coming into the office to discuss financial aid and ask questions increases significantly during the summer. Therefore, you may experience longer hold times when calling our office and it may take longer than you would prefer for us to respond via e-mail. To assist both you and your student, our office suggests the following:

  • As discussed in the ‘SIS & Financial Aid’ tab, the ‘View Financial Aid Information’ section of SIS may help answer questions you have regarding the completion of student aid applications and awards that have been made. Checking SIS before contacting the office might provide the answers you need and avoid a somewhat long and frustrating hold time to talk to or receive a reply from a staff member.
  • Review the Frequently Asked Questions Web page.
  • If you do need to call us, please have your student’s ID number available.

We thank parents and students for their understanding and patience during this very busy time!

FAFSA & Federal Verification

Even though we’ve received (electronically) thousands of FAFSAs, we know there are still new and returning students who have yet to submit their 2013-14 FAFSA. For those that haven’t yet completed a FAFSA – it is not too late, but don’t wait any longer! Refer to our Spring 2013 Newsletters for additional FAFSA information.
About 1 out of 3 FAFSA applicants are chosen by the U.S. Department of Education for a process termed 'Federal Verification', which is an extensive review of key FAFSA items for each applicant. For those students and parents waiting for us to finish the Verification process, we again thank you. We also recommend you return any inquiries we make via phone call, e-mail, or U.S. Mail promptly.

Loan Information

If your student needs additional loan funding to cover educational expenses beyond what they are eligible to receive in the Federal Direct Stafford loan program, check our loans page for information on the Federal Direct Parent PLUS and Private Alternative loan programs.

Scholarships Awards

Awarding of 2013-14 Penn College Foundation Scholarships has begun and will continue over the next several months. If your student is selected for a scholarship, the award notification will be sent to the e-mail address included on his/her scholarship application. It is not too late to apply! If your student has not yet submitted the online application, he/she should do so now. The scholarship application will be available until October 1, 2013.

PHEAA Grant for Eligible PA Residents

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has made its conditional (tentative) PHEAA (PA State) Grant awards for the 2013-2014 academic year. Awards are not final until after (1) the PA state budget is final and (2) the fall semester has begun (spring semester for spring awards). PHEAA mandates the responsibility to monitor its various policies to college financial aid offices. PHEAA policies that most often impact students are:

PHEAA SAP is not a factor for first-time students or for returning students who never previously received a PHEAA Grant. SAP does apply for students who had a PHEAA award during the 2012-2013 academic year or a prior year; they must have earned 12 or more unique credits for every full-time award and 6 or more unique credits for every part-time award. In most cases, developmental credits earned cannot be considered toward PHEAA SAP.

Due to the large number of students whose PHEAA SAP needs to be reviewed, it will take the Financial Aid Office most of June to review every student's SAP. 2013-2014 awards for these students will be in a 'Hold' status until the review is completed. After review:

  • Students who attained PHEAA SAP will have the 'Hold' removed unless there is a second reason for a 'Hold'.
  • Students who did not attain PHEAA SAP will have their Fall 2013 Semester awards removed.
  • Students enrolled in enough summer credits may be able to regain SAP by the start of Fall Semester.

Students whose most recent PHEAA Grants were awarded while attending another college will need to request (if not already done so) that official transcripts from the prior college be promptly sent to Penn College so that the Financial Aid Office can review for PHEAA SAP.

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:

  1. Log in to SIS.
  2. Click on ‘Financial Information’
  3. Click on ‘View Financial Aid Information’ and read any relevant messages.
  4. Select the 2013-14 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)

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.

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One College Avenue
Williamsport, PA 17701


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