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?
  1. Log onto PHEAA’s Account Access
  2. Click on ‘View the Status on my PA State Grant’ from the menu on the left side of the screen. (see example)
  3. Select the correct academic year (if more than one year is listed) and click ‘View Details’. (see example)
  4. Select ‘Update School Information'. (see example)
  5. 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 “…any experience that normally occurs in person within an educational institution under the supervision of a faculty member, in laboratories, shops, hospital/clinical settings, etc." Classroom instruction also includes "...internships, externships, and practicums, for which a student receives degree credit ..."  PHEAA defines distance education instruction to include videoconferencing, webcasts, asynchronous on-line courses, etc. PHEAA considers hybrid courses that have more than 50% online instruction as distance learning courses.

  • Reference: Section I-A-2
    PHEAA's Pennsylvania State Grant Certification Procedures
    2013-2014 Academic Year and 2014 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.

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 2014 Pennsylvania Summer State Grant Online Application from PHEAA's Account Access beginning in the spring of 2014. 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.

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