In addition to the educational and emotional disruptions students are experiencing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn College recognizes that many students also have increased educational expenses and many families have experienced a loss of income. On April 9, the U.S. Department of Education informed colleges of CARES Act funding specifically for current college students for expenses related to disruptions to their education because of the pandemic.
Up-to-date information on emergency funding, can be found here.
Has Your Student Completed a 2020-21 FAFSA?
Returning students and incoming students who have confirmed their intent to enroll log in to the Student Information System (SIS) to check the status of their FAFSA. Select ‘Financial Information’ on the left menu and then select ‘View Financial Aid Information’ for 2020-21 and then ‘Continue’ to view ‘FAFSA Completion Status’.
Alternatively, log on to FAFSA.
Accepted incoming students who have not yet confirmed their intent to enroll log in to their applicant dashboard and proceed to their Financial Aid section to see their FAFSA status.
If ‘Get Started’ is displayed for their Penn College Financial Aid Authorization (FAA), complete the FAA immediately and then check back again for their FAFSA status once their FAA status shows as ‘Completed’
Pennsylvania Residents and PA State Grant News
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) will notify students with a complete FAFSA about their 2020-21 PA State Grant eligibility during the month of June. First-time students must also have completed their Pennsylvania State Grant Form in order for PHEAA to determine eligibility. PHEAA notifications are sent via email to students and parents using email addresses provided on the FAFSA or on PHEAA’s records. The PHEAA emails will direct students to its secure Account Access site to learn about eligibility. After PHEAA notifies all students, the Financial Aid Office will receive students’ PA State Grant award and eligibility information, which students can view via SIS.
Per PHEAA regulations, the Financial Aid Office must then do further review of all students awarded PA State Grants. This year, our review will begin in mid June. If we determine a student does not satisfy all policies, we must inform PHEAA, which will then reduce or remove the award. The most common PHEAA policies are:
- PA State Grant Satisfactory Academic Progress (for those that had a previous PA State Grant award)
- Limits on the number of semesters of PA State Grants in a program of study
- PHEAA Distance Learning Policy
Now is a good time for first-time students to make sure that their State Grant Form is complete by logging on to AES Account Access. If not complete, follow the directions to complete as quickly as possible.
First-time and returning students are sometimes selected for a PHEAA process called ‘Validation’ or PHEAA may have questions that need to be answered before it can determine eligibility. When this happens, PHEAA will email or send a paper letter that states what is needed. If you or your student have any questions about the PA State Grant Form or Account Access or any communication from PHEAA, contact PHEAA at 800-692-7392.
Also, note that the e-mail 'domain' that PHEAA uses is @pheaa.org. You and your student should “whitelist” this domain in both of your email accounts so PHEAA messages will not go to spam or junk folders.
Homecoming and Parent & Family Weekend
Save the date: October 9-11, 2020! Go here for the schedule.
Cultivating Calm in Uncertain Times
“My world has changed dramatically in one short month, and I don’t know when, or if, I will get my old life back.” How many times have you thought this or something similar? Every day of the COVID-19 crisis brings new challenges: food and supply shortages, loneliness, illness, working at home or not working at all. We often react to these challenges with feelings of fear and anxiety. Efforts to change or deny the situation, have little impact, and we are forced to find more effective ways to adapt to our “new normal.” One skill that many have found to be useful is the practice of mindfulness.
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness means intentionally paying attention to your present moment experience. This is important because the future depends on what you do in the present. We often worry about what lies ahead, and this prevents us from experiencing what is happening now. This can result in a missed opportunity to experience joy, or perhaps to do something that may improve the outcome for the future.
Why practice mindfulness? Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress. As we know, stress is harmful to our brains and bodies. Mindfulness reduces stress by increasing awareness of thoughts, our needs and the needs of others. Being mindful allows us to slow down reactions and improve focus. Positive effects of mindfulness include a healthier heart, improved sleep, a clearer, calmer mind, better memory, less anxiety, lower anger levels, and improved relationships.
Often when people think of mindfulness, they imagine a formal practice, sitting still and meditating for hours. This can in fact, be beneficial. However, everyday mindfulness, which involves living in a mindful way, can be practiced at any time during your daily life, including mindful eating, mindful walking, and mindful breathing. Ideas to begin a mindfulness practice include:
- Deep breathing.
- Observe your thoughts.
- Live in the present.
- Practice gratitude.
- Mindful walking.
Mindfulness does not promise happiness in every moment, though most people who practice mindfulness regularly report improved mood, better life satisfaction, higher self-esteem and healthier relationships. There will always be times of pain and suffering. Mindfulness does not call us to accept the unacceptable. Rather, it helps us to respond to troubling thoughts and situations with more clarity and wisdom, slows down our reaction time so that we become more effective at managing life’s ups and downs. To learn more about mindfulness, check out the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion and mindful.org.
Currently we are providing limited telehealth counseling to current students but are available to consult with any student and provide local referrals as needed. Please contact our office at email@example.com
Cultivating Calm in Uncertain Times
In response to the hurdles presented by COVID-19, Admissions has taken several steps to help prospective students during this time. This includes:
- Extending our intent to enroll deadline from May 1 to July 1 for students enrolling in the Fall 2020 semester.
- Adding additional summer tour opportunities. You can see all our summer tours at pct.edu/visit.
- Expanding our virtual and online presence. In addition to Q&A sessions on Instagram and Facebook, we’ve launched an online tool for prospective students to schedule a phone call or video chat with their Admissions Counselor.
Come Ready Placement Improvement Sessions
Penn College is committed to your student's success. We start early by offering Come Ready Placement Improvement Sessions for placement test remediation. If eligible, your student will receive an invitation via email and find all the information they need on the Student Information System (SIS).
Academic schools transform to ensure long-term sustainability
A transformation of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s academic-school structure will streamline operations and support the long-term strength and stability of the institution.
The cornerstone of the changes, which will be implemented July 1, is a reconfiguration of the academic schools from six to three. The college will realize multiple benefits from this restructuring. Find all the details here.
During this period when instruction at Penn College is remote, we are here and available to help you achieve success and navigate your academic experience.
Video Message from President Gilmour
Penn College students benefit from Komatsu equipment loans
Three pieces of Komatsu construction machinery are on loan to Pennsylvania College of Technology for use at the institution’s ...
Penn College Dinner & Auction raises $100K for scholarships
The recent Dinner & Auction hosted by the Pennsylvania College of Technology Foundation raised $100,354 for student ...
Penn College students in demand at Career Fair
The “tomorrow makers” of Pennsylvania College of Technology attracted 458 companies and organizations to campus for a recent two ...