What types of financial aid are available?
There are three basic types of financial aid available.
• Gift Aid
Grants and scholarships are gift aid awarded to students who meet certain eligibility requirements; these awards do not have to be repaid. Grants are usually awarded based on student financial need, such as Federal Pell Grants, Pennsylvania State Grants, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, and others. Scholarships are awarded to a student based on a number of characteristics that may include factors such as academic performance, athletic ability, special talents, financial need, or affiliation with a particular organization or group. There are numerous sources of scholarships, including the university, state and federal governments, foundations, clubs and organizations, ROTC, religious groups, corporations, and other entities. Students are encouraged to seek external scholarship opportunities.
Loans are financial aid that must be repaid. In general, student loan repayment may be deferred until after you have completed your higher education. Loan programs include the Federal Perkins Loan, Federal Direct Loan, Federal Parent PLUS Loan, and others. Parent loans generally go into repayment within 30-60 days of their disbursement. A wide variety of private/alternative loan options are available to students and their families. Each of these programs offers unique terms and conditions that affect their availability in particular circumstances.
• Work (Self-Help)
The Federal Work-Study Program or campus employment opportunities allow students to hold part-time jobs and earn funds to pay for their educational costs. Students are paid for the hours they work. Because students work for this money, employment is considered a form of self-help aid.
Financial aid is available for both part-time and full-time study, although some awards are restricted and/or reduced for part-time study.