PHEAA Urges Students to Submit the FAFSA®

Main Content

Assistance is available to families completing the 2010-11 financial aid form

Harrisburg, PA (January 7, 2010) - The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) today announced that the 2010-11 FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available and can be completed online at www.PHEAA.org/FAFSA or fafsa.gov.

The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal grants, the need-based Pennsylvania State Grant, many scholarships, reduced-cost federal student loans, and work-study programs.

"Many families are struggling financially in today's economic environment, so it is more important than ever for families to submit the FAFSA to determine if there is free money available to help with their higher education costs," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman.

Families are encouraged to complete and submit the FAFSA as soon as possible to ensure prompt processing of their application. The deadline for the Pennsylvania State Grant is May 1 but families should contact the schools their student is interested in attending as many have earlier financial aid deadlines. Estimated federal income tax information can be used if the family’s actual tax form has not been completed.

Returning students who have previously submitted a FAFSA electronically and included a valid email address will receive an email reminder from the federal government stating that their 2010-11 Renewal Application is now available. Students who have previously submitted a paper application or did not provide a valid email address will be mailed a Renewal Reminder, provided there is a deliverable mailing address.

Completing the FAFSA online reduces errors and speeds up the processing time. Students and parents will need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to sign the FAFSA electronically. To receive a PIN, visit pin.ed.gov. Students filing electronically will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) via email within a few days. Schools use the SAR to develop students’ financial aid packages.

“No student should forgo their dream of higher education because they think they can’t afford it,” said Senator Sean Logan, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. ”Submitting the FAFSA can result in qualifying for money for college that would otherwise be unavailable to them.”

There is help for families who need assistance completing the FAFSA. Families can review a detailed explanation of the FAFSA process, obtain a list of documents needed to complete the application, practice completing a FAFSA worksheet and link to the online FAFSA at www.PHEAA.org/FAFSA.

PHEAA, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (PASFAA), offers hundreds of free FAFSA Completion Events across the state. Families can receive individual guidance with any questions they may have. A schedule of FAFSA Completion Events can be found online at PHEAA.org under Fill Out the FAFSA.