PHEAA Awards Eight Billionth State Grant Dollar

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Millions of Pennsylvania residents have received State Grant Awards

Harrisburg, PA (March 18, 2011)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency announced today that Jeremy Turous, a Mechanical Engineering student at Penn State University, Altoona Campus is the recipient of the Pennsylvania State Grant Program's $8 billionth award dollar.

The need-based Pennsylvania State Grant Program has provided awards to more than 2.2 million Pennsylvania students since the program was created by an act of the General Assembly in 1966. Funding for the program is established each year with an appropriation in the state budget. PHEAA administers the program on behalf of the Commonwealth at no charge, ensuring that every dollar designated to the State Grant Program goes directly to students.

"State Grant awards have enabled generations of Pennsylvania students to achieve their higher education goals over the years," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. "The General Assembly's steadfast commitment to funding the program for 45 years, combined with the support of our governors—past and present—is a strong testament to the value that my colleagues and I place on making a higher education available to our students and families."

For the 2010-11 academic year, the Program is making approximately 185,000 awards with a maximum State Grant award of $3,541 and an average State Grant award of $2,351.

"Helping to make college affordable for Pennsylvania students, especially during difficult financial times, is critically important for the Commonwealth," said Senator John Wozniak, PHEAA Board of Directors member. "Higher education provides the opportunity for students to achieve life-long personal success while helping to ensure the future economic well-being of our Commonwealth."

To determine eligibility for a State Grant, students and their families must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and a Pennsylvania State Grant Form (SGF) which can now be linked directly from the online FAFSA. This new link provides students with a one-stop-shop for applying for both federal and state financial aid.

The State Grant deadline is May 1 immediately preceding the academic year for all renewal applicants and new applicants who plan to enroll in an undergraduate, degree program and those in college transfer programs at two-year public or junior colleges.

August 1 is the State Grant deadline immediately preceding the academic year for first-time applicants who plan to enroll in a business, trade or technical school, a hospital school of nursing, or a two-year nontransferable degree program of study at a community, junior or four-year college.

For information on higher education financial aid process, schedules for upcoming financial aid nights and FAFSA Completion Sessions, reminders of financial aid deadlines, and video clips offering tips and information pertaining to planning for higher education, students can join PHEAA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid. Students can also submit questions and open dialogue through the interactive discussion feature on the site.