PHEAA Reminds Students of Upcoming State Grant Deadline

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May 1 is deadline for need-based Pennsylvania State Grant Program

Harrisburg, PA (April 26, 2012)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is reminding students and families that the application filing deadline for the Pennsylvania State Grant Program is May 1. This deadline applies to all new and renewal applicants who plan to enroll in an undergraduate baccalaureate degree program or a college transfer program at two-year public or junior colleges.

"Students should apply for a State Grant before considering any type of a student loan since grants do not need to be repaid," said Representative William Adolph, Jr., Chairman of the PHEAA Board. "This is an important distinction that can save Pennsylvania students thousands of dollars while reducing their need to take on the burden of additional student loan debt."

Students who are first-time applicants planning to enroll in a community college, business, trade or technical school, a hospital school of nursing, or a non-transferable two-year degree program at a community, junior or four-year college have until August 1 to file their FAFSA® to determine eligibility for a State Grant award.

To determine eligibility for a need-based State Grant, families must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants can access the FAFSA online at either PHEAA.org/FAFSA or fafsa.gov. Completing the FAFSA online saves time and helps eliminate errors.

In addition to the FAFSA, applicants must complete a Pennsylvania State Grant Form (SGF) which can be accessed directly from the FAFSA on the Web by following the click-through on the FAFSA confirmation page. The SGF collects additional data elements not requested on the federal application and is only required for first-time State Grant applicants.

"The State Grant Program can be a financial aid lifeline for many college-bound students - especially in such a difficult economy," said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. "Since the program is need-based, it provides the greatest benefits to those who may be struggling the most."

Students who have already submitted their FAFSA, but who have not submitted their State Grant Form, will receive an email invitation directing them to visit Account Access through the Secure Sign-in at PHEAA.org to complete their SGF.

The Pennsylvania State Grant Program is administered by PHEAA at no cost to taxpayers, allowing every appropriated dollar to go directly to students. Approximately 185,000 awards were disbursed to students for the 2011-12 academic year.

Students and families with questions about the FAFSA or the State Grant Program can call toll-free at 800-692-7392.

For information on the 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, join PHEAA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid.