PHEAA's Student Aid Guide Offers Comprehensive Financial Aid Information
Harrisburg, PA (December 17, 2012)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is reminding high school students and their families about the availability of its updated Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide. Both English and Spanish versions of the Guide can be found under the College Planning section of PHEAA.org.
The Student Aid Guide is Pennsylvania's most comprehensive financial aid publication and is available at no cost. The Guide offers in-depth information on the federal student aid process and includes details on Pennsylvania's aid programs, including the need-based State Grant Program. The Guide is a great resource for finding everything students and families need to know about paying for higher education.
"High school juniors and seniors need to explore the various financial aid programs that may be available in order to make informed decisions about how they plan to pay for their higher education," said Representative William F. Adolph, Chairman of the PHEAA Board. "PHEAA's Student Aid Guide is also a great resource for families to become familiar with the student aid process. And it's free."
The online version of the Guide is interactive and includes links to web pages of particular interest, including:
- How to qualify for grants and scholarships and other "free" aid that does not need to be repaid
- Information on work-study programs that allow students to earn money to help cover their education costs
- Types of loans that are available to students and parents to help pay for their education
- Career and salary information and access to checklists, timelines, applications and forms that families will need to apply for and receive financial assistance
Each high school counselor's office in Pennsylvania received a printed copy of the Guide with instructions to visit PHEAA.org/order-online to order additional printed copies for their students.
"This guide provides the answer to just about any question that a student may have about financial aid and how to apply," said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. "It also connects the reader with additional resources, including all the online forms needed to complete the application process."
Additionally, the Guide offers tools to help students and families create a student budget that estimates annual expenses and provides helpful financial planning resources.
If a student loan will be needed to help bridge any gaps in funding, students and families are encouraged to carefully compare available loan options and to fully-understand its terms and conditions before agreeing to take out any loan. Students should only borrow what is needed to cover their cost of attendance - and only what they will be able to afford to repay after graduation.
While researching and planning for ways to pay for higher education, students and families are advised to contact their high school regarding the availability of Financial Aid Nights during the winter and spring. PHEAA's Pennsylvania School Services Team often provide financial aid experts to help facilitate these free informational programs, providing an overview of the student financial aid process and offering an opportunity to have individual questions answered.
Beginning in January, PHEAA will be offering FAFSA® Completion Sessions at locations across the Commonwealth. These programs are designed to review the FAFSA completion process and answer individual questions families may have. For more information, visit pheaa.org.
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, students can join PHEAA on Facebook at Facebook.com/pheaa.aid.