PHEAA Announces New Financial Aid Program to Benefit Pennsylvania Students and Industrial Employers

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PA-TIP offers $5 million in need-based awards

Harrisburg, PA (July 9, 2012)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) announced today that it will administer and provide funding for a new, legislatively-enacted financial assistance program, the Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP).

PHEAA's Board of Directors provided funding for PA-TIP by approving $5 million from PHEAA's business earnings without using any taxpayer resources. The creation of the new program, which will benefit the Commonwealth and its residents seeking specialized training, was recommended by Governor Corbett in his 2012-13 Budget proposal for the Commonwealth.

The need-based program will benefit Pennsylvania students enrolled in courses of study in the energy, advanced materials, diversified manufacturing, agriculture, and food production fields. Eligible courses of study must be more than 10 weeks in length, less than two academic years in length and be Title IV eligible. Additionally, courses of study must not be State Grant eligible. A list of eligible programs, identified with assistance from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and participation requirements can be found at PHEAA.org/PA-TIP.

"This is great news for a sector of our students who previously did not qualify for a Pennsylvania State Grant award," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. "Knowing that there is financial assistance available for these areas of study could be an important factor for students who may otherwise not be able to enroll."

PA-TIP provides awards up to the equivalent of the maximum State Grant Award or 75% of the student's allowable cost, whichever is less. However, eligible Pennsylvania veterans may receive awards up the maximum State Grant Award provided that it does not exceed the student's allowable costs.

Awards can be used to cover educational costs such as tuition, fees, books, supplies and a living expense allowance.

Applicants must be a Pennsylvania resident, a high school graduate and be enrolled in a qualified course of study on a full-time basis. Awards can be used to cover educational costs and specific living expenses.

"In recent years, many industrial companies in Pennsylvania have been challenged to find qualified applicants for open positions," said Senator Wayne Fontana, PHEAA Board Vice Chairman. "With financial aid now available, students should consider enrolling in these programs of study as there will likely be jobs waiting for them after graduation."

"The Targeted Industry Program centers on the core areas that drive Pennsylvania's economy," said Secretary of Education Ron Tomalis, noting that this initiative is in line with Gov. Corbett's education agenda. "Students will not only receive the much-needed financial assistance to pursue a career in these specialized fields, but they will be furthering their education in areas that will provide dividends well into the future."

Students interested in receiving an award must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), which is used to determine need, and a PA-TIP application. Awards will be provided to students on a first-come, first-served basis until all funding has been exhausted.

PHEAA will contact institutions offering eligible courses of study, encouraging them to apply for participation. Eligible institutions must be able to demonstrate that they are meeting federal gainful employment regulations.

For more information on PA-TIP and to access the program application for students, please visit PHEAA.org/PA-TIP. For up-to-the-minute information on the student aid process, schedules for financial aid events, reminders of financial aid deadlines and video clips offering tips and information pertaining to planning for higher education, please join PHEAA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid.