Now Available - PHEAA's Student Aid Guide is Pennsylvania's Financial Aid Roadmap

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Guide available in English and Spanish at PHEAA.org

Harrisburg, PA (September 23, 2014)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) today announced that its annual Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide is available online to students and families for guidance on understanding the student financial aid process.

The free Student Aid Guide is Pennsylvania's most complete financial aid publication and is a great resource for finding everything students and families need to know about the financial aid process and paying for higher education. The Guide also offers in-depth information on the need-based Pennsylvania State Grant Program.

"The Student Aid Guide is a great resource for students, families and high school counselors who are working with college-bound high school students as they make their higher education plans," said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. "Anyone who is unsure of where to begin to find funding for higher education should use this free resource to determine their responsibilities to successfully apply for federal and state aid."

The online version of the Guide at PHEAA.org 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
  • Types of loans that are available to students and their parents to help pay for their education
  • Career planning tools and access to checklists, timelines, applications and forms that families will need to apply for and receive financial assistance

"The Student Aid Guide helps families make informed decisions about funding higher education - making the process easier for them," said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Vice Chairman. "Anyone without internet access should contact their high school counselor who can order additional hard copies of the Guide online at PHEAA.org or visit a local library with Internet access."

The Guide offers tools to help students and families create a student budget that estimates annual expenses and provides helpful resources and contact information.

PHEAA recommends that families considering taking out federal or private student loans should first visit its newest website, MySmartBorrowing.org. MySmartBorrowing is an interactive tool that helps users to easily understand the long-term implications of personal and financial choices that are necessary for a student's higher education success plan.

MySmartBorrowing includes easy-to-use estimators that assist users in identifying their possible cost of a higher education at different schools, future salary expectations for a particular degree, availability of related employment opportunities, and their potential ability to repay student loans comfortably while also affording an independent lifestyle after graduation.

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 www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid.