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

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Available online at PHEAA.org

Harrisburg, PA (September 27, 2016)—The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) today announced that its 2016 Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide is now available online. This free publication is Pennsylvania’s most complete student aid publication; serving as a roadmap to help guide students and their families through the financial aid process.

PHEAA’s Student Aid Guide is a great resource that helps students and families learn how to pay for their higher education sensibly - without having to accumulate unnecessary student loan debt,” said Representative William F. Adolph, Chairman of the PHEAA Board. “Becoming familiar with the student aid process and the various programs that are available gives families a significant advantage when it is time to apply.”

PHEAA’s interactive Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide - available at PHEAA.org — offers:

  • Information on federal and state grants, scholarships, federal student loans, work-study, and other special student aid programs
  • Eligibility information, application procedures and deadlines — including new application information for 2016
  • Timelines for high school juniors and seniors to help them get ready for college
  • Tips for receiving grants, scholarships and other “free” aid that does not need to be repaid
  • Career-planning resources and access to checklists, applications and forms that families will need to apply for and receive financial assistance
  • Tools to help create a student budget that estimates expenses
  • Online links to forms, research, calculators and more

“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, or visit a local library with Internet access.”

The guide highlights a significant date change in this year’s application timeline. Beginning this year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available 3 months sooner than in previous years. This means that students applying for admission for the 2017-18 school year can begin applying for financial aid as early as October 1, 2016. In previous years, the FAFSA did not become available until January 1.

The guide also features information on MySmartBorrowing.org, which is a free resource created by PHEAA to help college-bound students develop an affordable and worry-free higher education success plan.

Featuring easy-to-use estimators, MySmartBorrowing helps visitors calculate the potential costs of higher education at different schools, while highlighting salary expectations for a particular degree and its employment prospects. Most importantly, the site helps users to understand how the choices they make during the college and career-planning process can affect their ability to manage student loan debt while maintaining a comfortable lifestyle after graduation.

Additionally, MySmartBorrowing helps visitors understand the financial obligations of borrowing money to pay for a postsecondary education, and if borrowing is necessary, how to reduce their college costs in order to minimize their potential student loan burden.

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 follow PHEAA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid and on Twitter at @PHEAAaid.