NETS Program FAQ

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General

If I received a NETS scholarship last year, must I apply again this year?

You must renew your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by August 1. However, you do not need to submit a new NETS application or sign a new Master Promissory Note.

Why must I file for a Pennsylvania State Grant and Federal Pell Grant?

Although the NETS Program is not need-based, the formula for determining the amount of your NETS scholarship factors in your total educational costs less any Pennsylvania State Grant or Federal Pell Grant. You do not have to be eligible for a Pennsylvania State Grant or Federal Pell Grant to be eligible for the NETS Program. In addition, the NETS Program does not use your income or asset data to determine your eligibility for funds.

What does the NETS Program use to determine educational costs?

The components of your educational costs depend on your enrollment status:

  • Academic year and summer term full-time enrollment
    • Tuition and fees
    • Room and board
    • Books
  • Part-time enrollment
    • Tuition and fees
I received a NETS scholarship, but my parents moved out of state. Am I no longer considered a Pennsylvania resident for the purposes of this scholarship?

You retain eligibility as long as you remain a Pennsylvania resident. (This differs from the Pennsylvania State Grant residency guidelines.)

My mom has questions about my NETS scholarship. Can she contact you on my behalf?

If you are 18 years of age or older, we can speak only to you about your NETS record. However, you can submit a request that permits us to speak with a third party (mom, dad, an employer, etc.) on your behalf. To release information about your NETS record to a third-party, please complete the following document:

Do I need to notify anyone if I move?

Yes. You are required to keep the NETS Program informed of any changes to your name, address, and telephone number during the term of your NETS scholarship and during any periods of employment, deferment, and repayment.

Can I appeal PHEAA's decision on my NETS eligibility?

Yes, write a letter explaining in detail why you think PHEAA should make an exception in your case. Include your name, address, account number, and signature.

Send the letter within 60 days of the date you received the denial notice:

PHEAA
New Economy Technology Scholarship Program
State Grant and Special Programs
P.O. Box 8157
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157

Can I receive NETS funds if I am doing an internship/co-op this term?

You are eligible for the NETS Program during the term you are doing an internship/co-op only if you will also earn full credit toward your academic credential during that term.

  • To receive a SciTech Scholarship, you must be enrolled full time (at least 12 semester credits or the equivalent).
  • To receive a Technology Scholarship, you must be enrolled in at least three semester credits per semester or the equivalent.

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Approved Programs of Study

How can I find out approved programs of study for the current academic year?
If I received NETS funds but I change my course of study, will my scholarship convert to a loan?

Your scholarship will not convert to a loan if your new course of study is on the list of approved NETS programs of study.

If your new course of study is not on this list, your scholarship will convert to a loan that you must repay with interest.

Does teaching in an approved field of study meet the NETS work obligation?

Yes. Teaching in your approved major or an approved NETS program of study meets the post-graduation work requirement. However, education is not an approved program of study for NETS.

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SciTech Scholarship Work Experience/Internship

NOTE: Although an internship may relate to your major, it may not meet the requirements associated with the NETS work obligation if you continue to work in this field after graduation.

If I completed an internship in an approved field of study before I applied for the NETS Program, does it meet the internship requirement for the SciTech Scholarship? Would an internship in another approved field qualify?

Yes. Any internship that you completed before you applied to the NETS Program meets the internship requirement as long as it meets all of the NETS criteria and is certified by the Financial Aid Office at your postsecondary institution. If you complete an internship in an approved major and then change to another approved major, you do not need to do another internship in the new major.

Is there a minimum number of weeks I must work to meet the work experience/internship requirement for my SciTech Scholarship?

No. Your employer and your school jointly determine the length of your work experience/internship.

Must the supervisor of my work experience/internship complete any type of form?

According to the guidelines for the SciTech Scholarship, your school is responsible for supervising and approving your work experience/internship. Each school has the flexibility to establish its own forms/guidelines related to the internship. The financial aid administrator at your school must report to PHEAA only the completion of your internship requirement. We provide an optional form to schools for this purpose.

Does a work-study position on or off campus meet the work experience/internship requirements of my SciTech Scholarship? What about a government job?

Each of the following can fulfill the work experience/internship requirement if it meets the criteria for the SciTech Scholarship and your school:

  • A work-study job (one that is part of your financial aid package from the school)
  • Payment/academic credit for the work experience/internship
  • Work experience for state or local government or a municipality
Does work experience in another state fulfill the internship requirement?

It depends. Work experience in another state fulfills the internship requirement only if it is with a company or firm whose base of operations is in Pennsylvania. Your school must approve all internships.

Can I get my work experience approved to meet the SciTech Scholarship requirements if my school was not involved?

Your school must approve your work experience/internship. Give a copy of the SciTech Internship Guidelines to your academic advisor. An official at your school must approve your work experience and notify the Financial Aid Office, who will report it to PHEAA.

Does student teaching in an approved NETS program of study meet the internship requirement for my SciTech Scholarship?

Yes. Student teaching can fulfill the internship requirement for the SciTech Scholarship. However, education is not an approved NETS program of study.

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School Certification

What is the GPA requirement for the NETS Program?

You must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) to continue to be eligible. If you do not maintain your eligibility, all scholarship funds received will convert to a loan that you must repay with interest. Your school will check your cumulative GPA on an annual basis (at the end of the Spring term).

Are there any exceptions to the 3.0 GPA requirement?

No.

How do you calculate my cumulative GPA if I transfer to another school?

Your GPA is verified according to the policy of the school to which you transfer. While credits may transfer to the new school, generally, grades do not.

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Employment Obligation

Must my employment relate directly to my major in order to fulfill my NETS work obligation?

You must work full time in a field that relates to one of the approved NETS programs of study. Teaching is only an approved NETS field of employment if you are teaching in a field related to a NETS program of study.

If you have questions concerning approved employment, contact us by email at nets@pheaa.org or by telephone at 1-800-692-7392.

How do you calculate the duration of my work obligation?

When you receive a SciTech or Technology Scholarship, you agree to work full time (as defined by your employer) for:

  • 12 Months—For each full-time academic year (2 semesters or 3 quarters) award
  • 6 Months—For each full-time semester award (prorated for a part-time award)
  • 4 Months—For each full-time quarter award (prorated for a part-time award)
Can I go to graduate school before I start my work obligation in Pennsylvania?

If you received a SciTech Scholarship, you are required to begin full-time employment within 1 year after you finish your undergraduate studies. However, you can request a deferment of the NETS work obligation if you start full-time graduate study within 1 year after you receive your bachelor's degree.

You can extend this deferment up to 6 years as long as you remain enrolled full time in graduate school.

If I received a Technology Scholarship, is it OK if I decide to work toward a bachelor's degree? Would I then be considered for a SciTech Scholarship?

Yes. If you received a Technology Scholarship while you were enrolled in a program less than 4 years in length, you can still receive a SciTech Scholarship if you decide to pursue a bachelor's degree. Your enrollment must be consecutive, and you must apply as a renewal applicant.

Must I live in Pennsylvania during my work obligation?

No. Although your job location must be in Pennsylvania, you are not required to live in Pennsylvania while you fulfill the work obligation.

What if I can't find qualifying work in Pennsylvania within 1 year after I graduate?

If you have made a thorough, consistent effort to find qualifying work during the 1 year following graduation, write to PHEAA and explain the situation.

What happens if I interrupt my employment in Pennsylvania?

If you interrupt your employment because you return to school or participate in a temporary out-of-state training rotation, you may request a deferment of your remaining work obligation.

If your Pennsylvania employer requires you to work in another state temporarily, this employment does not count toward your NETS work obligation. You must verify your employment status every 6 months (limited to a maximum of 3 years). You must resume work in Pennsylvania on completion of the out-of-state assignment.

Can I receive credit for employment I do during my graduate study?

By law, you cannot count toward your NETS work obligation any employment during full-time graduate study or in connection with a paid fellowship or graduate assistantship. However, you may qualify for a deferment of the NETS work obligation, providing you verify your enrollment status every 6 months.

What happens to my scholarship if I fail to fulfill the work obligation?

If you fail to fulfill the requirements, your scholarship will convert to a loan that you must repay with interest. PHEAA will contact you in writing to advise you of the repayment terms.

Interest may be assessed daily from the date you lost eligibility at the annual rate of 8%. You must begin repayment after a 6-month grace.

You may defer repayment while you are enrolled as a full-time undergraduate, but you must provide verification. Contact us to discuss other possible deferment options.

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