Throughout 2020, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has continuously been reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on students as it relates to the PA State Grant Program and other PHEAA-administered programs. Recognizing that the primary concern of schools, employers, and partners is to protect the health and safety of students, PHEAA has been in communication with many postsecondary schools as they have made operational changes for the 2020-21 Academic Year. As the Fall 2020 term unfolds, PHEAA understands that many institutions have found it necessary to adjust the delivery model of coursework to allow students the flexibility needed to continue their studies.

On September 17, 2020, the PHEAA Board of Directors again exercised its authority as administrator and servicer of the PA State Grant Program to provide relief to impacted students as they pursue their postsecondary education while the Governor’s disaster declaration remains in effect. While this relief differs from what was provided in the Winter, Spring, and Summer 2020 terms, PHEAA’s goal continues to be to review policies and take appropriate actions that minimize disruption for Pennsylvania’s student population by easing financial burdens and maintaining access to higher education, within the bounds of statutory authority.

Please remember that all schools and partners must adhere to regulatory agency, accreditation, licensing board, Title IV, and privacy requirements, as these provisions do not override such requirements, nor does PHEAA have the authority to waive such requirements. PHEAA understands that program administrators may be working remotely and continues an expectation that student data will be appropriately safeguarded during this time.

Note that outside of the policy adjustments described, this guidance does not otherwise supersede guidance contained in the PA State Grant Handbook or individual program guidelines and should be applied in conjunction with current program policy. We recognize and continue to expect your good faith efforts to comply with the intent of the above guidance as you administer the PA State Grant Program and all other Pennsylvania aid programs.

The following PA State Grant Program guidance only applies to the 2020-21 Academic Year, including Fall, Winter, and Spring terms as applicable within each institution’s academic calendar:

Non-Headquartered and Domiciled (Non-HQD) Institutions:

Students reported as "DE Program of Study" will continue to be ineligible for a PA State Grant award (Reject G). Effective immediately for the 2020-21 Academic Year terms, students reported as enrollment mode 3 or 4, will not receive an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) notification letter, but will instead remain eligible for their PA State Grant award. Previously cancelled awards will be reinstated. Students who received a letter within the past 30 days need not respond. Please see the PA State Grant Program – COVID-19 Guidance for the 2020-21 Academic Year Memo (PDF) for further information.

Headquartered and Domiciled (HQD) Institutions:

There are no changes to school reporting or student eligibility. Please see the PA State Grant Program – COVID-19 Guidance for the 2020-21 Academic Year Memo (PDF) for further information.

If you have questions which have not been addressed by this guidance or questions related to programs not referenced (e.g., EAP, Chafee, PEGP), please send them to the specific program inboxes.

Check out the list of all the mailboxes for all PHEAA-administered programs. (PDF)