Student and Program Eligibility


The Pennsylvania General Assembly created PA-TIP in 2012 to prepare students with the skills in high demand by today’s employers. The Program, which is funded by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and administered by PHEAA, provides awards to students enrolled in programs of study in energy, health, advanced materials and diversified manufacturing, and agriculture and food production. PA-TIP provides need-based awards up to the equivalent of the maximum award (currently $6,000), or the student’s actual unmet need, after gift aid and employers’ aid, whichever is less. Approved veteran applicants may receive up to 100% of the student’s total educational costs or the max award, whichever is less. Awards can be used to cover tuition, books, fees, supplies, and a $4,000 living expense allowance.

Am I (student) eligible for PA-TIP?

To be considered for PA-TIP, you must:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen, or eligible noncitizen as described on the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
  • Be a domiciliary (resident) of Pennsylvania.
  • Have received a high school diploma, GED or recognized homeschool certificate.
  • File a FAFSA.
  • Complete and return to PHEAA the PA-TIP Student Application by May 1.
  • Must not be in default or have a claim of default pending on a federal Title IV educational loan or owe a PA State Grant refund.
  • Not be receiving a PA State Grant for the PA-TIP program of study.
  • Have financial need as determined by the program guidelines and certified by the school.
  • Attend an eligible federal Title IV postsecondary institution.
  • Be enrolled in a Title IV eligible program of study that is at least 10 weeks but less than 2 academic years in length.
  • Be enrolled on a full-time basis. Full-time is defined as at least 12 credits per term or at least 24 clock hours of continuous enrollment per week.
    Exception: Students may be eligible for a partial PA-TIP award if they are enrolled at least half-time at a public or private, non-profit institution. At least half-time is defined as a minimum of six credits per term or a minimum of 12 clock hours of continuous enrollment per week.
  • Must supply a copy of the DD214 Form if the applicant is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces and was honorably discharged.
As a school, am I eligible for PA-TIP?

To be eligible, schools must:

  • Be a federal Title IV eligible institution where the classroom is located in Pennsylvania.
  • Provide a copy of your Eligibility and Certification Approval Report (ECAR).
  • Programs listed on school’s application must match programs approved on the ECAR.
  • Complete and return an Automated Clearing House (ACH) Form so that funds may be transmitted via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
  • Complete and return a Remote Access Agreement (RAA) if one is not on file; all school reports will be delivered through PHEAA's online system.
  • Have an approved eligible program of study:
    • Must be at least 10 weeks long but less than two academic years in length.
    • Cannot be a PA State Grant eligible program.
    • Cannot be an Associate Degree program.
    • Must be less than 1800 clock hours in length.
    • Must not be completed through 100% distance education (online).
    • Must correspond to the PA Department of Education Identified Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) codes.
    • Program must meet the full-time threshold of at least 12 credits per term or at least 24 clock hours of continuous enrollment per week. Public or private, non-profit institutions may offer awards to students who are enrolled at least half-time. At least half-time is defined as a minimum of six credits per term or a minimum of 12 clock hours of continuous enrollment per week. Programs that do not meet the full-time threshold, and are not public or private non-profit, are not eligible for PA-TIP.
    • Must be federal Title IV eligible.
How is the program funded?

PA-TIP is a PHEAA-administered program made possible by $8.6 million in funding provided by the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

How many years will the program be in effect?

The program will continue as long as funding is available

Is there enough funding for all eligible students?

The program will provide funding to students who apply and are qualified on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date we receive your completed eligible application, until all program funding has been exhausted.

Is there a guarantee that I will receive funding throughout my education?

Funding for PA-TIP is announced annually. Programs of study that extend beyond the current award year are not assured funding.

Are students who received a bachelor's or graduate degree eligible for PA-TIP?

Yes. Students who have completed a bachelor's or graduate degree are still eligible to apply for and receive a PA-TIP award.

Back to Top

Application and Approval

What is the application process/timeline?

PHEAA will accept student applications beginning in July and will continue to accept applications until the application deadline on May 1 or until all funding for the program has been expended.

Are students required to apply for PA-TIP annually?

New students or students who were ineligible or on funding hold in the prior year, and did not receive PA-TIP funds in the summer term, will need to submit a PA-TIP application and the FAFSA.

Returning students who received a summer term award and have remaining terms of eligibility will have their PA-TIP application automatically renewed for the new program year and only need to complete the FAFSA.

NOTE: Students who transferred to a different institution must submit a new application and complete the FAFSA.

How do I apply?

You must submit a FAFSA and a PA-TIP Student Application (PDF). The application deadline for the current award year is May 1.

Mail or fax all required documentation by May 1 to:

PHEAA, PA State Grant and Special Programs
P.O. Box 8157
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157
Fax: (717) 720-3786

What is the student appeal process for PA-TIP?

Students should be advised that the Financial Aid Office (FAO) is required to certify final PA-TIP student eligibility and that all appeals may be subject to both PHEAA and FAO review.

If a student would like to submit an appeal (such as for being ineligible for filing an application after the May 1 deadline), then it should be done in writing to PHEAA via email at patip@pheaa.org, via fax to (717) 720-3786, or via U. S. postal mail to PHEAA PA State Grant and Special Programs, P.O. Box 8157, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157. Appeals should contain the following:

  • The student’s full name
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of their Social Security number or account number
  • Email address
  • Signature (if is a faxed/mailed letter)
What programs of study are approved at my school for PA-TIP?

Check out the list of approved programs of study. List is current as of 12/1/2023.

Can non-credit courses be approved for PA-TIP?

No. Non-credit courses are not eligible for PA-TIP, as they are not approved for federal Title IV aid.

Back to Top

Awarding and Certification

How are awards determined?

Awards are based on the student’s need. PHEAA will consider a student’s educational costs including tuition, fees, books, supplies, required equipment, and a living expense allowance of $4,000. PHEAA will then deduct the Federal Pell Grant award and any gift aid or employer reimbursement from the educational cost. The student can receive an award up to the maximum PA-TIP amount (currently $6,000), or the student’s actual unmet need, whichever is less.

Do veterans have different PA-TIP eligibility?

Yes. Students who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and were honorably discharged are eligible to receive a grant award equal to the maximum PA-TIP award (or the equivalent for recipients enrolled at least half-time) or 100% of program costs, whichever is less. Don’t forget to supply a copy of the DD214 Form with your application.

How does a student submit a PA-TIP enrollment change?

If students need to submit a change to their enrollment, then they should contact the Financial Aid Office (FAO) at their school and inform them of the needed change.

Back to Top

Program History

What is the history of PA-TIP?

PA-TIP was created by Act 67 of 2011. Program funds were first awarded during the 2012-13 award year and have grown from $5 million to $8.6 million today. The program was initially funded by PHEAA and is now funded through an appropriation from the PA General Assembly. Through the 2022-23 award year, students at 80 schools across the Commonwealth have received PA-TIP awards.

Check out the PA-TIP Historical Distribution List (PDF) for a list of schools.

Back to Top