Student Financial Aid & Finding Scholarships


Office of Student Aid
314 Shields Building

The Office of Student Aid at University Park administers all major types of federal, state, and University student financial aid at Penn State and coordinates multiple funding sources on behalf of sponsoring agencies. The primary sources of student aid funding at Penn State come from federal and state programs.


Is there adult-specific student aid available?

Yes, there is adult–specific student aid available. Please be aware that application deadlines vary.

Applying for Aid

To be considered for financial aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) preferably by March 1 (new students) or April 15 (returning students). The FAFSA is the only application required to apply for financial aid at Penn State.

Student Aid Notification

Students who complete the FAFSA will receive an email notification from the Office of Student Aid with information about the types of aid they are eligible to receive. To learn more about this process, please visit the Student Aid page.

Eligibility for Financial Aid

Students must meet certain eligibility requirements to have and retain student financial aid. Students are able to review their status by monitoring their Student Aid Summary and Checklist. For a complete list of eligibility requirements, visit the Student Aid page.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

To receive the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, you must take the following steps:

• Complete the FAFSA

• Sign a Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN)

Complete Entrance Counseling

• If you are eligible for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan, it will appear on both the “Student Aid Summary” and as a credit on the tuition bill on eLion.

Private Alternative Loans

Because the financial aid sources listed on the “Student Aid Summary” may not be sufficient to meet your total cost of attendance at Penn State, you may want to apply for a private alternative loan.

A private alternative loan is a non-federal education loan, through a private lender, typically in the student’s name and requiring a cosigner. Approval and interest rates are based on the creditworthiness of the attending Penn State online and at University Park locations. Stop by 240 Outreach Building, email or call 1-800-252-3592 or 814-867-4244.

Outside Scholarship Information

Many students receive scholarships from various organizations and foundations. For your tuition bill to reflect these outside awards, it is important to send any award letters and/or scholarship checks as early as possible. For additional information, please visit the Outside Scholarship page.

Penn State Employees

Educational privileges are available to regular full-time faculty and staff members, their spouse, and their unmarried children. The grant-in aid is for 75% of the tuition charge and applies to Penn State resident instruction and continuing education credit courses. See Penn State employees are not eligible to apply for some university resources (see policy HR 36) as they are recipients of the 75% tuition grant.

Veterans Tuition Assistance

Veterans are eligible for priority registration. Please complete form online and see website for details. Additional information regarding GI Benefits and the Yellow Ribbon Programs are also online.

Office of Veteran Programs

Military Grant-In-Aid Program (World Campus students only)

Know the Rights and Responsibilities of a Financial Aid Recipient

As a financial aid recipient, it is crucial that you are well informed about your rights and responsibilities. So that you understand Penn State’s Satisfactory Academic Progress standards and what is required of students to remain eligible for student aid, carefully review this information on the Office of Student Aid web site.

Dropping and adding classes and withdrawing from the university will affect your current and future aid. Be sure to keep your local and permanent addresses, as well as any name changes, current with the Office of the University Registrar.

Documentation for Verification

The Office of Student Aid is required by the federal government to confirm the accuracy of the information submitted on the FAFSA—a process known as verification. If you are selected for verification by Penn State, you will receive a letter directly from the Office of Student Aid requesting the specific information needed and the due date. Please respond promptly to any requests from the Office of Student Aid for borrower and cosigner. Each alternative lender has different eligibility requirements, loan rates, terms, and conditions. Exhaust federal student aid options first. Federal student loans generally have more favorable terms and conditions than private loans. For more information about private alternative student loans, please visit the Student Aid page.

Adult Learner Opportunity Fund

The Adult Learner Opportunity Fund provides financial support for non-traditional aged students pursuing their undergraduate degree at University Park. This fund is currently in the campaign phase.

Continuing Education Scholarships

The Fund for Adult Continuing Education Support (FACES) is supported by Continuing Education employees and former and current students who are dedicated to helping adult learners in Continuing Education programs succeed through supplemental financial support for books, to offset tuition, or for other emergency needs.

The Fischer Family Scholarship is for currently enrolled Continuing Education (CE) or World Campus (WC/online) students who have accumulated 9 CE or WC credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA and have a financial need.

The Osher Foundation Re-entry Scholarship is for adult students who return to college after a five year gap in enrollment. For additional information including how to apply, as well as several other outside scholarship opportunities, visit:

Office of Student Aid for World Campus & Continuing Education has a group of staff dedicated to the adult learners and student veterans verification documents to avoid a delay in the processing of student aid. Please do not submit any documents unless you receive a request. To learn more information about verification, please visit

Confirm Student Registration on the Tuition Bill

After you schedule your classes for the fall semester, you will receive a tuition bill email notification from the Office of the Bursar in mid-July. At Penn State, students must confirm registration every semester. When the bill is covered in full by financial aid, registration must still be confirmed in order for the students to be officially enrolled at the University. An incomplete registration may result in a loss of student aid.

Check Penn State Email Frequently

The Office of Student Aid communicates with students through their Penn State email accounts. You can check your Penn State e-mail account via WebMail . Check your “junk” file, too. You will also be able to access your student aid information online on eLion.

If you forward your Penn State e-mail to a non-Penn State e-mail account (which is not recommended), make sure you update spam filters to recognize e-mail from Penn State and the U.S. Department of Education. Some account providers automatically flag perceived junk or bulk mail and divert it to trash or spam mail folders, which may cause you to miss important student aid alerts and time-sensitive information.

“I am a Pittsburgh native and student veteran who attended both Shenango and University Park Campuses. It was hard to move into another career path after having been out of the academic environment for so long and finding common ground with traditional-aged students, but I found valuable support from Adult Learner Programs & Services. They picked me up, and now as the ALPS student org president, I want to reach out to both adults and veterans because it would be highly gratifying if I could make a difference for even a handful of students like myself. It’s never too late to find your niche at Penn State”. – Michael Bartolomucci, Veteran Marine,Ag Systems Management

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