A student can lessen their tuition when discussing different options over a series of conversations such as study abroad, internships, work-study, scholarships, and university grants.
Over the course of multiple conversations can lessen the cost of a student’s tuition when being offered study abroad, internships, work-study, scholarships, and university grants.
Internships help improve your “hard skills and soft skills,” said Thomas Shaffer, academic internship coordinator. Hard skills meaning, specific skills that relate to your major such as the ability to write or proficiently solve math equations. When Shaffer mentions soft skills he is
Various Financial Aid Brochures by Lauren Ansell
referring to building a network and advancing your communication skills.
Bettering the hard and soft skills can help a student better function within a student’s future career, but it is also an important lesson to learn from any internship. Internships are required by some majors, but this opportunity provides a “combination of experience and education” within the field of interest, said Shaffer. Study abroad is another out-of-the-classroom opportunity that promotes a student to travel to new locations to “deepen your learning experiences from those courses … in another culture,” said Beth Seymour, study abroad coordinator and assistant teaching professor. Another source of financial aid is a work-study position is usually a grant “that is need based, so it is sensitive to family income and family financial need,” said Shannon Hawkins, assistant director of student aid and the work-study program coordinator.
Although some internships exist as a career experience and a paying job, this is not always the case. If you’re a student who can’t afford the total cost of a particular internship, Shaffer said that local grant funds come across annually, but a date to apply for these opportunities is unknown. Another funding opportunity includes The Student Engagement Network, Shaffer said this is a Penn State program that can offer up to $3,500 to a student that chooses an internship that challenges them. Along with resume and cover letter advising, the internship office also assists with helping Penn State Altoona students apply to countrywide internships and grants for internship expenses. The internship office, 125F, is within the Eiche Library is the Academic Internship and Community-based Studies Coordinator. The internship office won’t search internships for students, as Shaffer explains, the internship office will assist the student with the research process of finding and applying for an interview over a “matter of conversations.” Shaffer said “one of the first things I ask is if they have a resume … We kind of go over that and whip into shape.” Resume and cover letter advising are part of the internship search, but the internship office also assists with helping Penn State Altoona students apply to countrywide internships and grants for internship expenses.
Shaffer said that searching for an internship takes self-research, and “That internal research is the first thing we do.”
After discussing what kind of internship the student is looking for, Shaffer said, “Then we look at the outside, can you or do you want to go away?”
There are multiple study-abroad options a student can take to fulfill an educational experience but in another setting. Seymour said that full-semester study abroad opportunities “are pretty basic … really the cost is just the Penn State tuition. You gotta get there.”
Seymour describes that full-semester study-abroad opportunities don’t cost more than Penn State’s tuition, other than travel expenses. The Penn State Altoona college rewards up to $500 for four-year majors and up to $250 for two-plus-two majors. Penn State University also has grants from the Global Programs Travel Grants, and other series of grants, depending on the type of program. These grants can range from under $1,500 but can go up to $3,500 including tuition.
The price differs because “It really depends on where you’re studying and how long,” Shaffer said.
The amount of time a student can study abroad varies from one to three weeks (short program), three to nine weeks (summer program), a full semester, or two full semesters. The application deadline for the upcoming study abroad opportunities range from Feb. 1 to May 1, depending what time a student would want to go away.
“I’m very flexible, so I’ll meet with students on their schedules,” Seymour said.
This can be achieved by sending her an email.
Work-study positions, scholarships, and grants can result in a large cost reduction toward a student’s tuition. Hawkins said that this recent year “there was more funding provided” toward work-study positions. The jobs increased by 100 to 150 more positions for work-study positions this year at Penn State Altoona. Work-study positions are determined by “a formula that the university uses to determine eligibility based on what the family reports on the Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form,” said Hawkins.
Other than financial help from a work-study position, a student can also receive grants or scholarships from Penn State determined by what that student fills out in their FAFSA.
Penn State scholarships’ requirements are determined by the specific donor, and this form of aid doesn’t prohibit a student to apply.
For Penn State-related scholarships that the university grants, you are selected by your professors, or the workers within financial aid to determine how well a student meets the donor’s requirements.
For more information refer to the following websites:
Study Abroad affairs:
Work-Study/Financial Aid: https://altoona.psu.edu/offices-divisions/enrollment-management/student-aid