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Types of Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid

Penn State University uses financial aid to try to provide additional assistance based on the Financial Need of each student*. There are two types of financial aid available to students at Penn State Fayette:

  1. Merit Aid—based on the academic and/or extracurricular achievements of each student and typically comes in the form of a Scholarship or Award.
  2. Need-Based Aid—based on the financial need of each student and typically made up of Grants, Loans, and Federal Work-Study.

For Merit Aid, students are either considered during the admissions application process (for new/incoming students) or are asked to submit a scholarship application (for returning/continuing students).

To be eligible for Need-Based Financial Aid, students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to access federal student loans, students must complete the FAFSA. Even students who believe their family income is too high to receive financial aid should complete the FAFSA in order to borrow money through federal student loan programs.

For students who qualify, a financial aid award from Penn State Fayette will include elements from all four aid sources.

Students at Penn State can become eligible to receive four different types of financial aid:

  1. SCHOLARSHIPS/AWARDS Scholarships/Awards are based on academic achievement or some other accomplishment from the student/applicant’s record. Scholarships and Awards are awarded from Penn State institution funds and typically do not need to be paid back.
  2. GRANTS Grants are awarded based solely on financial need and have no requirement of repayment. Financial Need is determined by completing and submitting the FAFSA each academic year. Grant funding may come from the federal government, the state government, or Penn State institutional funds. 
  3. LOANS Loans are low interest awards that must be repaid after students terminate their studies at the University. Only federal student loans, such as the Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, will be included in a student’s financial award. Other alternative loans are available to students but must be sought out individually by the student.
  4. FEDERAL WORK-STUDY Work-study is awarded based upon the financial need of the student. Students have the opportunity to work on campus while enrolled as a full-time student to earn money towards their school expenses. Students who participate in the Work-study program will receive a bi-weekly pay check for their earnings. These earnings are not automatically deducted from a student’s tuition bill.
    If you are interested in the Work-study program, you must indicate your interest while completing the FAFSA. You should also discuss your interest with the Penn State Fayette Student Aid office. 

* Penn State University does not guarantee to meet the full financial need of every student. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until financial aid funds are exhausted. Merit aid is typically awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to those students who meet scholarship criteria.