How do I apply for the PA State Grant?
PHEAA allows eligible Pennsylvania residents to obtain financial assistance for undergraduate study at any PHEAA-approved institution of higher education. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the program’s application. Keep in mind, that for Pennsylvania’s State Grant program, your completed FAFSA must be received by May 1 immediately preceding the academic year. However, Geneva recommends that you apply by March 15 to receive priority consideration for Geneva financial aid.
Who is eligible for a PHEAA Grant?
To receive a PA State grant, you must:
- Meet PHEAA's criteria for financial need.
- Be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (6 credits) in a PHEAA-approved undergraduate program of study and do not already have a 4-year (or more) undergraduate degree.
- Be a high school graduate or the recipient of a GED. Often, homeschoolers need to have received a diploma from one of nine approved homeschooling associations.
- Demonstrate academic progress (for continued aid). During the term you last received a full time state grant, you must have completed at least 12 credits during or since that term. If a part time grant was received, you must have successfully completed at least 6 credits during or since that term.
- Be a Pennsylvania resident. You must have been a PA resident for at least 12 months prior to the date that you filed your FAFSA. This cannot include time spent in PA while enrolled at college if you came to or remained in PA for the purpose of attending college.
I'm a transfer student and my grant isn't on my account. What should I do?
Your previous school may have not yet cancelled your state grant at their institution. Please call the Financial Aid Office to check into the problem. You may need to contact your previous school to remind them to cancel your grant. Within a few days, it should be sent to Geneva.
If you have received a state grant at your previous school, we will also need to check your prior academic progress before awarding your state grant at Geneva. Please make sure your most recent transcripts have been sent to Geneva’s Registrar’s Office.
I'm a regular student and my grant isn't on my account. What should I do?
This could occur for a variety of reasons, so it is best to call the Financial Aid Office as soon as possible.
If you received correspondence from PHEAA regarding one of the following and did not respond, your grant may have been cancelled until further information is provided. Please pay attention to all correspondence that you receive from PHEAA. It most likely addresses one of the following issues that would need to be resolved before your state grant can be applied to your student account:
- Corrections – If your state grant record is incomplete, PHEAA will send you a status notice indicating what further information they need from you. Please complete the form with the required signatures and send or fax it back to PHEAA immediately. It is also helpful to follow up with PHEAA to make sure they have received it and don't need any additional information from you.
- Income Validation – PHEAA may request that you send them copies of the student’s and parent’s tax returns, supporting schedules, and W2 forms (regardless of if you already provided them to us for verification). This occurs when the income reported on the FAFSA differs significantly from the income reported on the state tax return, or when estimated income was used to complete the FAFSA.
Can I contact PHEAA directly?
Yes, you can call toll free 800-692-7392 (when prompted by the voice response system, choose grants). You can also find additional grant information at www.pheaa.org.
My family’s income has been reduced due to an unexpected circumstance. Will this affect my grant?
Possibly. The Agency will provide special processing in the State Grant Program to those families which have suffered a reduction of income as a result of death, permanent disability, retirement, change in employment status, or loss of untaxed income. If your family’s income has been reduced substantially, you should complete PHEAA’s Reduced Income Form which can be obtained in the Financial Aid Office or from PHEAA's web site. If you are unable to estimate the total income your family will receive from during the year, keep the form until you can provide an accurate estimate. If you have questions concerning this matter, please feel free to call PHEAA directly at 800-692-7392.
My parents (or I) were recently separated or divorced. Will this affect my grant?
Possibly. If a separation or divorce occurred after the State Grant application was filed, and at least two full months have passed since the occurrence, the Agency will reprocess the application utilizing the custodial parent’s income (or the student’s income only, if considered independent). Please obtain a copy of PHEAA’s Recent Separation/Divorce Form from the Financial Aid Office or from PHEAA's web site. This form can also be used in situations where the separation or divorce occurred before the application was filed, but joint financial data was mistakenly reported.
My family has unusually high medical expenses. Will this affect my PHEAA grant?
PHEAA reconsiders an application with unreimbursed medical/dental expenses that exceed five percent of the family’s total income, provided this income exceeds $20,000 for dependent applicants. If you think you fit these criteria, please stop by the Financial Aid Office for the required form or download it from PHEAA's web site. You may also need to submit certain tax forms.
I am a full time student but I didn't complete 12 credits each semester. Will my grant be affected?
Yes. If you received a full time PHEAA grant during the semester, you are required to have successfully completed at least 12 credits before you can receive another state grant.
If your ability to complete the required credits was beyond your control, please stop by the Financial Aid Office to discuss your situation and obtain an academic progress exception form to be submitted to PHEAA.
How can I check the status of my PHEAA grant?
- Call the Financial Aid Office at 724-847-6530 to discuss the status of your state grant. We are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- Log onto www.aessuccess.org and create an account using your Social Security Number and Date of Birth. After doing this, you will be able to check the status of both your state grant and your Stafford Loans…anytime, from anywhere!
- Call PHEAA directly at 800-692-7392.