To establish eligibility for a state grant program, the FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) must be submitted prior to the state’s published deadline. Most state grant programs require students to be fully accepted into a degree-seeking program, be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits) and be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen as well as a state resident to qualify for a grant. PHEAA State Grants are only available for eight (8) full-time semesters and sixteen (16) part-time semesters.
If you reside in Pennsylvania, you must submit your FAFSA application prior to May 1st. (May 1st of the year prior to the academic year in which you are applying. For example, if you are applying for financial aid for the 2015-2016 school year, you must submit your FAFSA before May 1, 2015.)
For further information on Pennsylvania State Grants, please contact PHEAA (the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency) at 1-800-692-7392 or visit their web site.
Traditional Undergraduate Students enrolled in Eastern’s College of Arts and Sciences, as well as Esperanza College, will be awarded a State Grant in a traditional Fall and Spring format.
Are you enrolled in a GPS Undergraduate Adult program?
Your eligibility is determined by PHEAA using a different calculation. Your program is defined by 4 fixed academic sessions: Fall 1, Fall 2, Spring 1, and Spring 2. The length of these sessions, along with your total registered credits within each session, are used when determining your eligibility.
You must take at least 4 credits in a term (i.e. Fall 1= 1 term) in order to be considered for a part-time State Grant and at least 8 credits in a term to be considered for a full-time State Grant. Please be aware that online courses do impact your State Grant eligibility. Please check with the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions.
You may need to submit additional documentation to either the PHEAA State Grant Division or Eastern's Financial Aid Office in order for your state grant eligibility to be determined. The following is a helpful description for each possible request you may see listed in your my.Eastern.edu account:
- State Grant - Under Review
- State Grant - Incomplete
- State Grant- H.S. Grad
- State Grant- Transcript
- State Grant- Income Val
Many other states, besides PA, provide grants and scholarships to students attending an out-of-state college/university. Contact your state’s Higher Education Assistance Agency for information regarding deadlines, if additional applications are required (applications other than the FAFSA), your eligibility status and if you may use your State Grant at a “Pennsylvania” college/university.
Phone numbers for the Higher Education Office in each state are listed on the inside back cover of the Federal Department of Education’s Student Guide.
Deadlines for all State Grants are listed on the front page of the paper FAFSA application.