Hello and Welcome,

This web site was designed to assist adult students in Pennsylvania to find sources of student aid to attend the colleges and universities of their choice.

The first step is to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.  It is best to do this online at A hard copy can be obtained by calling 1-800-433-3243. 

The next step is to make an appointment with Financial Aid Office at the institution of your choice.  You will also want to check out their Financial Aid Web Site.

If you are employed, check to see if your company has a tuition assistance program.  Some companies advertise their programs well.  Others do not.

There are many types of financial aid:


Pell Grant:  does not have to be repaid; primarily for undergraduate students.  The amount you will receive will depend on enrollment status, costs of the institution you plan to attend and Expected Family Contribution (EFC). 

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG):  does not have to be repaid; for undergraduate with exceptional need; priority given to Pell Grant recipients

Academic Competitiveness Grant:  does not have to be repaid; for undergraduate students who are enrolled in their first or second academic year in an eligible program in any field, who have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study, and who also have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA for the first academic year. 

National SMART Grant:   does not have to be repaid; stands for “National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent”; for undergraduate students who are enrolled in the third or fourth academic year of an eligible program and pursuing and eligible major with at least a 3.0 GPA. 

Federal Work Study Program:   is a need-based program that allows undergraduate and graduate students to work-part time while enrolled in school either on-campus or off-campus to earn funds to help pay pay for educational expenses.

Perkins Loan:  borrowed money that must be repaid, interest rate is 5%, eligibility is based on financial need and availability of funds at the school.   

Stafford Loan:  borrowed money that must be repaid; for undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time; loan amounts are based on grade level.  There are two types of Stafford loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.  You must have financial need to receive a subsidized loan.  Financial need is not a requirement to obtain an unsubsidized Stafford Loan.  The U.S. Department of Education will pay the interest that accrues on subsidized Stafford Loans during certain periods.  Federal Government sets the fixed interest rate for the Stafford loan each July 1st.

STATE AID               

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)

Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)

Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation

Pennylvania State Scholarships

PHEAA Grant: grant for undergraduate students who are residents of Pennsylvania.  The PHEAA State grant is administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. 

New Economy Technology Scholarship Program:  the Technology Scholarship and the SciTech Scholarship are both awarded through the New Economy Technology Scholarship (NETS) Program. These scholarships make financial aid available if you are an undergraduate studying in approved technology or science fields.

Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH): offers qualifying students additional financial aid via educational grants. In order to be eligible to receive a PHEAA PATH grant you must first be awarded a scholarship or grant by a participating PHEAA PATH partner.

Educational Assistance Program:  provides tuition assistance for students who enter into a service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard, typically for a period of six years.

Postsecondary Education Gratuity Program:  honors individuals who lost their lives protecting the citizens of this Commonwealth by providing their children with a waiver of tuition, fees, and room and board charges. An act was signed into law that provides financial assistance to children of Pennsylvania police officers, firefighters, rescue or ambulance squad members, corrections facility employees or National Guard members who died in the line of duty after January 1, 1976.

On November 30, 2004, the Governor signed into law an amendment to this Act, to also include sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, National Guard members and certain other individuals who are on federal or state active military duty, are Pennsylvania residents, and who died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.

Pennsylvania Higher Education Foundation Scholarships and Loan Forgiveness programs grants funds to non-profit public and private nursing schools operating in the state of Pennsylvania.  Check with your school to see if these funds are available. 

Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR):  a State Agency that helps persons with disabilities help themselves to prepare for, start, and maintain a career, including funding to obtain a degree. OVR has fifteen offices located around the State with over 400 professional vocational rehabilitation counselors. These counselors work every year with thousands of persons who have physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. 

Community Education Council Grant - The community education councils identify, implement and oversee new or innovative efforts to provide access to post-secondary and higher education opportunities in educationally underserved communities within Pennsylvania. The institutionally neutral community education councils serve their communities across the Commonwealth by assessing the education and training needs of their community and partnering with providers to offer educational programs. Programming includes programs, courses or classes leading to professional, vocational or occupational certification or licensure, an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, GED preparation, skill development or skill enhancement for the community workforce and customized job training for community employers. Further, the community education councils serve as a vehicle for employment opportunities, which meet the community’s current and future economic development needs.


(A word of caution regarding scholarship searches via Internet:  Be aware that there are sites that do not provide the information you need and will charge significant amounts of money.  You should not have to pay for scholarship information.)

The Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship:

College Board Scholarship Search

Education Planner

FastWeb Scholarship Search

Smart Guide to Financial Aid

Military Benefits

P.E.O. (philanthropic educational organization)

The P.E.O’s mission is promoting educational opportunities for women.

Scholarship Links

The Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship: