HARRISBURG – Secretary of Education Dr. Noe Ortega today joined the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, Sen. Wayne Fontana, and Sen. Lindsey Williams at Community College of Allegheny County to remind Pennsylvanians to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid by May 1, 2022, to qualify for a PA State Grant Award.
“By submitting the FAFSA, students are doing more than just opening doors to their future. They’re opening doors to more options, to more experiences — and most importantly, they’re making those doors easier to open,” said Sec. Ortega. “The FAFSA helps current and prospective students further their education in an affordable way, and that’s something that’s needed now more than ever.”
All current and prospective undergraduate and graduate students should submit the FAFSA to the U.S. Department of Education to determine eligibility for federal, state and campus-based student aid.
“The PA State Grant program can provide a lifetime of benefits – not just by making college an affordable reality for students with financial need, but by lowering a graduate’s potential student debt burden,” said Sen. Fontana, PHEAA board vice chairman. “This pays dividends for years as PA State Grant recipients attending four-year colleges, who are also Pell Grant-eligible, borrow on average nearly $7,600 less over four years.”
PHEAA’s Board of Directors recently adopted a 2022-23 PA State Grant Program awarding formula that increases the maximum potential total award from $5,000 to $5,750, while providing awards to approximately 107,000 students.
For 2022-23, Governor Tom Wolf has proposed a $350.37 million appropriation for the PA State Grant Program, which is nearly $40 million more – or a 12.8% increase – over the current year. If approved in this year’s budget, this will be the largest year-over-year dollar increase in the program’s history.
All first-time applicants enrolled in a community college; business, trade, or technical school; hospital school of nursing; designated Pennsylvania open-admission institution; or nontransferable two-year program have an extended deadline the first year they file, which is August 1, 2022.
Students should complete the FAFSA by the required due dates for each year they plan to attend postsecondary education. Federal aid eligibility, including grants, work study, and loans, is determined by schools using FAFSA data, and states and many colleges will award their own aid based on that data.
Additional information about the different types of student loans, grants, and other aid can be found here. Students may consider meeting with counselors to learn more about loans and make informed decisions. Additionally, they may contact admission staff at any of the 360 postsecondary institutions in the commonwealth or contact PHEAA with specific financial aid questions.
For more information about Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, please visit the Department of Education’s website. Follow PDE on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, or Pinterest.