The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) is reminding students that February is Financial Aid Awareness Month and there is still time to apply for student aid for the 2023-24 academic year.
Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid® (FAFSA) to the U.S.
Department of Education as soon as possible. Information supplied on the form is used by the federal government, postsecondary schools, and PHEAA to determine the student’s eligibility for a broad range of student aid programs, including PA State Grants and federally guaranteed student loans. All current and prospective undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply.
“Submitting the FAFSA is the first critical step students and families must take in order to be considered for need-based student aid programs,” said Senator Wayne Fontana, Acting Chairman of the PHEAA Board of Directors. “With many families across the Commonwealth struggling during these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever for them to reduce their out-ofpocket costs as much as possible for their student’s education.”
If a student does not submit their FAFSA, they could miss out on thousands of dollars of gift aid that could make the difference between affordable higher education and the long-term burden of unmanageable student loan debt.
“The PA State Grant Program offers a $5,750 maximum award to eligible Pennsylvania students for 2023-24,” said James Steeley, PHEAA President & CEO. “Unlike student loans, grant awards do not need to be repaid, which can provide meaningful financial assistance to students who have the most financial need.”
In 2022, PHEAA served more than a million students, families, and borrowers across all programs, distributing over 530,000 brochures and other materials via various access and success touchpoints. Last year, 23,500 students and families attended more than 1,360 financial aid events across the Commonwealth.
To help students make the best decision for their financial future, PHEAA launched
MySmartBorrowing.org. This free resource helps users understand how different career, school, and financial decisions can influence the total cost of their education.
PHEAA also offers online financial aid help when filling out the FAFSA at EducationPlanner.org, which provides students and parents financial aid timelines, worksheets, and a frequently asked 2 questions page. Students and parents can link directly to the FAFSA website to fill out the form electronically and receive their application results faster than by mailing the application.
For Financial Aid Awareness Month, PHEAA’s Higher Education Access Partners are hosting a free financial aid webinar geared toward helping students and families better understand the necessary financial decisions concerning higher education.
- Financial Aid 101This presentation will review higher education costs, the types of financial aid available, and how to apply for financial aid.
Thursday, February 2 – 6-7 PM
Register to attend at https://www.pheaa.org/virtual.
Additional resources on the financial aid process, including completing the FAFSA can be found at https://www.pheaa.org/toolsresources/parents-students/index.shtml.