State Grants

PHEAA State Grant Program

The basic eligibility requirements reviewed by PHEAA when it receives an application are

  • Meets criteria for financial need
  • Enrolled on at least a half-time basis in an Associate degree program and does not already have a Bachelor's degree
  • U.S. high school graduate or the recipient of a G.E.D.
  • Pennsylvania resident (domiciliary)
  • Met the application deadline by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by May 1 of the academic year the student is attending

PHEAA State grant award notices should be considered estimates. Even after a student has received a State grant award notice, PHEAA requires a college to conduct additional eligibility checks. PHEAA will send Montgomery County Community College an official list of all students awarded State grants at the beginning of each semester (including summer). Your State grant will appear on your financial aid award as "estimated" until your eligibility is confirmed. The following are some of the eligibility checks that will be made by MCCC financial aid staff prior to any State grant funds being disbursed to your account.

Additional School Certification Eligibility Requirements

PHEAA considers full-time status as at least 12 credits in a semester and half-time status as at least 6 credits in a semester. Enrollment status can also be impacted by individual courses. Please read the information on "Remedial Exception" and "Distance Learning" (below).
PHEAA defines a semester as approximately 17 weeks in length. Therefore, if you are taking accelerated courses at MCCC, the amount of State grant you receive or the date you receive it could be affected. For example, if you were taking 2 courses, both within the same accelerated 6 week term, you would not be eligible for a State grant because the term length does not meet PHEAA's definition. If you were taking 2 courses, one a regular length course and the other an accelerated course starting later, a college would be required to withhold applying your State grant until the first day of the accelerated course.
In addition to all other eligibility criteria, students at Montgomery County Community College must be registered in at least 6 credits during the summer to be considered for a Summer State grant. However, students cannot be registered exclusively in either the Summer I (courses start in May) or Summer II (courses start in July) semesters due to the length of these summer sessions. PHEAA also requires MCCC to withhold applying a Summer State grant to a student's account until after the first day of the Summer II semester.
PHEAA requires State Grant recipients to earn at least 50% of their program of study through classroom instruction. Distance learning or on-line courses are monitored by the College on a semester basis to ensure this requirement is met. Therefore, to be considered for a State Grant, a student must take at least 6 credits in a semester, 3 of which must be regular degree credits taken through classroom instruction. If at any point during a student's program of study it is determined more than 50% of coursework earned was taken by means other than classroom instruction, PHEAA requires the College to return all State Grant funds.

  • Hybrid courses are considered online for the purpose of the PHEAA State grant

If a student is taking remedial (developmental) or ESL courses, the student must also take at least 3 regular degree credits in a semester to be considered for a State grant. A student is only eligible to receive this type of combined credit payment (remedial exception) for 2 full-time or 4 part-time semesters. After a student has received the maximum number of remedial exceptions, only regular degree credits can be used when determining enrollment status for additional State grants.
To be considered for a State grant a student must meet PHEAA's academic progress requirement. This requirement applies to students who received a State grant in a prior academic year. If a student received a State grant at a different college, an academic transcript from that college is required to confirm that academic progress was met. For the most recent year a State grant was received, a student must successfully complete at least 12 credits for each full-time grant and/or 6 credits for each part-time grant. For example, if a student received two full-time State grants in the prior year (Fall and Spring semesters), PHEAA requires the student to have successfully completed at least 24 credits in order to be eligible for a State grant in the current year.
A change in enrollment status can affect a student's eligibility for a State grant. The following are some examples of enrollment changes that may result in an adjustment to a student's State grant during a semester.

  • Drop from full-time to half-time
  • Drop from half-time to less than half-time
  • Withdrawal
  • Switching from a regular degree course to one that is remedial or ESL
  • Switching from a course taken through classroom instruction to one that is distance learning

Other Educational Aid

To be considered for a Blind or Deaf grant, you must

  • Be a Pennsylvania resident
  • Supply written documentation to PHEAA showing that you have been evaluated and are eligible to receive benefits from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
    OR
    Supply documentation from your physician regarding your visual and/or hearing impairment (Page 4 of the application)
  • Be enrolled at least half-time in a postsecondary institution and maintain satisfactory academic progress (as determined by the postsecondary institution)
  • File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the academic year for which the Blind or Deaf funds are being requested

To Apply

  1. Download and complete the Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant Application Form (PDF)
  2. Contact OVR at 1-866-375-8264 for documentation stating that you qualify for OVR benefits
  3. Contact your physician to complete page 4 of the application
  4. File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the academic year for which the Blind or Deaf funds are being requested
  5. Submit your completed 2014-15 application and additional documentation by March 31, 2015

Mail your completed application to
PHEAA
State Grant and Special Programs
P.O. Box 8157
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157
OR
By Fax
(717)720-3786

To be considered for this grant, you must

  • Be a Pennsylvania resident
  • Be eligible for services under Pennsylvania's John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
  • Be identified as a youth in foster care or a youth discharged or adopted from foster care after age 16
  • Be participating in the Chafee Program on your 21st birthday until you turn 23 years old
  • Be enrolled at least half time in a college or career school that is approved by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV student assistance programs
  • Demonstrate financial need for the grant (as determined by the postsecondary institution)
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (as determined by the postsecondary institution)
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan

To Apply

  1. Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  2. Download and complete the Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program Application (PDF)

Mail your completed application to
PHEAA
State Grant and Special Programs
P.O. Box 8157
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157
OR
By Fax
(717)720-3786

Central Campus in Blue Bell
340 DeKalb Pike
Blue Bell, PA 19442
Phone: 215-641-6566
Fax: 215-619-7193
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West Campus in Pottstown
101 College Drive
Pottstown, PA 19464
Phone: 610-718-1906
Fax: 610-718-1837
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