How Financial Aid is Awarded and Paid

The Financial Aid Office awards aid based on financial need. Financial need is the difference between the cost of attendance (COA) and the estimated family contribution (EFC). A student’s EFC is determined by a federal formula that uses information provided by the applicant on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Generally, the Financial Aid Office offers a student a financial aid offer consisting of grants, loans, scholarships and work-study. We first award gift aid, such as grants and scholarships to students with high financial need, followed by self-help aid, such as work-study and loan funds.

The Business Office applies funds to the student’s account, deducts any tuition and fees, and refunds the student any excess funds.

Summer Pell Grant funding will automatically be awarded, if available to you; summer loan funding may be available if enrolling in at least six credits and is to be requested in writing via email to

Financially eligible students may participate in the Act 101 Program, a state-funded program that offers one-on-one tutoring and counseling services, study skills workshops and individual guidance to help ensure that the students succeed in all courses and achieve their academic goals. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these resources to support their academic progress. 

Financial Aid Policies
  • The student must be a U.S. citizen or national, U.S. permanent resident, citizen of certain Pacific islands, or other eligible noncitizen.
  • The student must be formally admitted to the College and have a high school diploma or GED.
  • The student cannot be in default on a federally funded loan or owe a refund on a federal grant.
  • Students must be enrolled for at least six academic credits to be eligible for most financial aid programs. Only certain federal Pell Grant recipients can receive financial aid at a less than half-time status.
  • Financial aid does not cover audited courses or courses that do not fall within the student’s program of study/major.
  • Students must attend the classes for which they are registered or they will not be eligible for the amount of aid offered.
  • Students who completely withdraw at or before 60 percent of the term will have a Return of Title IV funds calculation run and may have to return a portion of their unearned federal financial aid and may owe tuition, fees and a repayment of federal funds. 
  • Students earn their federal financial aid based on the percentage of the term that they have completed. If a student withdraws from all courses within a semester or does not complete all courses for which they registered (in the case of module enrollment - i.e. 7 week 1 and 7 week 2 enrollment, for example) a Return of Title IV funds calculation is performed. If the calculation determines aid is required to be returned, federal funds must be repaid in the following order: Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Subsidized Loan, PLUS Loans, federal Pell Grant and FSEOG funds.
  • Students cannot receive financial aid for a class they intend to audit.
  • Students applying for federal Direct Loan funds must complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note to understand their obligation for loan repayment. Upon graduating or dropping below a half-time status (6 credits) exit counseling must be completed as well.
  • Students with circumstances that have impacted the family's finances (such as death, disability, loss of income etc.) may have their financial aid offer reviewed to determine if additional funding sources may be made available to them. For additional information, Contact Enrollment Services, Financial Aid via email to
  • Students who perform services in the Peace Corps or under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 or comparable service for a tax-exempt organization of demonstrated effectiveness in the field of community service may be eligible for a deferment on a FFEL/Direct Loan.
  • Students are eligible to receive Federal Pell Grant funds for the equivalent of six full-time years or 12 full-time semesters.
  • PA State Grant recipients must comply with PHEAA’s Academic Progress Policy and meet PHEAA’s eligibility requirements.
  • Financial Aid for the semester will not be disbursed (sent to the student's account at the College) until attendance reporting has been completed for the term in which a student is enrolled has been completed. 
  • Satisfactory academic progress is required to maintain eligibility for financial aid.