PA State Grant Program

Pennsylvania offers need-based grant funding to qualified state residents through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). As a student, you begin the PA State Grant application process when you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If you wish to apply for funds for a Summer PA State Grant, you must complete a separate application.

Ensuring MCCC Receives PA State Grant Information

Montgomery County Community College must be listed as your school choice on the State Grant application in order for you to receive the PA State Grant at Montco.

You can review and/or update your school choice with PA State Grant Program.

  • Log in with your AES or PA State Grant account credentials or create a new account.
  • Once logged in, select the current academic year under Grant Status > Change School Information Form. Update the school choice and submit. Note: this change only adjusts the PA State Grant record, not the FAFSA.
Basic Eligibility Requirements

The basic eligibility requirements reviewed by the PA State Grant Program when it receives an application are:

  • Meets the application deadline by filing the FAFSA by May 1 prior to the academic year you plan to attend. (First-time applicants attending MCCC have a one-time extended deadline of August 1; future year applications MUST be filed before May 1.)
  • Meets criteria for financial need
  • Enrolled on at least a half-time (at least 6 credits in courses spanning 15 weeks or more for fall and spring award periods) basis in an associate's 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)

Additional School Certification Eligibility Requirements

The PA State Grant award notices sent to students from the PA State Grant Program should be considered estimates. Even after you receive a State grant award notice, PA State Grant Program requires a college to conduct additional eligibility checks. PA State Program will send MCCC an official list of all students awarded State grants at the beginning of each semester (including summer). Your PA State grant will appear on the financial aid award notice as "estimated" until 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 a student’s account.

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Enrollment Status

The PA State Grant Program considers full-time status as at least 12 credits in a semester and half-time status as at least 6 credits in a semester. Only credits that count as part of the student’s current program of study count towards the enrollment status used to determine eligibility. Enrollment status can also be impacted by individual courses. Please read the information on "Remedial Exception" and "Online and Hybrid Courses" (below).

Definition of Semester Length (fall & spring semesters)

PA State Grant Program defines a semester length at a minimum of 15 weeks long (consecutive); therefore, the following types of enrollment DO NOT qualify for a PA State Grant:

  • Enrollment in only one 7 week term
  • Enrollment in any non-credit programs
  • Enrollment in only a certificate program
  • Enrollment in Culinary Arts program courses that do not span the entire traditional semester length

Students enrolled in a combination of 15-week and 7-week term enrollment meet PHEAA’s semester length; however, if enrolled in the 7-week II term that begins mid-way through the semester, the College is required to delay the disbursement of the PA State grant until the first day of the later course.

Remedial and/or ESL Course Enrollment

If a student is taking remedial (developmental) or ESL (English as a Second Language) courses, the student must also take at least 3 regular degree credits in a semester to be considered for a PA 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.

Academic Progress

To be considered for a PA State Grant a student must meet the PA State Grant program 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), The PA State Grant Program requires the student to have successfully completed at least 24 credits in order to be eligible for a State grant in the current year.

Change in Enrollment Status

A change in enrollment status can affect a student's eligibility for a PA 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.

The College will perform periodic reviews of student's enrollment to ensure they have not withdrawn or stopped attending courses during and after the semester concludes. When the Financial Aid Office is notified that a student has withdrawn from courses or stopped attending, the student’s PA State Grant eligibility will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.

Reduced Charges:  If your cost of tuition and fees is reduced/cancelled due to withdrawal, tuition forgiveness, or non-attendance, the amount of PA State Grant you have been awarded may be adjusted.  In these cases, you may owe the College for the amount that is returned to PHEAA.

  • Drop from full-time to half-time
  • Drop from half-time to less-than-half-time
  • Official Withdrawal
  • Switching from a regular degree course to one that is remedial or ESL
  • Unofficial Withdrawal (stop attending classes)

Summer State Grant Eligibility

The Summer PA State Grant requires a separate application to be submitted between mid-March and the August 15 deadline for the current year’s summer term.

In addition to all other eligibility criteria noted above, you must be registered in at least 6 credits during the summer in a period of enrollment that’s at least 5 weeks in length (does not need to be consecutive) to be considered. The PA State Grant Program also requires MCCC to withhold applying a Summer State Grant to a student's account until after the first day of the summer II term.


Other Educational Aid

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PA Student Loan Relief for Nurses (SLRN) Program

The SLRN Program will benefit nurses who have worked and continue to work tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals eligible to participate in the SLRN Program are residents of the Commonwealth and licensed by the PA Department of State to work as an eligible nurse at a qualified nursing facility within the Commonwealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Qualified SLRN applicants could be selected to receive student loan relief of up to $2,500 for each year of work (beginning with 2020) for no more than 3 years, with a maximum benefit of $7,500.

Learn more and apply.

Blind or Deaf Beneficiary Grant Program

This state-funded program provides financial assistance to blind or deaf students attending Montgomery County Community College.

View eligibility requirements and access the application.

Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program

Beginning with the fall 2020 semester, the Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver Program provides a waiver for tuition and mandatory fees for students who are or were in foster care. This waiver applies only to charges that remain after all other gift aid (federal, state, and other scholarships or grants) have been applied to the student’s account.

View eligibility requirements and access the application.

Direct questions to:
James Symanek
Coordinator of Scholarships, Outreach, and Special Programs, Financial Aid

Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program

This federally funded program offers grants to Pennsylvania students aging out of foster care.

View eligibility requirements and access the application.

The Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)

The Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP) provides grant funding to eligible students enrolled in the following certificate programs at Montgomery County Community College:

  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Office Assistant
  • Medical Coding

Note: Students who have completed a bachelor's or graduate degree are eligible to apply for a PA-TIP award.

View eligibility requirements and access the application.

Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program (PEGP)

PEGP honors individuals who lost their lives protecting the citizens of Pennsylvania by helping their children fund their education by providing a waiver for tuition and fees. This waiver applies only to charges that remain after all other grants (federal, state, and outside scholarships) have been applied to the student’s account.

View eligibility requirements and access the application.