PHEAA State Grant Program

Pennsylvania offers need-based grant funding to qualified state residents. As a student, you begin the PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency) 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 PHEAA State Grant, you must complete a separate application.

Ensuring MCCC Receives PHEAA 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 PHEAA State Grant at MCCC.

You can review and/or update your school choice with PHEAA.

  • Log in with your AES or PHEAA 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 PHEAA Grant record, not the FAFSA.
Basic Eligibility Requirements

The basic eligibility requirements reviewed by PHEAA 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

PHEAA State Grant award notices sent to students from PHEAA should be considered estimates. Even after you receive a State grant award notice, PHEAA requires a college to conduct additional eligibility checks. PHEAA will send MCCC an official list of all students awarded State grants at the beginning of each semester (including summer). Your PHEAA 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

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. 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)

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

  • Enrollment in only one 7 week term
  • Enrollment in only both 7 week terms
  • 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 PHEAA 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 PHEAA 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 PHEAA 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.

Change in Enrollment Status

A change in enrollment status can affect a student's eligibility for a PHEAA 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 online

Summer State Grant Eligibility

The Summer PHEAA 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, students at MCCC 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. 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 term.

 

Other Educational Aid

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Blind or Deaf Beneficiary Grant Program

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 for the academic year for which the Blind or Deaf funds are being requested
  5. Submit your completed application and additional documentation by the deadline

    Mail your completed application to

    PHEAA
    State Grant and Special Programs
    P.O. Box 8157
    Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157
    OR
    By fax at 717-720-3786

Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program

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 at 717-720-3786

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.

To be considered for a PEGP waiver, you must:

  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Be a child by birth or adoption of a police officer, firefighter, rescue or ambulance squad member, corrections facility employee, or active National Guard member who died after January 1, 1976, as a direct result of performing his or her official duties
  • Be a child by birth or adoption of a sheriff, deputy sheriff, National Guard member, or other individual who was on federal or state active military duty who died after September 11, 2001, as a direct result of performing his or her official duties
  • Be 25 years of age or younger when you apply for the program
  • Complete a FAFSA and a Pennsylvania State Grant Application
  • Be enrolled at a Pennsylvania community college, state-owned institution, or state-related institution as a full-time undergraduate student pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree

To apply:

  1. Download and complete the PEGP Application.
  2. Include a certified copy of your birth certificate with your application.
  3. Provide a letter of admission to the postsecondary institution that you attend or plan to attend.
  4. Complete the FAFSA and the Pennsylvania State Grant Application.
  5. Mail your completed application and additional documents no later than March 31 to:

    PHEAA
    Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program
    State Grant and Special Programs
    P.O. Box 8157
    Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157