The financial aid process (timeline below) begins with the submission of the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Continuing students can use a renewal FAFSA with a FSA ID online. This will produce an EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, which is the amount the Federal government feels that your family can afford to pay for a year of school based on the financial information provided on the FAFSA.
The Cost of Attendance (COA) is determined each year by the college to include direct (billed) costs, such as tuition, fees, room and board, and indirect, or estimated costs, such as books, travel and personal expenses.
We use the EFC and COA to determine the student’s level of financial need based on the following equation: COA - EFC = Need
Students may be selected by the Federal government for a process called Verification. The selected student is required to provide the College with income and tax documentation so that the financial aid officers can verify the information which was reported on the FAFSA.
Every student must continue to make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to remain eligible for aid. SAP is checked at the end of each academic year and is dependent upon the pace of progression completed and the cumulative GPA.
General Eligibility Requirements for Federal Aid
In order to be eligible for Federal financial aid, the student must satisfy the following requirements:
- Must be enrolled at least half time in an eligible degree-seeking program
- Must have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Must make satisfactory academic progress which is checked once a year
- Must have resolved any drug conviction issues (Federal Student Aid Penalties for Drug Convictions PDF)
- Must be a U.S. citizen or national, a U.S. permanent resident, or other eligible non-citizen
- Must not be in default on a Federal loan or owe an overpayment on a Federal grant or loan
- Must have a valid Social Security Number
- Must have registered with Selective Service, if required to do so
If a situation arises that causes a drastic change in a family's financial situation after the FAFSA has been filed, special circumstances may be applied for. Call the Office of Financial Aid at 724-223-6019 to discuss the level of lost income. If significant, a Special Circumstances Form will be mailed to the student in order to re-evaluate the financial aid package. If a Pennsylvania resident, the student will also be mailed a Reduced Income Form for PA state grant eligibility.
Admission begins reading freshman applications
Admission begins mailing freshman decision letters and mailing merit award letters to qualified accepted students
Students file the FAFSA
Priority FAFSA filing date for entering freshman
National Candidates Reply Date. Freshen entering in the fall must submit their completed Admission Reply form and $300 reservation deposit to confirm their place in the Fall entering class.
Pennsylvania State Grant filing deadline. Application for the PA State Grant is automatic with the submission of FAFSA.
Satisfactory academic progress and merit award review for continuing students.
Continuing student financial aid packages are mailed.
Complete Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling for loans.
Fall semester bills are mailed.
PLUS loan applications may be submitted
Fall semester payment is due.
Changes in Enrollment
Please refer to the Return of Title IV Funds Policy for information on how financial aid eligibility is affected when students make adjustments to their enrollment during the academic year. For any student who decides to withdraw from classes, the Financial Aid Office is required by federal regulation to determine if this action affects the amount of aid available to the student. It is recommended that any student thinking about withdrawing from a course(s) consult a representative from the Office of Financial Aid first to ensure full understanding of the possible affect on aid eligibility.