Types of Financial Aid and Resources

The following forms of financial aid are available. For new students applying to PAFA, March 1 is the priority deadline for financial assistance.

Institutional Aid

PAFA Scholarships are awarded to assist in the cost of education for full-time, matriculated students who meet eligibility requirements. To apply, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. The annual application deadline is March 1 for new applicants and April 1 for returning students.

Merit Scholarships (BFA and Certificate)

The Admissions Committee awards merit scholarships based on review scores of the applicant’s portfolio. Scholarships are awarded to the highest-ranking portfolios.

Merit Scholarships (MFA and Post-Baccalaureate)

The Graduate Admissions Review Committee awards partial merit scholarships to the highest-rated portfolios from the applicant pool each year. To be eligible, applicants must submit their completed application and portfolio before the application deadline.

Federal College Work Study

The Federal College Work Study Program (FCWS) provides funding for jobs for students who meet eligibility requirements. Students work within the institution and are paid on an hourly basis. FCWS is not applied to your tuition account. Application and deadline requirements are the same as above.

Federal Pell Grant (Undergraduate)

The Federal Pell Grant is for undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor’s degree and meet federal eligibility requirements. The grant does not have to be repaid and will be applied to the student’s tuition account. To apply for the Federal Pell Grant, students must complete the FAFSA form.

PHEAA State Grant (Undergraduate)

The PHEAA State Grant is for undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree and are residents of Pennsylvania. Students must meet state eligibility requirements. The grant does not have to be repaid and will be applied to the student’s tuition account. The PHEAA application deadline is May 1.

FSEOG (Undergraduate)

The FSEOG Grant is for undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree and who demonstrate exceptional need based on the FAFSA information. Priority is given to students who receive Pell Grants. The grant does not have to be repaid and will be applied to the student’s tuition account.

Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan

This is a federal need-based loan with a maximum loan amount that increases with grade level. The federal government will subsidize or pay the loan interest for students enrolled in at least six credits each semester. For students who complete their program, drop below half-time, take a leave of absence or withdraw, there is a six-month grace period during which the government will continue to pay the interest. Interest and principal payments begin after the grace period. A separate Master Promissory Note (MPN) must be submitted to AES/PHEAA before the loan is processed. The interest rate is fixed at 6.0% effective July 1, 2008. 

Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan

This is a federal non-need-based loan with a maximum loan amount that increases with grade level. The federal government will not pay the interest on this loan. Students may either pay the interest while enrolled in school or defer it, but the interest will accrue. You must enroll in at least six credits for each semester. For students who complete their program, drop below half-time, take a leave of absence or withdraw, there is a six-month grace period of the principal but interest will continue to accrue. Interest and principal payments begin after the grace period. The interest rate is fixed at 6.8% effective July 1, 2006.

Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS Loan)

This is a loan that a parent may borrow on behalf of a dependent student enrolled in the Certificate or BFA program. The parent borrower is responsible to repay this loan and must complete an application and Master Promissory Note. For more information, visit www.studentloans.gov.

Graduate Student PLUS Loan (GradPLUS Loan)

This is a low, fixed interest rate student loan guaranteed by the federal government. It is credit-based (not need-based) and carries the benefits of a low interest rate and a federal guarantee. The interest rate is fixed at 7.9% and a co-signer is not required. An application and Master Promissory Note must be completed at www.studentloans.gov.

Alternative or Private Loans

These loans are a last resort when additional funding is needed. A credit check is performed and a co-signer may be required. Students should research educational loans online to compare interest rates and repayment information.

Other Financial Aid Resources

PAFA's Financial Aid Office: 215-972-7625

Federal student aid programs: 1-800-4-FED-AID

PHEAA state grants: 1-800-629-7392 or www.pheaa.org

FastWeb scholarship search: www.fastweb.com

SmartStudent Guide to Finacial Aid: www.finaid.org

College Board Online: www.collegeboard.org

7 Easy Steps to the FAFSA