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PA State Senator Lisa Boscola’s Report

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Assistance is Avaliable with Financing your Post-Secondary Education

High School graduations are right around the corner…no better time to start thinking about financing that post-secondary education!       PHEAA

Pennsylvania State Grant Program

A grant is a type of financial aid award that you don’t need to repay, as long as you meet all of the eligibility requirements. Make sure to visit https://www.pheaa.org/funding-opportunities/state-grant-program/ for eligibility requirements & to apply/renew.
Did you know…

  • The State Grant deadlines are different for first-time applicants, renewal applicants, and summer-term applicants.
  • If you miss the State Grant deadline for the academic year, apply anyway. Late applications (for terms other than summer) may qualify for awards if funding permits.

PA Forward Student Loan Program

I would like to personally take this opportunity to let students and families know that applications are available for the Commonwealth’s new PA Forward Student Loan Program, currently offering a suite of borrower-friendly loans for undergraduate and graduate students, and parent borrowers.  A PA Forward Refinance Loan will be offered later this year to combine all of a borrower’s Federal and private loans into one convenient monthly payment, which could help lower their monthly payment and/or reduce the amount they pay over the life of the loan.

PA Forward Student Loan ProgramWith first year borrowing limits on federal loans as low as $5,500 and the annual average cost to attend college in Pennsylvania at $43,866, many students have trouble affording the full cost of attendance even after taking advantage of available grants, scholarships, campus-based aid, and federal loans. If family savings are not sufficient, students often rely on private student loans – many of which come with strict credit requirements, higher interest rates, and few borrower benefits during repayment.

While today’s easy access to expensive private loans helps fill a funding gap for many students, it’s also one of the reasons that millions of borrowers are struggling to manage crushing levels of loan debt for decades after graduation. This is also why PHEAA is so excited about the PA Forward Loan Program, as it finally gives Pennsylvania students a borrower-friendly, lower-cost private loan option from a trusted source.

PHEAA will serve as the lender and loan servicer for the program, with tax-exempt allocation provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).  Leveraging the combined resources of the Commonwealth allows PHEAA to provide the program at low rates with better borrower benefits as compared to most commercial private loan programs. PA Forward student loan borrowers can borrow up to the total cost of attendance with competitively low interest rates.  Additional benefits include no application or origination fees, and flexible repayment options and terms.

Borrowers can receive a .50 percent interest rate reduction upon successful graduation and an additional .25 percent interest rate reduction for immediate repay through direct debit.  Student borrowers could also benefit from an available 6-month grace period after graduation before the first payment is due. This allows borrowers time to get their finances in order, including time to find a job, before repayment begins.

To learn more about PA Forward loans and to apply online, visit www.pheaa.org/PA-Forward.

Ready to Succeed Scholarship (RTSS) Program

The Ready to Succeed Scholarship (RTSS) Program is administered by PHEAA in close cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The program, which is funded by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, provides awards to high-achieving students whose annual family income does not exceed $110,000.

Application

RTSS provides scholarships to high academic achievers that, in combination with the Pennsylvania State Grant Program, offer a total award up to $2,000 for full-time and $1,000 for part-time students. The minimum award is $500. Awards can be used to cover tuition, books, fees, supplies, and living expenses.

Students must be nominated by their post-secondary institution for participation in the program. Funding is limited for the program and awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

To learn more about the RTSS program, visit https://www.pheaa.org/funding-opportunities/rtss.

State Work-Study Employment

State Work-Study Pays. Earn money & experience.

Student

Pennsylvania has its own State Work-Study Program outside of Federal Work-Study. The program is open to all PA students, as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. This is an additional opportunity to earn money for school and experience for the real world.

The State Work-Study Program is a great option for Pennsylvania students:

  • Take advantage of employment opportunities located in Pennsylvania.
  • Choose your own employer.
  • Pick a job in your future career field.
  • Work up to 40 hours per week.

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Offices of State Senator Lisa M. Boscola

www.senatorboscola.com

BETHLEHEM OFFICE
One East Broad Street
Suite 120
Bethlehem, PA 18018
(610) 868-8667
Fax: (610) 861-2184
Toll-free: 1-877-535-1818
EASTON OFFICE
1701 Washington Blvd.
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-5627
(610) 250-5629
Fax: (610) 250-1889
HARRISBURG OFFICE
458 Main Capitol Building
Senate Box 203018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3018
(717) 787-4236
Fax: (717) 783-1257
Senate of PA:
1-800-364-158 (TTY)

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