PHEAA’s Board of Directors Authorizes Relief for Students as Pennsylvania Postsecondary Schools Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

Harrisburg – Today, PHEAA’s Board of Directors agreed to provide for the provisional modification of certain program requirements of PHEAA-administered Pennsylvania student aid programs, according to Senator Bob Mensch (R-24). This decision was made in order to ensure that recipients will not experience a disruption or reduction of funding due to the operational changes that are being made by schools in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everyone in our community is facing some sort of challenge due to the growing spread of COVID-19. This includes students of all education levels who are no longer able to attend school as they normally would,” Mensch said. “I appreciate the quick response by PHEAA to keep up with the fast-pace of all of these changes. These modifications are essential in ensuring that students don’t experience negative consequences because of their school’s response to this pandemic.”

Effective beginning today, the PHEAA Board of Directors has authorized the Agency to temporarily modify, suspend, or relax certain program requirements for Pennsylvania schools and students enrolled in the 2020 Winter or Spring term for the following programs that currently assist an estimated 210,000 students:

  • PA State Grant Program
  • Institutional Assistance Grant (IAG) Program
  • Matching Funds Programs
  • Higher Education of the Disadvantaged (Act 101) Program
  • Higher Education for Blind or Deaf Students Program
  • Pennsylvania Internship Program
  • Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program (RTSS)
  • PA Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)

With this, PHEAA’s Board of Directors has also decided to extend the May 1 PA State Grant application deadline by two weeks to May 15.

This deadline applies to all renewal applicants and first-time applicants who plan to enroll in colleges, universities, or a college transfer program at 2-year public or private colleges (except community colleges and designated Pennsylvania Open Admission institutions).

To apply for a PA State Grant, applicants must first complete the 2020-21 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Applicants can access this form online at PHEAA.org/FAFSA or fafsa.gov. Completing the FAFSA online saves time and reduces application and processing errors.

In addition to completing the FAFSA, first-time applicants must also submit a completed PA State Grant Form (SGF). First-time applicants who submit the FAFSA® online will be automatically redirected to the SGF by following the onscreen prompts on the confirmation page. First-time applicants who have already submitted their FAFSA but have not completed the SGF, will receive an email directing them to PHEAA’s secure Account Access site for completion. Both applications are free to submit.

Created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has evolved into one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations. Today, PHEAA is a national provider of student financial aid services, serving millions of students and thousands of schools through its loan guaranty, loan servicing, financial aid processing, outreach and other student aid programs.

PHEAA’s earnings are used to support its public service mission and to pay its operating costs, including administration of the Pennsylvania State Grant and other state-funded student aid programs.  PHEAA continues to devote its energy, resources and imagination to developing innovative ways to ease the financial burden of higher education for students, families, schools and taxpayers.

PHEAA conducts its student loan servicing activities nationally as FedLoan Servicing and American Education Services (AES). For more information, visit www.pheaa.org

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.

 

CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro mscarfaro@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388