The State of Pennsylvania offers several college scholarship and grant programs for students. Below, we offer a list of these programs for Pennsylvania residents.
The scholarship and grant opportunities below are administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
It’s important to know that the awards have different eligibility criteria. For this reason, it’s crucial to understand all terms, conditions, and deadlines of a scholarship or grant. Understanding various types of scholarships can also work in your favor. Constructing an application takes time and it can be frustrating to learn that you’re ineligible only after you’ve completed a lengthy application process. Some prizes, for example, exist to help students who demonstrate financial need while others are based on merit (GPA, test scores, and/or extracurricular activities).
One of the most common eligibility requirements for state scholarship opportunities is the completion of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid. However, it’s also used by states to determine your level of financial need.
If you’re a high school senior or a current college or university student, equipping yourself with information about scholarships and grants is essential. Receiving money that you don’t have to pay back can help you graduate debt-free. Additionally, having a history of scholarship wins can also elevate your career opportunities. So, let’s get to the prizes!
Pennsylvania Scholarship Programs
PA Ready to Succeed Scholarship (RTSS) Program
The Pennsylvania Ready to Succeed Scholarship (RTSS) Program, in combination with the Pennsylvania State Grant Program, provides scholarships to high academic achievers to cover the cost of attending higher education. The program offers up to $2,500 for full-time and $1,250 for part-time students. The minimum award is $500.
Applicants must be nominated by their postsecondary institution for participation in the program. Funding is limited for the program and awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pennsylvania Grant Programs
Pennsylvania State Grant Program
The Pennsylvania State Grant Program is a financial assistance program that provides funding to eligible Pennsylvanians and helps them afford the costs of higher education at the undergraduate level.
PA Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)
The Pennsylvania Targetd Industry Program (PA-TIP) prepares students with skills that are in high demand by today’s employers. The program, which is administered by PHEAA, provides awards to students enrolled in programs of study in the following career areas: energy, health, advanced materials and diversified manufacturing, agriculture and food production.
PA-TIP provides need-based awards up to the equivalent of the maximum award (currently $6,000), or the student’s actual unmet need, whichever is less. Awards can be used to cover educational costs and specific living expenses.
PA Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program (PEGP)
The Pennsylvania Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program (PEGP) honors individuals who lost their lives protecting the citizens of Pennsylvania by helping their children fund their education.
PEGP provides a waiver for tuition, fees, and on-campus room and board costs charged by public postsecondary institutions. This waiver applies only to charges that remain after all other grants (federal, state, and outside scholarships) have been applied to your student account.
Financial Aid for Military and Pennsylvania National Guard
There are several financial aid programs for military veterans pursuing higher education in Pennsylvania. Here’s a list of those prizes with links to more details:
Children of POW/MIA Soldiers
PHEAA offers a special state grant to the children of any soldier in the U.S. Armed Forces who has been declared as a prisoner of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA).
PA National Guard Educational Assistance Program (EAP)
Together with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PHEAA administers this tuition assistance program for students who enter into a service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard for a period of 6 years.
PA National Guard Military Family Education Program (MFEP)
Together with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, PHEAA administers this tuition assistance program for dependents (spouses and children) of Pennsylvania Guard Members who enter into an additional 6-year service commitment with the Pennsylvania National Guard.
PA Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant (BDBG) Program
The Pennsylvania Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant (BDBG) Program provides financial aid to blind or deaf undergraduate or graduate students attending a postsecondary institution.
Award amounts for this program vary.
PA Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver (FosterEd) Program
The FosterEd Program provides a waiver for tuition and mandatory fees charged by most postsecondary institutions located in the Commonwealth for youth who are or were in foster care.
This waiver applies only to charges that remain after all other gift aid (federal, state, and other scholarships or grants) have been applied to the student’s account.
Find More Scholarships and Grants for Pennsylvania College Students
If you’re looking for ways to pay for college expenses, your search for scholarships and grants shouldn’t end here. In addition to the prizes above, there are many more grants and scholarships for Pennsylvania students. In particular, a great number of private scholarships exist, which are offered by corporations, charities, religious institutions, not-for-profits, and many other institutions. To help you in your journey, we offer thousands of options in our free scholarship finder.
Another option may be your school’s financial aid office or your high school’s guidance counselor. These are great resources because they can connect you with less-competitive local or school-specific scholarships.
Remember, winning money for school is a great way to help you graduate debt-free. It will also bolster your profile and create great career opportunities. With that being said, submitting scholarship applications is a meaningful action that you can take to help build yourself a brighter future. Good luck!