2013-12-12 / State

PHEAA’s guide details aid process

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) announced that its annual Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide is available online to students and families for guidance on understanding the federal student financial aid process. English and Spanish versions of the guide can now be found under the College Planning section of PHEAA. org.

The free Student Aid Guide is Pennsylvania’s most comprehensive financial aid publication and is a great resource for finding everything students and families need to know about the financial aid process and paying for higher education. The Guide offers in-depth information on Pennsylvania’s aid programs, including the need-based State Grant Program, the Pennsylvania Work-Study Program and the Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP).

“The Student Aid Guide walks students and families step-by-step through the financial aid process,” said Representative William Adolph, PHEAA Board Chairman. “Families who are unsure of where to begin to find funding for higher education should use this free resource to determine their responsibilities to successfully apply for aid.”

The online version of the Guide is interactive and includes links to web pages of particular interest, including:

How to qualify for grants and scholarships and other “free” aid that does not need to be repaid

Types of loans that are available to students and their parents to help pay for their education

Career planning tools and access to checklists, time lines, applications and forms that families will need to apply for and receive financial assistance

“The Student Aid Guide makes the financial aid process understandable, helping families make informed decisions and the entire process easier for them,” said Senator Wayne D. Fontana, PHEAA Vice Chairman. “We encourage students without internet access to contact their school counselor who can order additional hardcopies of the Guide online at PHEAA.org <http://PHEAA.org> .”

The Guide offers tools to help students and families create a student budget that estimates annual expenses and provides helpful resources and contact information.

PHEAA recommends that families considering taking our federal student loans or private loans visit its newest website, MySmartBorrowing.org. MySmartBorrowing is an interactive online tool that helps users to easily understand the long-term implications of personal and financial choices that are necessary for a student’s higher education success plan. MySmart- Borrowing includes estimators that assist users in identifying their possible cost of a higher education at different schools, future salary expectations for a particular degree, availability of related employment opportunities, and their potential ability to repay student loans comfortably while also affording an independent lifestyle after graduation.

For information on the higher education financial aid process, schedules for upcoming financial aid nights and FAFSA Completion Sessions, reminders of financial aid deadlines, and video clips offering tips and information pertaining to planning for higher education, students can join PHEAA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid.

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