Central Penn College recognizes the need for financial aid to help students meet the cost of higher education. Therefore, the College processes grants, scholarships, loans, and Work-Study through federal, state, private, and institutional sources to help eligible students meet some of those costs. Funds are awarded to defray direct educational costs, such as tuition, fees, and residence costs (for on-campus students), and indirect educational costs such as books and supplies, transportation, room and board (for off- campus and commuter students), and other personal expenses.
The initial source of funds used in meeting college costs is the amount that the student and the student’s family can contribute. We will then attempt to supplement the family’s contribution with the financial aid resources that we administer.
The Financial Aid Office at Central Penn is here to help! Students can contact the office if they have any questions about the financial aid process, the application forms, the types of aid administered, or to set up a personal interview to discuss individual circumstances.
General Eligibility Requirements
To receive financial aid from Central Penn College and the Federal Student Aid programs, a student must:
- Demonstrate financial need.
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
- Be enrolled in an eligible degree program.
- Be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (6 credits). Students enrolled on a less-
than-full-time basis (less than 12 credits) may have their financial aid reduced. Some students enrolled on a less-than-half-time basis (less than 5 credits) may qualify only for a Federal Pell Grant.
- Be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident (eligible noncitizen).
- Not owe a refund on a Federal Pell Grant or be in default on a Federal Perkins Loan
(formerly NDSL), Federal Stafford Loan (formerly GSL), Federal Direct Loan, PLUS
Loans, or Supplemental Loan for Students (SLS).
• Lifelong Learning credits are not eligible for financial aid.
The Pennsylvania State Grant Program has separate eligibility criteria. If students reside outside the state of Pennsylvania, students must contact their state grant agency to see if they can qualify to bring a state grant to a Pennsylvania college.
In order to apply for all federal and state financial aid programs, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov. This form is used to determine the ability of the student (and family) to contribute financially toward an education. Students must reapply for financial aid each year.
The Financial Aid Office recommends that students file the FAFSA by March 1 of each new filing year. By filing the form by March 1, the Financial Aid Office will have the ability to notify students of their financial aid eligibility prior to the summer term billing.
Students who file financial aid forms after March 1 may not know their status until after the term begins.
The Financial Aid Office may request additional documentation to support a student’s
request for financial assistance. Parents and the student may be required to submit
a federal tax transcript and W-2 forms. A student’s financial aid package cannot be finalized until all requested documentation has been received and reviewed by the Financial Aid Office.
Financial Aid Programs
The following programs are the major financial aid resources available to students. Students may receive assistance from one or any combination of all of these programs, in what is called a financial aid package. A student’s eligibility for these programs is based on their completion and submission of the forms described previously. Awards are not automatically renewable.
Students must reapply each year.
- Federal Pell Grant – The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded entitlement program to assist needy undergraduate students. Eligibility for Pell Grants is determined by the U.S. Department of Education based on the FAFSA. Pell-eligible students may receive the grant even if enrolled less than half time. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.
PHEAA State Grant – The state of Pennsylvania provides grants to bona
fide residents who demonstrate financial need, have not received their first baccalaureate degree in any field, and are enrolled in classes on at least a half-time basis. The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) administers the program, but the institution certifies the eligibility of the student to receive the funds. PHEAA also administers a grant program with the Pennsylvania National Guard. Contact the Financial Aid Office for more information about these programs.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) – This federally- funded program provides financial assistance to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and are Pell Grant eligible. The amount of the award is based on need and the availability of funds are limited. Students with a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to receive a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.
- Federal Work-Study Program – The Federal Work-Study Program is a federally- funded program that provides part-time employment to students who demonstrate financial need. Positions are available throughout the institution and at selected off- campus sites. Federal Work-Study students are paid an hourly wage for actual hours worked. Federal Work-Study earnings are paid directly to the student on a bi-weekly basis. Awards are made to students on a fund-availability basis.
- Federal Direct Stafford Loan – This loan program provides low-interest loans to students who demonstrate financial need. The interest on these loans is fixed, not to exceed 8.25%.
First-year (freshman) students may borrow up to a maximum of $3,500 and up
to $2000 (dependent or parent unable to borrow PLUS) or $6,000 (independent student) unsubsidized per academic year, and second-year (sophomore) students (earned 36 credits or more) may borrow up to a maximum of $4,500 and up to $2000 (dependent or parent unable to borrow PLUS) or $6,000 (independent student) unsubsidized per academic year. Third year (junior) students (earned
72 credits or more) may borrow up to a maximum of $5,500 and up to $2000 (dependent or parent unable to borrow PLUS) or $7,000 (independent student) unsubsidized per academic year. Fourth-year (senior) students’ loans are prorated based on the number of credits attempted for their last term. Students must begin repayment of their Federal Direct Stafford Loans six months after they graduate or drop below half-time status. Minimum repayment of a Federal Direct Stafford Loan is $50 per month, but the actual payments will be based upon the total amount borrowed, the length of the repayment period, and the type of repayment plan chosen by the borrower. Students may qualify for different repayment programs. Students need to check with their lender for the various options.
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan – This loan program provides low- interest loans to students who demonstrate little or no “need” for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan. The terms, conditions, and loan limits are the same as a Federal Direct Stafford Loan except that the federal government does not pay the interest on behalf of the student. The student is responsible for the interest and can either pay the interest on the loan monthly or quarterly, or choose to have the interest capitalized. Interest capitalization means that the lender adds the unpaid interest to the principal balance of a loan. Repayment options are the same as the Federal Direct Stafford Loan.
- PLUS Loan – The PLUS program provides educational loans to parents who borrow on behalf of the dependent student. PLUS borrowers do not have to demonstrate need, but they are required to have a credit check performed to confirm their ability to repay the loan. The maximum amount that a parent can borrow is the student’s cost of education less any financial aid that the student receives during the loan period. The interest on the loan is variable but is capped at 9%. Repayment of the loan begins 60 days after the final disbursement, unless the borrower meets the criteria for a deferment. Students should contact their lender for more details.
- Private Loans – Private loans are another option to help make Central Penn more affordable. These loans differ in the amounts that can be borrowed, the interest rate used, and repayment terms. In most cases, the student is the borrower and the parents are the co-signer. Students can contact the Financial Aid Office or go to centralpenn.edu to find how these loans can help finance their education at Central Penn. You may borrow from any private lender that you wish to borrow from.
Central Penn’s Financial Aid Office works with governmental agencies and local organizations that provide qualified students with additional sources of financial assistance. Some of these agencies include Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services.
Students who qualify for Veteran’s Benefits must notify the Financial Aid Office once they are admitted to discuss their benefits. The Veterans Administration requires Central Penn to monitor veterans’ progress during their enrollment. It is the responsibility of the Financial Aid Office to certify a veteran’s eligibility for benefits.
Students who have questions or concerns about their funding from any agency can contact the Financial Aid Office. We will be happy to work with students and the agency.
Central Penn College awards numerous scholarships, totaling over $500,000 each year. Scholarship criteria vary, but may include: academic record, activities, essays, financial need, and a personal interview. Some scholarship students are required to maintain a 2.8 minimum cumulative grade point average and live on campus to retain the scholarship. Information and application forms are available from the Central Penn Admissions Office. Additional scholarships may be available from other sources than those listed. Please contact the Admissions Office or visit the financial aid tab on the College website.
The Central Penn College Education Foundation awards scholarships two times per year to current and incoming students. Scholarships are disbursed in various amounts and awarded based on financial need, academic performance, and student involvement/ community service. For more information or to apply for a scholarship through the Foundation, visit www.centralpenn.edu/scholarships.
Central Penn receives notification throughout the year about local private scholarships that are made available to prospective and current students. The Financial Aid Office, through various sources, notifies students who are viable candidates of the available scholarships. Students should work with their local high school guidance office to find sources of local and regional financial aid. Scholarships received by students must be reported to the Financial Aid Office. These are considered a resource and must be considered as part of their financial aid award package.
Satisfactory Academic Progress
The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires that a student maintains satisfactory academic progress in order to receive financial aid under the student financial assistance programs authorized by Title IV of the Act. These programs include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal Work-Study Program, and Federal Direct Loan programs.
This policy for financial aid recipients is implemented in order to be in compliance with current federal regulations. The SAP policy, which has three components that must be met, reads as follows: Students must maintain a 2.00 cumulative (CUM) grade point average (GPA) each term; AND students must pass 66% of their courses each term; AND students must complete their degree within a 150% time frame.
A student’s permanent academic record will be reviewed at the end of each term in
order to determine their academic progress. The entire record will be reviewed, even
if the student was not a financial aid recipient during part or all of the time of his/
her prior enrollment. Financial aid will be awarded to students who fulfill their course requirements within a standard time frame for program completion and achieve the minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average (GPA). All students will adhere to the same quantitative and qualitative measures for SAP requirements.
|Cumulative GPA Requirement||2 .00 at the end of each term|
|Full time: 12 credits attempted||Must successfully complete 8 credits|
|3⁄4 time: 9 credits attempted||Must successfully complete 6 credits|
|1⁄2 time: 6 credits attempted||Must successfully complete 4 credits|
For financial aid purposes, a normal time frame for program completion is as follows: Full-time students pursuing an associate degree cannot exceed the equivalent of nine quarters or 116 credits to complete their degree requirements. Full-time students pursuing a bachelor’s degree cannot exceed the equivalent of fifteen quarters or 188 credits to complete their degree requirements. All full-time students must successfully complete at least nine new credits each term to maintain SAP. Half-time students are expected to earn at least four credits each term. Incompletes are not counted toward credits completed until after the course work is successfully completed and posted by the Records Office.
Evaluation of Aid Eligibility
The academic progress of financial aid recipients will be monitored at the end of each term.
Students failing to meet the standards set forth will receive a Financial Aid Warning for the next term. The student may continue to receive financial aid for the next term.
At the end of the Financial Aid Warning term, the student’s academic record will be reviewed. If satisfactory academic progress has not been re-established, the student will be sent an appeal procedures letter. They will be required to submit an appeal to the Financial Aid Advisory Committee in order to maintain their financial aid.
If the appeal is “approved” by the committee, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one term. If the student does not earn a 2.00 CUM GPA and pass 66% of their coursework at the end of that term, the student will lose all subsequent financial aid. If the appeal is “denied” by the committee, the student would not receive financial aid until they are able to bring their CUM GPA above 2.00 or make up classes to get them above a 66% passing rate.
SAP Appeal Process
If unusual circumstances, such as injury to the student, illness to the student, a change in educational objective or death of an immediate family member occurs, the school may waive the SAP requirement for the student. The school may choose to waive the SAP requirement if the student has experienced undue hardship due to special circumstances. Waivers will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For special consideration, a student must complete a Financial Aid Appeal Request Form and submit it to the Financial Aid Director. The appeal will then be reviewed by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee. The student will be notified in writing as to the status of their appeal. All SAP appeals must have supporting documentation.
Financial Aid Reinstatement
To be reinstated for financial aid once a student has been denied aid, due to lack of progress during their Financial Aid Warning term and no appeal has been filed or an appeal has been denied, a student must successfully complete the remaining credits needed to make SAP progress with a minimum 2.00 CUM GPA (C) and/or make
up classes to get them above a 66% passing rate. No aid will be given until these requirements are accomplished and the student’s permanent academic record has been reviewed by the Financial Aid Advisory Committee. Students who have an appeal granted must complete their next term with a CUM GPA of 2.00 or better and complete and pass 66% of their coursework.
Grade Level Advancement Policy
First time freshmen students are considered Grade Level One students. Once
the student has successfully completed thirty-six (36) credits, they are considered sophomore students, or Grade Level Two. Junior students, or Grade Level Three students, have successfully completed 72 credits, and to reach senior status, Grade Level Four, a total of 108 credits must have been successfully completed. Students
who transfer credits into their Central Penn major, and the Records Office posts their applicable credits onto their permanent academic record, will be permitted to have these credits applied towards determining their grade level status. Students who transfer between majors at Central Penn will only have those credits that apply to their new major count toward their academic grade level. This policy is established for determining Grade Level Status for Federal Stafford Loans.
All information presented regarding financial aid eligibility and program availability reflects current regulations and policies. This information is subject to change.