You are here:
< Back

Financial Aid

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, residence costs (for on-campus students), indirect
educational costs such as books and supplies, transportation, room and board (for offcampus 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

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 or certificate program.
• Be enrolled on at least a half-time basis (6 credits). Students enrolled on a less-thanfull-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.

Application Process
In order to apply for all federal and state financial aid programs, students must complete
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at 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. 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 and students must reapply each year.

• Federal Pell Grant – The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded entitlement
program to assist undergraduate students with high financial need. 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
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.

• Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) – This federallyfunded 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

• 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 offcampus 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 Subsidized 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%.

A first-year (freshman) student may borrow up to a maximum of $3,500
subsidized and up to $2,000 (dependent or parent unable to borrow PLUS) or
$6,000 (independent student) unsubsidized per academic year, and a second-year
(sophomore) student (earned 36 credits or more) may borrow up to a maximum
of $4,500 subsidized and up to $2,000 (dependent or parent unable to borrow
PLUS) or $6,000 (independent student) unsubsidized per academic year. A third
year (junior) student (earned 72 credits or more) may borrow up to a maximum of
$5,500 subsidized and up to $2,000 (dependent or parent unable to borrow PLUS)
or $7,000 (independent student) unsubsidized per academic year. A fourth-year
(senior) student’s 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, withdraw 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 servicer for the various options.

• Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan – This loan program provides lowinterest 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 servicer 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.

• 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 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 Certifying Official 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 Certifying
Official to certify a veteran’s eligibility for benefits.

Students who have questions or concerns about their funding from any agency can
contact the Certifying Official. We will be happy to work with students and the agency.

Central Penn College Awards numerous scholarships, totaling over $500,000 each year,
which includes academic, housing and criteria based scholarships. Scholarship criteria
vary, but may include: academic record, activities, essays and financial need. Each
scholarship has its own criteria to maintain the award such as 2.8 minimum cumulative
grade point average, live on campus and be continuously enrolled. Please contact the
Admissions Office or visit the financial aid section of the College website at

The Central Penn College Education Foundation awards scholarships two times per
year to current students. Scholarship amounts range between $500 and $2,000 and
are 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

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 (SAP) 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 WorkStudy 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.

Quantitative Measures
Cumulative GPA Requirement 2.00 at the end of each term
Full time: 12 credits attempted Must successfully complete 8 credits
¾ time: 9 credits attempted Must successfully complete 6 credits
½ time: 6 credits attempted Must successfully complete 4 credits

Qualitative Measures
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 and 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. Appeals 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 and received by the Friday
before the first day of class.

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 office. 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 students
have 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 Direct Stafford Loans.
All information presented regarding financial aid eligibility and program availability
reflects current regulations and policies. This information is subject to change.

Ready to begin your story?

A few minutes can start a lifetime of success! Fill out our free online application now.

Request Info