Types of Financial Aid
Financial aid is money to help pay for college or career school. Aid can come from:
- the U.S. federal government,
- the state where you live,
- the college you attend, or
- a nonprofit or private organization.
Federal student aid includes:
- Grants—financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid
- Loans— borrowed money for college or career school; you must repay your loans, with interest
- Work-Study—a work program through which you earn money to help you pay for school
If you are an undergraduate student, your financial aid package may be comprised of many different types of awards: grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, loans and work-study. These awards can range in size from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The type of aid you receive will depend on whether it is need-based (determined by your demonstrated financial need) or non need-based (determined by merit or other factors).
Most aid for graduate students is in the form of loans. Graduate students may also receive assistantships from the Graduate Admissions Office or from their department of study.
The links on the left of this page are the types of aid programs LHU students can receive to assist with payment of education expenses.
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree and who demonstrate need as determined by the U.S. Department of Education. The amounts can change yearly. The amount you receive will depend on your financial need, your cost of attendance, your enrollment status, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. You may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.
Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
TEACH is a federal grant for current and prospective teachers created by the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007. Eligible students may receive up to $4,000 per academic year. Aggregate amounts are $16,000 for students for their first undergraduate degree. To be eligible for a Teach Grant at Lock Haven University, a student must complete the FAFSA, have a 3.25 cumulative GPA, have been granted degree candidacy by their education department and be pursuing a degree in a high needs field. Currently the following areas are considered high needs fields: Bilingual education; English Language Acquisition; Foreign Language; Mathematics; Reading Specialist; Science; and Special Education. Once it has been determined that a student meets all criteria for eligibility, s/he must complete a counseling session as well as an “agreement to serve/promise to pay”. By signing this agreement the student acknowledges an understanding of the terms of the grant and the terms of the teaching service requirements. Upon graduation, the student must teach full-time for at least four years within eight years of completing his or her program as a highly qualified teacher at a Title I school in a high needs field. If these conditions are not met, the grant must be repaid as an unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan, with interest calculated from the date(s) of original disbursement. For more information about the TEACH Grant, please visit https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
The SEOG grant is provided by the federal government for distribution by Lock Haven University. The Financial Aid Office automatically considers every Pell-eligible student for SEOG and will award it to those who demonstrate the greatest need and have a FAFSA filed by the suggested filing date of March 15. Funds are limited.
Pennsylvania State Grant (PHEAA State Grant)
The Pennsylvania State Grant is awarded to the residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). To be considered for a Pennsylvania State Grant, students must complete a FAFSA by May 1 and if determined eligible, complete the Pennsylvania State Grant Form. Students who have already received a Pennsylvania State Grant in a previous year, typically only need to submit a FAFSA to receive the grant. The amount of the state grant is determined when the student and the University receive official notification from PHEAA. Students working on their first bachelor’s degree can receive up to 8 semesters of full-time grant awards. If a student is enrolled for additional semesters (more than 8) including summer, they will not receive a grant for all semesters enrolled.
In addition to general eligibility criteria, students are not eligible for the Pennsylvania State Grant if their academic program is online in nature, or if they are enrolled in more online courses than face to face courses, on a semester basis. LHU is required to review enrollment each semester and report this information to PHEAA. For more information about PHEAA’s policies please see the Pennsylvania State Grant Program Manual.
Students can apply for a Summer Pennsylvania State grant to help with summer costs as long as they are registered for a minimum of 6 credits in an undergraduate program. Students who qualify should know that if they are eligible, the summer grant will count toward the maximum number of grants a student is permitted to receive. PHEAA allows a qualifying student to receive up to 8 full-time semester grants while working on a bachelor’s degree. If a student takes 12 credits over the summer, this will count as one full semester’s grant. If a student takes between 6-11 credits in the summer and receives a half-time grant, this will count as half of a semester’s grant. To apply for a summer grant go to www.pheaa.org.
Other State Grants
Out of state students may be eligible for a grant from the state of their residence. These states include CT, DE, MA, ME, OH, RI, VT, WV, and the District of Columbia. Students must contact the appropriate state grant agency for more information. Students are urged to check with their state grant office regarding application and deadline dates.
Federal Direct Stafford Loan
A Federal Direct Stafford Loan is an educational loan, made through the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, for which eligible students borrow directly from the U.S. Department of Education. Students must be enrolled on at least a half time basis, six credits a term, to be eligible for a student loan. These loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized. Dependent students can borrow no more than $5,500 at the freshmen level, $6,500 at the sophomore level, and $7,500 at subsequent levels. The aggregate total of loans as a dependent, undergraduate may not exceed $31,000. Independent and graduate students qualify for additional amounts.
Please note: Students who plan to borrow a Federal Direct Stafford Loan must complete an entrance counseling session and Master Promissory Note at https://studentloans.gov
Repayment of the loan is required and begins six months after graduation or when a student drops below half-time enrollment.
For more details regarding this program, please see the Federal Direct Student Loan Document.
Information regarding the Loan Repayment process, can be located here.
Federal Direct PLUS Loan
PLUS loans for Parents are federal loans that parents of dependent undergraduate students can use to help pay educational expenses. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender of these funds. To qualify, the borrower must not have an adverse credit history. The maximum loan amount is the student's cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.
Please note: Students must be enrolled at least 6 credits for the semester to be eligible to receive this loan.
When applying for this loan, families are urged to apply for the amount needed for the year. Generally repayment begins once the initial disbursement of funds has occurred, however parents can elect to defer payment in their loan application.
If a parent's application is denied, the school is contacted. In these situations we can typically create an additional loan for the student. The amount of the loan cannot exceed $4000 for freshmen and sophomores and $5000 for juniors and seniors.
For more details regarding this program, please see the Federal Direct Plus Loan for Parents Document.
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
PLUS loans for Graduate Students are federal loans that graduate students can use to help pay educational expenses. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender of these funds. To qualify, the borrower must not have an adverse credit history. The maximum loan amount is the student’s cost of attendance (determined by the school) minus any other financial aid received.
Please note: Students must be enrolled on a half time basis to receive this loan.
Generally repayment begins once the initial disbursement of funds has occurred, however students can elect to defer payment on their loan application.
Federal Perkins Loan
The Federal Perkins Loan Program provides low interest loans to help needy students finance the costs of postsecondary education. The Financial Aid Office automatically considers every eligible student for the Federal Perkins Loan and will award it to those with demonstrated financial need as long as funds are not exhausted. Repayment of the loan is required and begins nine months after graduation or when a student drops below half-time enrollment. If a Federal Perkins Loan is part of the financial aid award, completion of an entrance interview and Master Promissory Note (MPN) is required. Students with Perkins Loan awards will receive an email from a third party, ECSI, with instructions to complete these requirements. These funds will not be disbursed to the student’s account until all requirements are met.
Information regarding the Loan Repayment process, can be located at our loan repayment page.
Private Alternative Loans & Private, Non-Federal Loans
Alternative Loans are loans that help assist students who may be in need of further financial assistance for their educational costs. Alternative Loans are not a government program and are available through private lenders. It is important to research federal loan programs, scholarship opportunities, grants and Work-Study programs available to you before you borrow from a private loan program. The terms and conditions of federal loans may be more favorable than the provisions of private, non-federal student loans. Student Private Alternative Loan borrowers are typically required to apply along with a creditworthy co-signer. Interest rates and terms of these loans vary depending on the loan program the student wishes to utilize.
For more details regarding this program, please see the Alternative Educational Loans Document.
Federal Work Study
Federal Work Study (FWS) provides part-time jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay educational expenses. The FWS award represents the maximum amount of wages the student is permitted to earn during the academic year. Work is limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week when school is in session and 37.5 hours per week at other times. Students employed under the FWS program are typically paid at the prevailing minimum wage and receive bi-weekly paychecks for wages earned. FWS earnings will not be deducted from the student bill since students receive their wages directly. Students awarded FWS are responsible for finding their own jobs. Current job postings and other information about student employment are available online on the Career Services page.
Please note: Students who did not receive a work study award may still work on campus through campus employment.