Attending state colleges within Pennsylvania is a popular choice for student residents with figures showing that 90% of Pennsylvanians make their home state their number one choice for a college education. Single parent students within the State have no specific funding aimed directly at them but they are eligible for state grants.
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency helps students to attend college through a number of grants which are based on financial need. A separate application needs to be made to the state for consideration of state grants, in addition to the standard FAFSA application which is needed for federal aid.
To be eligible for a Pennsylvania grant the single parent student must provide the financial information necessary for the state to determine if their financial need qualifies them for a grant. Such grants are only available to Pennsylvanians who have made their home within the state for a minimum of one year.
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance agency is also responsible for administering the federal agricultural education loan forgiveness program. This is open to students who obtain a degree in veterinary medicine or agriculture, or who have a teaching certification in agriculture from a post secondary institution in Pennsylvania. The loan forgiveness program forgives up to $2000 per annum of federal student loans for graduates who work within Pennsylvania in a qualifying agricultural field.
The state is also responsible for administering the Federal Teacher loan forgiveness program which may be considered by single parents who want to enter the teaching profession. Those prepared to teach at designated low income schools within Pennsylvania will be entitled to some loan forgiveness on their student loans.
Students should conduct searches to see if there are any other scholarships and grants available to them, as well as the ones administered by Pennsylvania State. Often the best place to source additional grants is through the financial aid officer at the schools to which you apply, and they will have all the up to date information to help you in your search.
Federal student loans are the standard route to financing college when grants and scholarships don’t cover the costs. Single parents typically fall into the low income category and thus are usually eligible for the federal Pell grant, the federal Perkins loan, and the federal Stafford subsidized loan. Completing the FAFSA will allow you to apply for these federal grants and loans and thus keep borrowing costs down to low fixed interest rates with payments deferred until six months after graduation.
If you are struggling with the idea of financing college as a single parent it is never too soon to explore these options and to determine the level of grants which you may be eligible for.