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Financial Assistance

If the FAFSA indicates that I am independent for financial aid consideration, why do I need to include parental data? Expand answer

Parental data is not necessary if you only want to be considered for Federal Stafford Loans or Alternative Loans. Parental data is required if you want to be considered for University Loans or University Scholarships.

Is there assistance available to relocate to Hershey? Expand answer

Student aid resources cannot be accessed before matriculation in August.  We recommend that students budget properly in advance to have financial resources for moving expenses as well as the first month’s rent and security deposit for their apartment.  Refunds for living expenses are available at the end of August for the fall semester of medical school.

What financial assistance is available for international students? Expand answer

Most forms of financial aid offered at Penn State College of Medicine are provided by the federal government and are available only to U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents. There may be private loans that are available for International or Canadian students. Information regarding these loans can be found on the Penn State University website. Additional financial information for international students can be found on the Global Penn State website.

What's the difference between the different types of loans available? Expand answer

Federal Direct Stafford Loans: A federal education loan administered by the US Department of Education. All graduate and professional students receive unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan which means interest begins to accrue soon after disbursement. See the latest interest rates at Penn State’s Student Aid site.

Federal Perkins Loan: A need-based federal loan awarded by the school. This loan is being phased out for graduate and professional students by Congress and is only available to current students who are grandfathered in the program. Interest is fixed at 5% and no interest accrues while enrolled.

University Loan: A need-based institutional loan administered by the Office of Student Financial Services at Penn State. Interest is fixed at 6% and no interest accrues while enrolled or during residency.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: A federal education loan issued by the U.S. Department of Education to credit-worthy students in graduate or professional degree programs. Interest begins to accrue soon after disbursement. See the latest interest rates at the Penn State Student Aid website.

Alternative or Private Loan: Used if the students cost of attendance exceeds the annual limits of other sources of financial assistance or to replace federal loans if student does not qualify for federal money. Approval is based upon credit history. Interest rates vary and are higher than those for most other student loans.


How do I apply for financial aid? Expand answer

Penn State’s Student Aid website is a good place to get an overview.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  2. Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) sent to you by the Central Processor.
  3. Receive your award notice from the College of Medicine.
  4. Sign the Master Promissory Notes for Federal Direct Stafford Loans and Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans.
  5. Complete a Master Promissory Note for University Loans if applicable.
  6. Complete verification if notified by Penn State.
  7. Search for scholarships.
How do I obtain my credit report? Expand answer

You should obtain a copy of your credit report every year. You should check for any discrepancies and resolve any issues before applying for additional credit. You can receive a free credit report at annualcreditreport.com. Credit scores are available on-line by paying a fee or joining a service. The three major credit reporting bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Companies are allowed to choose which of these bureaus they want to use to determine the credit score for their products so you should check your credit report from all three.

What are the deadlines? Expand answer

We recommend that accepted students file their FAFSA prior to February 28th and currently enrolled students file their FAFSA prior to April 15th for maximum aid eligibility consideration.

Student Aid Office

How do I let the Student Aid Office know if there is a change in my financial circumstances? Expand answer

Complete the Special Circumstances Evaluation Form. Remember to provide a detailed explanation of the change and attach required documentation before submitting the form to the Student Aid Office.

How do I make changes to the loan amounts listed on my Financial Aid Award? Expand answer

When you view your awards on LionPath, you may change the amounts before you accept the loan.