HARRISBURG — PHEAA is reminding first-time Pennsylvania State Grant applicants planning to attend a community college during the 2017 academic year that the program’s application deadline is August 1.

Additionally, students who are first-time applicants enrolled in a 2-year program of study at business school, trade or technical schools, hospital schools of nursing and community, junior or 4-year colleges or universities who are enrolled in a non-transferable program of study must also submit their State Grant applications by August 1.

Students enrolled in the 2017 summer semester are required to complete the application by August 15.

“With a maximum grant award of $4,318 for 2017-18, the Pennsylvania State Grant Program is one of the best ways to help students pay for college without having to borrow additional money,” said Representative Mike Peifer, PHEAA Board Chairman.

“But it’s very important to not miss any application deadlines or you could miss out on thousands of dollars in gift aid, which does not need to be repaid.”

State Grant applicants must meet all eligibility requirements, including being enrolled at least half-time in an approved course of study.

More information on the program, including a complete list of eligibility requirements, can be found at pheaa.org/funding-opportunities/state-grant-program.

To determine eligibility for a State Grant, applicants must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a State Grant Form (SGF), which collects additional information not requested on the federal application. Completing the SGF is only required for first-time State Grant applicants.

Applicants can access the FAFSA at either PHEAA.org/FAFSA or fafsa.gov.

First-time applicants can access the SGF directly from the FAFSA on the Web, allowing them to easily complete the entire process from a single website.

Students who have already submitted their FAFSA but not their SGF will need to visit their Account Access through the Secure Sign-In at PHEAA.org to complete their SGF.

PHEAA also cautions students and families to watch out for scams promising a State Grant award or offers of unnecessary assistance in completing the FAFSA or SGF in exchange for a fee.

“Families must be vigilant against scammers and others who are trying to take advantage of those who can least afford to lose money,” said Senator Wayne Fontana, PHEAA Vice Chairman.

“The State Grant application process is easy to complete and a variety of free resources are available to assist students during the application process – so there is never a need to pay for assistance.”

Need-based State Grant Awards are determined by a PHEAA-administered awarding formula and no one can be guaranteed to receive an award regardless of any promises made by fraudulent organizations or other 3rd parties.

For 2017-18, the State Grant Program is funded by a $273.391 million appropriation from the Commonwealth. Additionally, PHEAA’s Board of Directors allocated $87 million from the agency’s business earnings to supplement to the Program, which increases total funding to $360.391 million and is expected to serve approximately 128,000 Pennsylvania students.

For information on the higher education financial aid process, schedules for financial aid nights and FAFSA Completion Sessions, reminders of financial aid deadlines, and videos offering tips and information pertaining to planning for higher education, students can join PHEAA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pheaa.aid.