Financial Aid and Scholarships

Student aid is an important issue for most adult learners and often determines whether you can begin or continue a college education. The dedicated student aid advisers for adult learners and continuing education are here to help you navigate the financial aid application process, understand the kinds of available aid sources and the limitations, and develop a financial aid plan to match your educational goals.

Federal Student Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the only application Penn State requires for aid determination. Students who meet the following eligibility requirements are considered for federal student aid:

Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Penn State’s school code is: 003329
Must comply with Penn State's academic progress standards.
Must not be in default on an educational loan and must not owe a repayment on an adjusted federal grant.
Must be enrolled in an eligible degree program. (Certificates are not eligible for federal student aid funding.)
Must be enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduate, 5 credits at the 400 level or above for graduate students).
If male and age 18 to 25, must be registered for Selective Service.
Must be a citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid Social Security number.
Must have a high school diploma or GED.

The Office of Student Aid will contact you via email regarding the steps you will need to take to secure your financial aid. Be sure to read through the Office of Student Aid website for updated information, policy, and helpful hints about your student aid.

If you are returning to finish your degree, be sure to file your FAFSA and check with a student aid coordinator to be certain your previous college attendance has been reviewed for eligibility purposes.

Trade Adjustment Act (TAA)

In 2002 the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed legislation to provide professional development assistance to persons who have faced career interruptions due to corporate job relocation (also known as “outsourcing”). Penn State Continuing Education, in cooperation with Pennsylvania CareerLink, is pleased to offer professional education to persons whose jobs have been outsourced. Find programs that are approved for funding.

University Scholarships

We are pleased to be able to extend the following scholarship opportunities to our adult learners. Be sure to file your FAFSA and complete the necessary application to be considered for these opportunities. (Employees receiving the educational benefit are not eligible for consideration for these scholarships.)

Fund for Adult Continuing Education Support (FACES)

The Fund for Adult Continuing Education Support (FACES) is supported by Continuing Education employees and former and current students who are dedicated to helping adult learners in Continuing Education programs succeed through supplemental financial support for books, tuition, or other emergency needs. Students who have already completed 6 credits in a Continuing Education undergraduate program (degree or nondegree), who have a GPA of 2.5 or higher, and who have demonstrated need, as defined by the FAFSA, are encouraged to apply.

  • Offsetting the costs of books, software, and materials
  • Supporting nondegree students who are ineligible to apply for federal financial aid
  • Offering tuition assistance to students who struggle just to meet household expenses
  • Providing emergency funds for students in an unexpected financial crisis

To Apply

Complete and submit the application form and supporting documents no later than Friday, April 11, for the summer 2014 semester.
PLEASE NOTE: This deadline has been extended to Friday, April 11, for the summer 2014 semester, beyond the deadline stated on the application form.

Endowed Continuing Education Scholarships

Fischer Family Scholarship Program

The Fischer Family Scholarship offers recognition and financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate students who have a demonstrated need, as defined by the FAFSA, and have completed the online scholarship application.

Osher Foundation Re-entry Scholarship

The Osher Foundation Re-entry Scholarship provides support for students returning to school to complete their first bachelor degree, after a gap in enrollment or educational pursuits of 5 years or more, are the ages of 25-50 years old, and have completed the online scholarship application.

GFWC (General Federation of Women's Club) State College Woman's Club Centennial Scholarship

The State College Woman’s Club Centennial Scholarship seeks to award students enrolled either half or full-time at Penn State University Park who manifest the promise of outstanding academic success, demonstrated financial need, as defined by the FAFSA, and have graduated from a high school in Centre County, Pennsylvania.

Complete the online scholarship application. The deadline for this application is Friday, February 28, 2014.

Other Available Scholarships

The Office of Student Aid also offers information about and links to scholarship search engines. Be sure to check with your academic college or department to learn more about their scholarship opportunities and application process.

Outside Adult Learner Scholarships

Local Scholarships for Centre County Residents

AAUW Scholarship Application
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) State College Branch seeks applicants for four undergraduate scholarships. Visit the AAUW’s website for eligibility requirements, scholarship information, an application, and deadlines.

Venture Club of Centre County
The Venture Club of Centre County seeks to award a $500 scholarship to a single mother, between the ages of 18 and 45, enrolled in an academic program, a resident of Centre County, Pennsylvania, and is in need of further education. Download the 2014 application!

Soroptimist's Women's Opportunity Awards (PDF download)
The Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award is given to women who provide the main financial support to her family and who have been accepted into, or already attending, a vocational/skills training program or undergraduate degree program.

Scholarships for Pennsylvania Residents

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) offers various special programs and scholarships to Pennsylvania residents. For more information and how to apply, visit the PHEAA website.

Other Outside Scholarship Information

AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program
The AARP Foundation Women’s Scholarship Program seeks to give financial help to low-income women seeking job skills and training, 50 years of age and older.

AFCEA Scholarship for Working Professionals 
This scholarship provides $1,500 to students pursuing an undergraduate degree while employed in science and technology disciplines directly related to the mission of AFCEA. Candidates must be at least second-year students attending an accredited college or university in the United States. The scholarship is intended for students attending school on a part-time basis, whether at a two-year community college or a four-year institution. Part-time status is defined as enrollment in at least two courses per semester, with a declared major in a science or technology degree program.

Alpha Sigma Lambda Scholarship
Alpha Sigma Lambda, the adult student honor society, awards ten scholarships per year at the national level to students age 24 or older who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or greater. The Penn State chapter of Alpha Sigma Lambda, Pi Delta Chi, selects two applicants to submit to the national chapter for consideration for this scholarship opportunity.

Destiny Solutions — Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship
Destiny Solutions offers two scholarships each year, in honor of Dr. Mary Cone Barrie, to non-traditional students enrolled in distance and continuing education, living in the United States or Canada. You can find more information and the scholarship application on the Destiny Solutions website.

Golden Key's GEICO Life Scholarship
This scholarship recognizes outstanding members of the Golden Key International Honour Society who achieve academic excellence while balancing additional commitments, such as family and career. Ten $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually.

Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Program
The ASIST program offers scholarships at local chapter areas to help adult students during transitional periods in their life, such as going back to school.

Jeannette Rankin Foundation Grants
The Jeannette Rankin Foundation awards grants to low-income women over the age of 35 who have a vision of how their education will benefit themselves, their families, and their communities.

Linda Lael Miller Scholarships
Women 25 years and older who may not qualify for other scholarship opportunities are encouraged to apply for the Linda Lael Miller Scholarship for Women.

Talbots Women's Scholarship Fund
Women living in the United States or Canada who have earned their high school diploma or GED by September 2001, planning to enroll part- or full-time for both fall and spring semesters in an undergraduate degree program, and meet the other eligibility requirements, are encouraged to apply for the Talbots Scholarship.

Other Resources

There are many other resources available to help you make a financial plan for your education. The Office of Student Aid offers a Money Manager to help students make a plan; be sure to visit the "Financial Strategy Help" for personalized resources.

If you have any questions about student aid or scholarship opportunities, we are here to help. Please email



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