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Calendar/Checklist for Students

December/January

  • Be sure you and your parents (if applicable) know your federal personal identification numbers (PINs). Request new PINs, if needed.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon after January 1 as possible for maximum consideration of all available student aid programs. We recommend that you submit your FAFSA by April 15 to ensure you meet the state grant deadline. 
  • You and your parents (if applicable) should complete your federal taxes before completing your FAFSA; if you cannot, you may estimate your income on the FAFSA.
  • Check with your state grant agency to determine if there are any other applications you must complete. Find out your home state's application deadline. The application deadline for Pennsylvania State Grant consideration is May 1 (Pennsylvania residents only).

    February:

    • Access information on Penn State's payment plan.
    • Begin a student financial aid folder for all of your important papers. Include copies of all applications, tax information, and letters you receive.
    • Review financing strategies.
    • Review summer aid information. Beginning February 15, you can apply for Summer Work-Study from the "Students" menu on eLion.

    March:

    • It's not too late to apply for Summer Work-Study on eLion.

    April:

    • We recommend you submit the FAFSA by April 15 for maximum aid consideration.
    • If you will be attending Penn State this summer and have remaining Federal Stafford Loan eligibility, request your Summer Stafford Loan from the "Students" menu on eLion.

    May:

    • The application deadline for Pennsylvania State Grant consideration is May1 (Pennsylvania residents only).
    • State Grant agencies begin mailing award notifications to qualifying students.
    • Watch for verification documents from University Park to arrive in the form of a letter in the mail.  Respond as quickly as possible in order to have to verification hold removed from your financial aid.  If you have questions, please contact Stefanie Penvose in the Financial Aid Department as soon as possible at (814) 375-4761.

    June:

    • You will receive a notice to your Penn State e-mail account advising you when your student aid award is ready to be viewed in the Student Aid Summary from the "Students" menu on eLion.
    • Begin saving money for the fall semester. You should come to school with money for startup expenses, such as your books and supplies.
    • Parents of dependent students who are interested in a Federal Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) can access PLUS information online. Your parents can complete the application after you have reviewed your Student Aid Summary from the "Students" menu on eLion.
    • Students interested in private alternative loan funding can access information and electronic applications from our Web site

    July:

    • Fall semester bill arrives.
    • If you signed your Master Promissory Note (MPN) in a prior year, you will not need to do so again. If you are a first-time Federal Stafford Loan borrower, access your Federal Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), i.e., your student loan application, online. Additionally, if you are a first-time borrower of a Federal Stafford Loan at Penn State, you will need to complete Loan Entrance Counseling from the "Students" menu on eLion.
    • Decrease your Federal Perkins, University, and Federal Stafford Loan(s) for fall semester by accessing Loan Decrease from the "Students" menu on eLion.
    • If you receive a Work Study Award in your financial aid, watch for an informational packet to arrive in the mail with all the information you will need to know regarding the Work Study Program.   

    August:

    • Fall semester bill is due. Respond to the bill--it is the only way Penn State knows that you are planning to attend classes. Incomplete registration could result in the loss of aid.
    • Remember to bring money for startup expenses such as books, supplies, and off-campus apartment expenses.

    September/October:

    • Study, work hard, and enjoy!

    November:

    • Spring semester bill arrives.

    December:

    • Spring semester bill is due. Responding to the bill is the only way for Penn State to know that you are planning to attend. Incomplete registration could result in the loss of aid.
    • Get ready! It's time to begin the student aid application process for next year. Renewal FAFSA completion information will be sent to you in December or January.