Pennsylvania is a historical goldmine, being home to the Liberty Bell, Hershey Chocolate, and Taylor Swift! PA is a huge state, both in area and population. Thankfully, it boasts ample financial aid opportunities for its diverse and populous residents. The state of Pennsylvania is a great place to go to school, and with the help of these Pennsylvania scholarships, you’ll be able to pay for it.
How to win Pennsylvania scholarships
Pennsylvania is a unique state due to its rich historical prominence. The iconic Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia stand as powerful patriotic symbols of American independence. So it’s no surprise that you are a proactive student looking to win Pennsylvania scholarships!
In order to win Pennsylvania scholarships, you should connect the unique aspects of Pennsylvania to your own personal passions. For example, if you want to become a history teacher, you have so much to talk about! Start by sharing about how being surrounded by the rich history of Philadelphia has inspired you to want to teach the youth of America about how America came to be. Or perhaps you enjoy hiking the Appalachian Mountains and now want to become a park ranger in order to protect nature’s beauty. Ultimately, whatever your interests or goals are, you should connect them back to your Pennsylvania experience in order to prove that you deserve to win Pennsylvania scholarships.
Writing resources for Pennsylvania scholarship essays
Pennsylvania scholarships may have you write an essay about yourself that can be a 250 word essay or even a 500 word essay. Therefore, make a point to read over our Scholarships360 ultimate guide to finding and winning scholarships to ensure you are well prepared to win Pennsylvania scholarships. With the right approach and some luck, you can receive generous financial assistance to help you achieve success.
Pennsylvania student debt snapshot
According to the Department of Education, Pennsylvania residents owe $64.5 billion in federal student loan debt, with student borrowers owing an average of $35,385 each (this does not include private loans). In Pennsylvania, 58.2% of student loan borrowers are under the age of 35.
As you are starting your higher education journey, remember that scholarships allow students to take less loans. Make sure that you apply to as many as you qualify for.
Merit scholarships at Pennsylvania colleges and universities
- Eligibility: Incoming first-year students who meet the requirements of each program and demonstrate institutional need
- Amount: $2,500 up to $30,000
- Deadline: Admission to Bucknell University
- Eligibility: Qualified incoming-first year students who are academically and artistically talented
- Amount: Up to full tuition
- Deadline: Admission to Carnegie Mellon University
- Eligibility: Competitive with awards going to top-ranking applicants based upon GPA, class rank and SAT or ACT scores
- Amount: $18,000 up to $25,000
- Eligibility: First year students entering Drexel University who have superior academic performance
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Admission to Drexel University
- Eligibility: The top ranking applicants based on scholarly achievement and GPA to Gettysburg College
- Amount: $5,000 up to $43,000
- Deadline: Admission to Gettysburg College
- Eligibility: Outstanding applicants to Lafayette College who demonstrate intellectual energy, empathy, idealism and action-orientation in a fashion that honors Le Marquis de Lafayette
- Amount: $2,500 up to full tuition
- Deadline: Admission to Lafayette College
- Eligibility: Undergraduate students who demonstrate academic talent as well as a strong personal essays and recommendations
- Amount: $1,000 up to full tuition
- Deadline: Admission to Lehigh University
- Eligibility: Incoming first-year students who submit their FAFSA and demonstrate academic achievement
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Admission to Penn State
- Eligibility: All accepted applicants are evaluated based on several criteria
- Amount: $17,000 up to $24,000
- Deadline: Admission to Seton Hill University
- Eligibility: Swarthmore College students who demonstrate high academic performance
- Amount: $1,500 up to full tuition
- Deadline: Admission to Swarthmore College
- Eligibility: Varies based on scholarship but typically based on GPA
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Admission to Temple University
- Deadline: Admission to DeSales University
- Eligibility: Based on a combination of outstanding academic achievement, holistic factors and potential for scholarly contributions to the Pitt community
- Amount: $2,000 up to full tuition
- Deadline: December 1
- Eligibility: High academic achievement, proven leadership and participation in extracurricular activities in school and the community
- Amount: $500 up to full tuition
- Deadline: Admission to Villanova University
- Eligibility: First-time students who demonstrate high academic achievement
- Amount: $4,000 up to $13,000
- Deadline: Admission to York College of Pennsylvania
Consider in-state tuition and tuition reciprocity
In-state tuition is an opportunity for residents to receive a lower cost of tuition compared to out-of-state tuition rates. Here are a few well-known Pennsylvania universities and their in-state vs out-of-state tuition costs:
- In-state tuition: $19,286
- Out-of-state tuition: $38,651
- In-state tuition: $22,072
- Out-of-state tuition: $40,560
- In-state tuition: $20,976
- Out-of-state tuition: $36,384
How do you get in-state tuition?
It is clear to see that being a Pennsylvania resident cuts tuition almost in half. So, I bet you’re wondering how you can become a Pennsylvania resident for in-state tuition? You will have to physically reside in the state of Pennsylvania for at least 12 consecutive months prior to enrollment at any institution of higher education in Pennsylvania. During these 12 months you will need to establish a domicile in Pennsylvania which means proving you want to make Pennsylvania your permanent residence. This includes registering your vehicle in Pennsylvania and obtaining a Pennsylvania driver’s license.
You should visit your intended Pennsylvania’s institution’s website for more information about their specific requirements for becoming a resident for tuition purposes.
Does Pennsylvania have tuition reciprocity?
No, Pennsylvania does not participate in any tuition reciprocity programs.
Additional Pennsylvania resources
The FAFSA opens nationwide on October 1st of each year. For PA, students enrolled in community colleges, business, trade, or technical schools, hospital schools of nursing, designated Pennsylvania Open-Admission institutions, or nontransferable two-year programs, the application due date is Aug. 1st by midnight CT. All other applicants: May 1st by midnight CT. Make sure you apply for the FAFSA as soon as possible, as additional forms may be required.
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) offers loan guarantee, loan servicing, financial aid processing, and various other student aid programs to Pennsylvania students. The PHEAA manages a number of scholarships, including the state sponsored Pennsylvania State Grant Program and their own Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program.
Frequently asked questions about Pennsylvania scholarships
Do I need to be a Pennsylvania resident to qualify for Pennsylvania scholarships?
What type of scholarships does Pennsylvania offer?
Does Pennsylvania offer free college?
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