Financial Aid / Grants
5 PA State Grants You Need to Know

When it comes to paying for college, the gold standard is scholarships & grants. Why? It’s simple – these dollars don’t need to be paid back. Tax credits are also a very close second when it comes to paying for college. But more on that in another post. If you’re a PA resident, you should be exhausting all resources possible. Here are 5 PA state grants you need to know.

Pennsylvania State Grant Program

The PA State Grant Program is offered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). It’s available for undergrads looking to help pay for college. Awards ranged from $500 to $5,000 for in-state students in the 2022-2023 academic year. The maximum award for Pennsylvania residents attending school out of state is $600 and $800 for veterans. There are eligibility requirements and awards are based on need.

There’s little to no reason not to apply for this. While it may not cover a huge portion of the college bill, it can help piece together just a piece of the puzzle. You will need to re-apply for it every year, and you’ll need to complete the FAFSA for this.

If accepted, PHEAA will send the grant directly to the school for your student’s benefit. It can take PHEAA 4-6 weeks to review your eligibility, and you want to make sure you communicate with your college if you’re expecting to receive this award. Ultimately, you’ll know via mail or email if your grant is accepted.

Pennsylvania Chafee Education & Training Grant

The Chafee ETG program is applicable to parents of foster children. For any youth who has experienced foster care over the age of 16, then has exited the foster care system to adoption, this grant applies. It’s important to note there are eligibility requirements in addition to that, again they can be found on the PHEAA website. The maximum award for the 22-23 school year was $5,000.

The PA Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)

PHEAA offers this grant as well. To qualify, you must be enrolled in a program in the following career area:

  1. Energy
  2. Health
  3. Advanced Materials & Diversified Manufacturing
  4. Agriculture & Food Production

$6,000 is the current maximum award, but that award could be lowered to the amount of unmet need. There are a number of requirements that must be met.

They have filed their annual report that will provide more information, and provide a helpful award estimator.

PA National Guard Educational Assistance Program (EAP)

Are you a member of the PA National Guard? Is your spouse or parent? If so, you are eligible for one of these grants. This grant can benefit full or part-time attendees and can provide a substantial benefit. If attending a PA state-owned university, this grant will cover the annual tuition rate and technology fee. If attending another school, it will still cover the annual tuition rate of a state school, so there could be a remaining gap. But regardless, big time savings for National Guard members & families! Again, the eligibility requirements must be met, but this could provide a substantial benefit.

Pennsylvania Keystone Scholars Program

Okay, so this last one isn’t a grant, per se. But it is something for parents of (relatively) newborn children to take advantage of. Keystone Scholars is a program started for babies born after December 31, 2018. It was established by the PA Treasury, and offers $100 toward a PA 529 plan. More on PA 529 plans in a later post, but importantly, it’s free to sign up!

You do need to sign up online on the registration page. There was a letter sent to you 4-6 months after your child was born. However, if you’re like me, that form is probably long gone. But no need to worry! The registration page will allow you to type in information from the PA birth certificate to enroll.


If you’re a parent in PA and considering if your child should attend college, it’s fair to first ask if you think college is the right decision. It’s the foundational question to ask. But if it’s clear that it is, you should be maximizing your free aid from the state. These 5 PA State Grants you need to know should be exhausted when it comes to the eligibility requirements. Lastly, if you have any questions on this, I’d love to help. Contact me with questions or concerns!

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