Apply for Financial Aid

  • We want you to get the most out of your financial aid. Please follow the steps below to ensure you have completed everything.

    Applying for Aid Is Easier Than You Might Think

    If you’re nervous about applying for financial aid, don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as it might seem. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) plays the starring role.

    With this one form, you can be considered for grants, loans, or work-study aid from the federal government. If you are a Pennsylvania resident don’t forget to complete the PA state grant application as well.


    1. Fill Out the FAFSA Form to Apply for Federal Financial Aid

      Submitting this one form is the most important step you can take toward getting financial aid for college. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to figure out how much money you will receive from several major sources of financial aid.

      File Your FAFSA as Early as You Can for Maximum Aid

      You can file the FAFSA beginning October 1 of the year before the academic year you’re applying for (see current dates below). Submit your FAFSA as early as you can for maximum aid consideration.

      Though you can still file it until the deadline for that year, there might be less funding available to you if you file it later in the application period.

      Important Filing Dates

      • 2019–20 academic year: FAFSA deadline is June 30, 2020.
      • 2020–21 academic year: FAFSA deadline is June 30, 2021.

      A student smiles as she looks at her notes in a class.Helpful Tips to Make Filing Go Smoothly

      1. Review the FAFSA Worksheet (pdf) first—see what kind of information you’ll need to provide.
      2. Create the Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID). Your FSA ID lets you electronically sign your FAFSA. If you’re a dependent student, your parent will also need to create a separate FSA ID.
      3. File the FAFSA online. You’ll be taken step-by-step through the filing process.
        • Double-check that your Social Security number is correct on the form before submitting it.
        • You'll need to list the IUP code on your FAFSA: 003277.
        • You can submit your completed FAFSA beginning October 1. Remember to file early for maximum aid consideration.
      4. Watch for an email to confirm your FAFSA has been received and processed successfully.
      5. Check your financial aid status regularly in your MyIUP account. Your financial aid offer will be displayed when it’s available.
      6. Watch for requests for verification or further information. Be sure to respond promptly to any requests from our office, otherwise your financial aid won’t be processed.
      7. If your family encounters circumstances leading to a reduction in income after filing the FAFSA, you can contact our office to request a Special Circumstances Appeal form.
    2. Apply for State Financial Aid (Pennsylvania Residents Can Apply Directly from the FAFSA)

      If you are a Pennsylvania resident who is an undergraduate student completing the FAFSA for the first time, you will be directed to the PA State Grant application next in coordination with American Education Services (AES). Returning students don’t need to reapply for the state grant, it automatically updates.

      Students don’t have to pay back grant funds, so be sure to apply. Be aware that it has an earlier deadline than the FAFSA—another good reason to file your FAFSA early!

      We’re Here to Help You

      Have questions? We understand. It’s a lot of new information to sort out. You're always welcome to contact us in the Financial Aid Office at either financial-aid@iup.edu or 724-357-2218 with any questions.

      • The PA State Grant application deadline is May 1.
      • After you apply, watch for your PA State Grant offer letter from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in your email.

      If you’re not a resident of Pennsylvania, you can check with your state education department for any state financial aid programs.

    3. Apply for Scholarships

      Like grants, scholarships are a type of financial aid that you won’t have to pay back. Scholarships are not offered through the FAFSA, so you’ll want to apply for those next.

      When you apply to IUP, we automatically consider you for our admissions scholarships. If you apply to the Honors College, you’ll automatically be considered for scholarships there. That’s just the beginning. We’ve gathered information on a variety of IUP scholarships—apply today with one application for some of them! You can also explore outside scholarship options.

    4. Understand Your Financial Aid Offer

      Financial aid offers are usually sent out to incoming students by mail in December or January for the upcoming fall and spring terms. As a current student, you’ll be notified when your aid offer is available in June. All students can view their financial aid offer on MyIUP under the Finances tab.

      Your financial aid offer could be changed in some cases—such as if your financial situation changes significantly, or if you receive additional funding.

      If your FAFSA and PA State Grant applications are complete, your offer will list the amount of money you are eligible to receive from some of the main sources of financial aid.

      To understand your offer, you’ll want to learn about the different types of aid.

    5. Complete Those Last Few Steps

      You’re almost done. Finish up those final details for each source of your college funding, and you’ll be all set.

      • If you are participating in the federal Direct Loan program, complete all outstanding Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling requirements.
      • If your parents apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, make sure they also complete the Master Promissory Note if they are credit approved.
      • Keep your mailing address up to date in your MyIUP account, and check your IUP email account regularly, so you don’t miss important notifications.
      • Watch your email and mailbox for any steps you may still have to do, such as verifying something on your FAFSA form.
    6. Learn About Your Other Options if You Need More Money for College

      Need more money than your financial aid offer? Your FAFSA-based financial aid offer may not cover all your costs related to tuition, housing, meal plans, books, and fees.

      If you need more money for college, you and your parents might consider a federal Parent PLUS loan or alternative/private student loans. You can review and apply for alternative/private loans on ELMSelect.

      Are you a grad student? You can apply for a Graduate PLUS Loan if you need additional funds.