Summer Financial Aid Opportunities

If you are taking summer classes, in person or online, you might be able to use financial aid to help with your expenses.

Check out these general guidelines that apply to summer financial aid overall, as well as specific guidelines for undergraduate students and graduate students. 

General Guidelines for Summer Financial Aid

  • Summer is considered to be connected with the prior fall and spring semesters when determining the aid year.

  • Financial aid for the summer term can’t exceed your cost of attendance for the term. The Financial Aid Office determines the cost of attendance. Your COA is based on enrollment, tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies, and personal and miscellaneous expenses.

  • Tuition waivers and scholarships for summer are included as part of your financial aid award.

  • Most aid is not disbursed until after you have entered half-time enrollment (6 credits for undergraduate students and 4.5 credits for graduate students), and no earlier than mid-June. For example, if you take three credits in Summer I and three credits in Summer II, you will receive your aid after the Summer II drop/add period.

  • Your Federal Direct loan eligibility for the summer term is partially dependent on the amount of Federal Direct loan funds you borrowed during the previous fall and spring semesters. They are linked because there is a maximum level you can borrow with Federal Direct loans each academic year. The borrowing limit is set based on your grade level.

How Your Grades Can Affect Your Aid

In order to be considered for financial aid for the summer, you are required to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). SAP is defined as earning at least 67 percent of the cumulative number of attempted credits and maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 for undergraduate students and 3.0 for graduate students.

You must also not exceed 150 percent of the normal period to complete your degree. If you do not meet one or more of these minimum criteria, you will receive notification from the Financial Aid Office. If you are not meeting these requirements and want to be considered for summer financial aid, you must complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress Appeal Form and have it approved for the summer term.

Specific Guidelines for Undergraduate Students

Federal Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is a federally funded grant offered to students with financial need based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for either the year they are completing or the year ahead.

Year-round Pell allows a student to be offered up to 150 percent of the annual Pell offer amount. IUP determines which aid year will be used when funding a summer grant. Your enrollment level (such as freshman or sophomore) on the Pell Census date (in August) determines the final Pell Grant offer you can receive.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have filed a FAFSA, which is completed electronically, for the year you are completing and the upcoming academic year

  • Be seeking your first bachelor's degree

  • Have not reached the 600 percent Pell Lifetime Eligibility Limit prior to the summer term

PA State Grant

A summer Pennsylvania State Grant is available to undergraduate students who are Pennsylvania residents. To apply, file a PA State Grant Summer Application by the due date (typically mid-August).

If you enroll half-time, the summer award will count as half an award toward your lifetime maximum of eight full-time Pennsylvania state grant awards.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Enroll at least half-time (six credits) for at least five weeks.

  • Take at least 50 percent of your summer credits in the classroom. Online courses do not qualify as classroom taught.

  • Meet the PA State Grant's academic progress requirements.

Federal Direct Loan

The maximum amount you can borrow as a Federal Direct Loan for the summer is determined by subtracting the amount you've already borrowed during the fall and spring terms from your annual Direct Loan limit.

Generally, students use their annual maximum loan eligibility during the fall and spring and have no eligibility left for summer. See more information on Federal Direct Loans.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

To apply, the parent borrower must complete a summer PLUS Loan application, which will be available in mid-April. See more information on Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan.

Alternative/Private Student Loans

If you are ineligible for the Federal Direct Loan, you can apply for an alternative/private student loan.

See more information on applying for loans.

Federal Work Study

Eligibility for Federal Work Study funding in the summer is based on your financial need and your summer cost of attendance.

If you are eligible, you are responsible for finding a federal work study job. Many offices on campus hire students through Federal Work Study and post available jobs. Federal Work Study can also be used to work for an approved local community service organization (through the Office of Service Learning).

Summer enrollment is not required. However, you must be enrolling for the upcoming fall term, and a percentage of your earnings will be utilized in your financial aid package. This may affect your eligibility for some financial aid loan programs.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have a FAFSA on file for the year that you are completing and, if you're not enrolled during the summer, a FAFSA for the upcoming academic year on file.

  • You must also submit the IUP Summer Federal Work Study Application.

See more information on applying for Federal Work Study.

Specific Guidelines for Graduate Students

Federal Direct Loan

The annual Direct Loan limit is $20,500. The maximum summer award amount is determined by subtracting the amount borrowed in fall and spring from the annual loan limit.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

If you've exhausted your annual or aggregate Direct Loan eligibility, you can apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan.

Alternative/Private Student Loans

If you are ineligible for the Federal Direct Loan, you can apply for an alternative/private student loan.

See more information on applying for loans.

Federal Work Study

Students who have secured summer employment on campus or with an approved local community service organization (through the Office of Service Learning) can apply for Federal Work Study.

Eligibility is based on financial need and summer cost of attendance.

Summer enrollment is not required. However, you must be enrolling for the upcoming fall term, and a percentage of earnings will be counted as a financial aid resource for the upcoming academic year.

To apply, you must have a 2020-21 FAFSA on file and, if you're not enrolled during the summer, a 2021-22 FAFSA on file. You must also submit the IUP Summer Federal Work Study Application.

See more information on applying for Federal Work Study.