When to Apply for Scholarships
All students, including incoming freshmen and current students, are considered automatically for campus scholarships. No scholarship application is required for most scholarships, but students are strongly encouraged to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) since many scholarships have a financial need requirement. Scholarships will be awarded on a rolling basis beginning March 1.
How Scholarships Are Awarded
All first-year and upper-division students are considered automatically for campus-based and general University-wide scholarships, i.e. scholarships available to all students without regard to campus or college. Decisions are based on the performance information collected from admission applications or current Penn State academic records. Penn State Beaver annually awards more than $100,000 in scholarships; the average award is $1,500.
Some of Penn State's academic colleges have additional scholarship opportunities available for Beaver campus students. These college/departmental scholarships may require additional information or an application.
Approximately 50 percent of all academic scholarships require merit and financial need. To be considered for scholarships that require financial need, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Penn State recommends that students complete the FAFSA by March 1 in order to receive maximum consideration for all forms of student aid.
When Scholarships Are Awarded
Awarding begins in early spring. Generally, students selected to receive a scholarship are notified of their award between March and June, although awarding may occur throughout the academic year. Scholarship award notifications are mailed by the academic or administrative area making the award. These notifications are independent of federal and state aid award notifications.
In most cases, scholarships are awarded for two semesters (fall and spring) and typically require full-time enrollment, i.e. a minimum of 12 credits per semester. Some scholarships are renewable.
For students receiving federal and state student aid, regulations require that scholarships be counted as financial resources when determining a student aid package. The scholarships a student receives will not change the overall student aid eligibility, but might impact the resources that make up a student aid package, which means loans and work-study positions might be reduced.
Since there are literally thousands of providers of private scholarships, Beaver campus recommends creating a profile on one or two of the Web-based scholarship search engines. Below are free scholarship search services on the Web that provide information about external scholarships available nationwide.