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Financial Aid

Information below to help make the process of financial aid less intimidating 


Financial Aid Night at Jenkintown High School:  

Monday, October 23, 2017 in the Community Room  - 6:30-8:00pm: Updates and Information on the FAFSA 

If you missed this session, extra packets are available in the Guidance Office.

~~FREE FAFSA COMPLETION WORKSHOP hosted by Montgomery County Community College:  Need help with the FAFSA Application? 

MCCC has designed sessions specifically designed to assist parents and students in the completion of the FAFSA Application online.  Work Sessions are open to the public and do not require pre-registration....just show up:  Wednesdays from 12:20pm to 1:20pm in Parkhouse 309 - Blue Bell Campus.  For more information regarding what you need to bring and how to register, please visit:

    The College Scorecard: A program announced by President Obama. You can use the College Scorecard to find out more about a college’s affordability and value so you can make more informed decisions about which college to attend. 

    The College Scorecard has been designed by the U.S. Department of Education to provide better information to students and parents about college affordability and value.

    Each scorecard includes five key pieces of information about a college: Costs, Graduation Rate, Loan Default Rate, Median Borrowing, and Employment. More information about the data included in the scorecard is available here. Note that the information included in the scorecard may not apply to all students.

    Users can search for a college by name or by selecting factors that are important to the student’s college search (e.g., programs or majors offered, awards offered, location, undergraduate enrollment size, campus setting, etc.). To see an institution’s scorecard, click on the institution’s name in the search results.


    1. The 2017-2018 PHEAA Funding Your Future is now available on-line!! Click HERE to download.
    2. How to Fill Out the FAFSA: Step by step
    3. Download a copy of the FAFSA Reference Guide
    4. PHEAA Funding Your Future.....How to Apply for Financial Aid.
    5. Download a copy of PHEAA's Funding Your Future Greatness: If You Want to go to College, PHEAA Can Help You Pay For It
    6. Download a copy of Funding Your Education: The Guide to Federal Student Aid (published August 2013)
    7. The OFFICIAL FAFSA Website:
    8. The OFFICIAL FSA ID WEBSITE (you will need this in order to complete the FAFSA on-line):
    9. PA STATE GRANT PROGRAM: The PA State Grant Program provides grants to eligible Pennsylvania residents in need of financial assistance to help them afford the costs of higher education. A grant is a financial aid award that you do not have to repay provided you meet the eligibility requirements.  To be eligible, you will fist need to fill out the FAFSA by the appropriate date. Make sure that you look for the link on your FAFSA confirmation page that reads "Optional Feature-Start your state application--Click here is you want to apply for the Pennsylvania state-based financial aid."  PLEASE NOTE-If you have already submitted the FAFSA online and missed the direct link, you may need to wait 24-48 hours before you can complete the State Grant Form (SGF).  You will receive an email directing you to the American Education Services (AES) website to complete the SGF (AES is a division if PHEAA).

    There is PLENTY of Financial Aid Information out there! Here are a few websites that can help you in your search:

    2016-2017 SCHOLARSHIPS: 

    1)  Seniors---->don't forget to log into your Family Connection Account to search for available scholarships. 

    1. Log into your Family Connection Account
    2. Click on the COLLEGES TAB
    3. Scroll down and click on SCHOLARSHIPS & MONEY
    4. Find a scholarship you qualify for and apply!!

    Scholarship Links

    Financial Aid Calculators

    Financial Aid Links


    * Information taken from PHEAA: Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide

    1. Starting in OCTOBER 1st  of your senior year: Complete the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at The FAFSA is FREE and is required to be considered for most federal, state, and college-based aid.  Be aware of your schools' recommended FAFSA filing deadlines. Make sure to submit your FAFSA on time!
    2. Apply for a Personal Identification Number (PIN) at The student will need a PIN and one parent; the student and parent can electronically sign the FAFSA by using their PIN's.  You can apply for the PINs ahead of time or link to the PIN when you complete and sign the FAFSA.
    3. In Pennsylvania, your FAFSA information is used for PA State Grant Consideration.  You will also need to complete the State Grant Form which is linked to the FAFSA Confirmation Page. (If you miss the link, you will receive an email notice directing you to the State Grant Form.)
    4. After filing the FAFSA, watch your email for your Student Aid Report (SAR).  The SAR summarizes your FAFSA information and provides you an opportunity to make corrections, if necessary.  If you did not provide an email address on the FAFSA, you SAR will be sent by postal mail.
    5. DEADLINES: For the PA State Grant, the FAFSA filing deadline is May 1 for students attending colleges, universities and college-transferable programs (excluding community colleges), and for all renewable students.  The deadline of August 1 for first-time students attending community colleges, business, trade, or technical schools, hospital schools of nursing, or 2-year, non-transferable degree programs at a community college, junior, or 4-year college.
    6. Submit all other required applications and paperwork for each school to which you are applying.  Make copies and meet each school's individual deadlines.  
    7. Continue to search and apply for scholarships through the colleges you are considering and other organizations.

    * Information taken from PHEAA: Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide

    The PA State Grant Program provides grants to eligible Pennsylvania residents who are in need of financial assistance to attend PHEE-approved postsecondary schools as undergraduate students.  

    Award amounts are based on the allowable college cost and the student's demonstrated need.  Applicants for the 2013-2014 year were eligible to receive up to $4,363 as a full-time student at a Pennsylvania school and up to $557 ($743 for veterans) at a college outside of PA.

    1. First-Time Applicants: To apply, you must file the FAFSA by the appropriate date:  May 1st--> for First-Time Applicants.  If you plan to enroll in a degree program or a college transferable program at a junior college or other college or university (excludes community colleges), you must submit the FAFSA and the PA State Grant Form by May 1st. (Note: If you miss the State Grant deadline for the academic year, apply anyway.  Late applications (for terms other than summer) may qualify if funding permits.)
    2. Complete the State Grant Form:  If you meet the PA State Grant eligibility requirements, then it's time to complete your State Grant Form (SGF)
      • To apply for a State Grant when you complete the FAFSA (recommended):  Complete the SGF online directly from your FAFSA confirmation page.  Look for the link that reads "Optional Feature--Start your state application--Click here if you want to apply for Pennsylvania state-based financial aid."
      • To apply for a State Grant after you've completed the FAFSA:  If you've already submitted your FAFSA online and missed the direct link, you may need to wait 24-48 hours before you can complete the SGF.  You will receive an email directing you to the American Education Services (AES) website -- complete the SGF. (AES is a division of PHEAA.)
    3. For PA State Grant FAQ click HERE


     Part of this article taken from, written by Howard Freedman, a financial aid consultant and founder of Financial Aid Counseling. His website is



    Buzzwords you should know

    • Unmet Need:  The difference between the Cost of Attending College and the EFC (Expected Family Contribution.) This is the amount on which the financial aid award is based.
    • Need Blind:  Colleges that make decisions without consideration of a family's ability to pay or if they applied for financial aid.
    • Need Aware:  Colleges that take financial needs and its ability to satisfy it when making admission decisions.
    • Dependency Override:  An option for the college to use Professional Judgment with proper documentation and explanation to override the dependency status of the student.
    • Professional Judgment:  The authority of a school's financial aid administrator to make adjustments to the data elements on the FASFA and to override a student's dependency status based on supporting facts and documentation. This authority is also regulated by governmental requirements and guidelines subject to strict compliance audits.

    Step 1: Visiting the College or Making Initial Contact

    Questions to Ask

    • What is the Cost of Attendance and what does it include?
    • Is the college "Need Blind" or "Need Aware"?
    • How much of a family's unmet need is met?
    • What is the average financial aid package?
    • on average, how much do students owe after graduation?
    • What percentage of financial aid comes from the school?
    • How does early action or decision impact financial aid?
    • How is a student considered for merit based awards?
    • How much free or gift aid does the college award?
    • Do the financial aid packages include alternative or PLUS loans?
    • What information is required to appeal an awards?

    Step 2: Appeal Process

    A financial aid award can be fully accepted or partially or fully rejected. Appealing for additional financial aid is not an automatic process.  It will take work to justify your need with limited time to present it in a positive and convincing way.  Financial aid officers and administrators can use professional judgment to adjust awards in many ways as long as you are specific and well prepared.

    • Stay positive, non threatening or emotional.
    • Become familiar with the college's policies, available scholarships and opportunities.
    • Never assume that the college has an obligation to award more financial aid.
    • Don't compare your award to another student as each situation is unique.
    • Be open to loans and work study to show that you are willing to assume some financial responsibility.
    • Provide a detailed analysis of your income and expenses to show cash flow and actual need.
    • Be prepared to explain your consumer credit. Card debt. Was it the only option for emergencies or do you like to spend?
    • Document unforseen expenses, loss of employment, death, sickness and other items that have drained the family's resources.
    • Avoid terms like: "It isn't fair", or "You owe it to me."
    • Be prepared to share awards from other colleges and ask if they can match or beat them.
    • Mention any special affiliations, talents or needs for merit based aid.
    • Ask about outside employment and work study opportunities.
    • Ask when the decision will be made and how you can follow-up.
    • Be sure to follow-up your meeting with a thank-you note.

    What Happens if the College Cannot Offer More?

    The Family must decide on how much of a loan burden they can handle and always have a fallback college that may be more affordable. Though there are no guarantees of additional financial aid awards, remember the old adage that nothing ventured, nothing gained. Give it your best shot and hope for the best.

    Chrissy Kafkalas,
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    Chrissy Kafkalas,
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