Continuity of Operations planning information for the College of Education: Click here

Scholarship FAQs

FAQ on the scholarship application and process

1. If I filed a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) last year, do I have to file another one this year?
Yes, you must submit a new FAFSA each year.

2. I am an international student. Can I still apply and do I need to document financial need?
Yes, you can still apply. However, only students (or their parents who claim them as a dependent) who file a U.S. tax return are able to complete the FAFSA form. Since not all scholarships require financial need, we encourage all students to apply.

3. I submitted a scholarship application last year, do I have to submit another one this year?
Yes, no exceptions.

4. If I received a scholarship last year, will I receive one again this year?
It depends on several factors in your scholarship application and FAFSA, including but not limited to: GPA, documented financial need, completion of the current scholarship application, and other eligibility criteria.

5. Do I need to submit the FAFSA prior to completing the scholarship application?
The FAFSA and the College of Education scholarship application do not need to be submitted at the same time. The important thing is that both documents are filled out before the College's May 1 deadline.

6. What kinds of scholarships are available in the College?
Visit the College of Education Scholarships page to see a list of scholarships, their criteria and benefactors.

7. Do I need to apply for each scholarship in the College that I want to be considered for?
No, only one application form is necessary.

8. My financial need isn’t very high. Why should I apply?
Not all scholarships are based on financial need. Some are based on academic performance and other criteria only. We encourage all students to apply!

9. If I switch majors or drop to part time status can I still be considered for a scholarship?
If you switch to a major outside of the College of Education you will not be eligible for our College-wide or academic department scholarships. Part-time students will still be eligible for scholarships that do not require full-time status. There are many scholarships open to part-time students. Contact our office immediately if your status changes.

10. Can I make changes to my application after it is submitted?
Yes, you can make changes up until the May 1 deadline, but not in Qualtrics. Send an email to with your updates.

11. When will I know if I received a scholarship or not?
If you are awarded a scholarship before June 1, you will be notified, by mail, by July 1, 2020. If an award is made during the academic year, you will be notified via your Penn State email address.

12. Who makes the scholarship awarding decisions?
The College’s Scholarship Committee makes determinations for the majority of scholarships. The committee for college-wide scholarships consists of Rayne Sperling (associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies), Maria Schmidt (assistant dean, office of multicultural programs), Sarah Moryken (Recruitment and Retention Coordinator), Jenn Moore (assistant director of stewardship), and Lori-Witherite-Zellers (development assistant). For departmental scholarships, the department head or his/her designee will make the decisions. Any questions should be directed to We will respond to every e-mail.

13. I’m a first year student or transfer student from another university and I received my acceptance letter after the May 1 deadline. Can I still be considered for a scholarship?
If you are reading this prior to May 1, we encourage you to apply even if you have not received your acceptance letter. We will verify your enrollment before we post the scholarship. If it is after May 1, email us at and we will send you an application via email. It is important that you still complete the FAFSA as soon as you can.

14. I'm graduating in December 2020. Can I still apply?
Yes, just be sure to check that box on the application so the full scholarship amount is applied to the fall semester.

15. How do I apply for University-wide scholarships?
Visit the Office of Student Aid and the University Fellowships Office.

16. I’ve just been notified that I received a scholarship. What is the next step?
Follow the instructions in your notification letter. If you have any additional questions or concerns, send them to

17. I am a member of Penn State’s faculty/staff. Am I eligible for a scholarship?
Penn State faculty and staff who are working full-time at the University and receiving the 75% tuition discount are not eligible to receive College of Education or other University-wide scholarships. The system will automatically reject your scholarship application. If you work at Penn State and are not eligible to receive the 75% discount (that is, you are not a full-time equivalent employee), you are able to apply for and receive scholarships. If you are a child or spouse of a Penn State faculty or staff member, you are able to apply for and receive scholarships. Please refer to HR36 for more information.