Financial Aid and Scholarship Information
In January, PHEAA (the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency) presented at Sun Valley's Financial Aid Night. Click HERE to view their PowerPoint slides.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the first step in the financial aid process. Visit http://www.fafsa.ed.gov for more information.
Click HERE for an overview of the steps to federal student aid or check out this online tutorial
Once you have completed your FAFSA, you should review this video that explains how to use their IRS DATA Retrieval Tool.
Financial aid is available from a variety of sources including the federal government,state government, institution (college to which you are applying) and private sources (bank loans and scholarships). Aid comes in two forms:
1. Gift aid which includes scholarships and grants.
2. Self-help aid which normally consists of employment and loans.
In determining need-based financial aid, the college will use the calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) from the FAFSA, from the Profile (if they use it), and their own formulas. If the total cost exceeds the EFC, the college will attempt to provide ways to meet the need.
If you bring special talents, skills, accomplishments, or attributes, the college may provide merit-based aid. This type of support is usually in the form of scholarships and grants that you need not pay back, “discounts” or specialized funding. Athletic scholarships often fall into this category.
Last year the class of 2012 was awarded $5,354,000 in merit scholarships!
The financial aid office at the school you plan to attend is the best place to get information about federal, state, school and other sources of student financial aid. Ninety percent of all aid in the United States comes through the colleges directly.
Also, the Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid publishes a College Prep Checklist to help students and parents get ready for college, academically and financially. Other publications are available as well.