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Eligibility Requirements

All types of financial aid have some kind of eligibility requirements. Financial aid from the state usually requires that the recipient be a resident of the state. Some scholarships specify that the recipient must enroll in a particular field of study or have a high grade point average. Eligibility for most federal student aid programs is based on demonstrated financial need rather than on academic achievement.

In addition to the financial need requirements, federal student aid programs require that the student:

  • be seeking AA, AS, or BS, have a high school diploma or a GED (see ability to benefit below)
  • be seeking the vocational/technical certificate receive a passing score on an independently administered examination approved by the U.S. Department of Education, or meet other standards established by the state and approved by the U.S. Department of Education. (see Ability to benefit)
  • enroll as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program that requires a minimum of 600 clock hours
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible non citizen
  • have a valid Social Security number
  • make satisfactory academic progress as defined by the College
  • register for Selective Service, if you are a male between the ages of 18 - 25
  • must enroll at least half-time (six credit hours), in courses required by their program of study, to be eligible for Federal Student Loans each term (fall/spring/summer)
  • may only be funded for courses required for their degree program

How need is determined

The financial information you and your family provide on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA is analyzed by the federal need analysis processor using federal methodology. Federal methodology is a standard expected family contribution (EFC) formula created by the United States Congress. It is used by the federal processor to calculate how much individual students and their families are expected to pay for higher education.

After analyzing your financial information, the federal processor sends the results to the college or university (as listed on your federal application), indicating how much you and your family should be able to pay for your education. If the cost of attendance at PHSC is greater than what the processor indicates you and your family should be able to pay, then the college considers that you have financial need.

Financial need calculation
Cost of attendance — Expected family contribution = Financial need

Cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, housing, meals, transportation, clothing maintenance, and personal items (see Average costs of attendance).

Family contribution consists of expected parental contribution and/or student contribution, depending upon the student’s classification as "dependent" or "independent." The federal need analysis formula used by the federal processor to determine the amount of each applicant’s expected family contribution takes into account the family’s/student’s income and assets, employment costs, living expenses, taxes, family size, and the number of family members in college. Dependent students must also help pay their educational costs from their resources, such as savings, prior-year income, benefits, or employment.

Average costs of attendance

Estimated expenses based on the average costs of most credit programs at 15 credit hours per term for two semesters (nine months) using 2014-2015 data:

Living at home Living away from home Living away from home
Tuition/Fees $2,945 $2,945 $22,056
Books and supplies 1,440 1,440 1,440
Room and board 2,002 5,595 5,595
Transportation 2,016 2,016 2016
Personal and miscellaneous expenses* 1,776 1,776 1,776
Total budget ($10,179) ($13,772) ($32,883)

Ability to benefit

In compliance with federal regulations as described in the Higher Education Act of 1965 Public Law 112-74 amended HEA section 484(d) to eliminate Ability to Benefit for Federal Student Financial Aid. Students who do not have a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent (e.g. GED), or do not meet the home school requirements, and who first enroll in a program of study on or after July 1, 2012 will not be eligible to receive Title IV student aid.