In order to make informed decisions about your financial aid, it’s important to know your options and know the difference between types of financial aid.
Grants are money provided by the University, federal, or state government entities that do not require any repayment. To apply for grants, you must complete the FAFSA. Here are a few types of popular grants.
- Federal Pell Grants: The Pell Grant provides need-based grants to degree-seeking undergraduate students. Pell grant eligibility is determined by the student’s expected family contribution (EFC), the cost of attendance, and the student’s enrollment status.
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG): FSEOG is a grant for undergraduate students with exceptional financial need. The grant is awarded on a first come, first serve basis.
- PHEAA Grant: This state funded program allows eligible Pennsylvania residents to obtain financial assistance for undergraduate study at any PHEAA-approved institution of higher education. Awards are based on financial need. Students must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking undergraduate program.
- PHEAA Gratuity Program: This program provides support for families of service officers who lost their lives protecting citizens of the state of Pennsylvania including police officers, firefighters, correction facilities employees, and active members of the National Guard.
- Office of Vocational Rehabilitation: The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. Please contact your OVR Counselor to inquire about your eligibility.
- Blind or Deaf Beneficiary Grant Program: Blind or Deaf Beneficiary Grant Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). This program provides grants up to $500 for an academic year to blind or deaf students, who are residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are attending a postsecondary institution.
Scholarships are money provided by the University or outside organizations that does not need to be repaid. They are typically based on academic achievement. With the exception of a few prestigious awards, incoming students who apply to Pitt by December 15 are automatically considered for University of Pittsburgh academic scholarships.
Current students may also be eligible for departmental scholarships through their specific school. Please contact your school directly to inquire about scholarship opportunities they may offer.
In addition to University of Pittsburgh academic scholarships, you may be eligible for non-University of Pittsburgh scholarships. For non-University of Pittsburgh scholarship opportunities, check out these websites.
- The Pittsburgh Promise
- National Merit Scholarship Corporation
- The College Board
- American Education Services
PLEASE NOTE: If you receive scholarship funds that are not awarded by the University of Pittsburgh, be sure to report these funds to our office by completing the Information Update Form.
Loans are funds that are borrowed from government entities or private institutions that must be repaid with interest. To apply for federal loans, you must complete the FAFSA. Here are a few popular kinds of loans.
- Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loan: The Federal Direct Student Loan Program is the most widely used student loan program for both undergraduate and graduate students interested in borrowing to help meet educational expenses. The Federal Direct Subsidized Student Loan does not accrue interest while you are enrolled in classes, but the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan accrues interest starting at the date of disbursement. Borrowing limits, interest rates, and terms of repayment are determined and regulated by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Nursing/Health Professions Loans: Nursing Loan and Health Professions Loan for Pharmacy Programs provides low-interest loans to students with financial need, based on the results of the student’s FAFSA, the cost of attendance, and other aid resources. Loans may be limited as funds for lending in these programs come from new federal capital contributions, any institutional matching contribution, and collections from prior student borrowers.
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan: The Federal Parent PLUS Loan Program enables parents with good credit histories to borrow money to pay the education expenses of their children. The student must be a dependent undergraduate student making Satisfactory Academic Progress and attending school at least half-time. Get directions to apply for the Parent PLUS loan here.
- Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan: The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan Program enables graduate students with good credit histories and a need for funding beyond the Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program to borrow money to pay education expenses. Graduate students considering this option must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree seeking program and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress.
- Private Education Loan: Students and their families can borrow additional loan funds to help meet their college costs using private education loan programs. These credit based loan programs are provided by commercial lenders and are not supported by state or federal financial aid funds. Some private education loans may require interest payments while the student is enrolled in school.
Federal Work-Study awards are made available to students based on demonstrated financial need and are limited by the level of federal funds available to the University. The Federal Work Study program (FWS) provides employment opportunities for students enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh at campus locations and at eligible non-profit agencies and organizations located in the Oakland area. Most employed students work between 10 and 20 hours per week during the school year.
To search employment opportunities through our university, please visit our online job search at PittSource. If you are not awarded Federal Work Study, you may still work on campus through student employment.