Financial Aid Tips with Chris Mowl, Associate Director of Financial Aid

Financial Aid Tips with Chris Mowl, Associate Director of Financial Aid

The best kind of financial aid available to students is what we call “gift aid.”  Gift aid is simply financial aid available to students that does not have to be paid back.  Student loans are an excellent source of financial aid to help you finance your education, but these need paid back with interest.  Below I have offered some tips on how to maximize your potential gift aid and lower the amount you need to borrow. 


-          Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  I hear it all too often, “Well I’m not going to qualify for anything.”  You don’t know unless you try.  Fill out the FAFSA and let the financial aid office review it for eligibility.  You could possibly qualify for a Federal Pell Grant.  State of Pennsylvania also requires a FAFSA to consider you for state grant eligibility.  It is free and does not take long to complete.  Get started at   


-          Tuition Benefit from Employers.   Check with your employer to see if they offer any sort of tuition assistance.  Many do, especially for Graduate Level Programs. 


-          Outside Scholarships.  Any form of scholarship that does not come from the school we refer to as an outside scholarship.  Do not think just because you are not considered a “traditional” student that there are no scholarship opportunities.  Scholarships from companies and organizations are available to all, and they are looking to give money to specific students that meet their criteria.  Figure out what is unique to you, and use that as your basis for searching.  Think about organizations you have ever been affiliated with.  Check out your church, employer, high school you graduated from, local organizations tied to your major, local government, etc.  There is money out there, it just takes a lot of work to find it sometimes.  Check out our outside scholarship page for more info:    


As always, please do not hesitate to contact me or the Financial Aid Office with any questions.  Our email is and our phone number is 717-361-1404.