Harrisburg – September 27, 2012 – PHEAA’s guide to student financial aid is now available online, according to state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland). The guide can be accessed at PHEAA.org.

“Students and families continue to struggle to pay for college costs and need all the help they can get to access financial aid,” Brewster said. “With so many now using the internet to gather information, it is important that PHEAA have a comprehensive guide online.”

According to Brewster, PHEAA’s interactive Pennsylvania Student Aid Guide can be found on PHEAA’s website under the College Planning section. The Spanish language version of the guide will be available online in October.

The McKeesport lawmaker said that the comprehensive guide is a valuable resource where families can go to learn more about financial aid that may be available. The information online includes detail about the state grant program, work-study and the new Pennsylvania Targeted Industry program.

PHEAA’s guide can also help students, parents and families create a budget that estimates annual expenses. This is critically important in light of a recent report of the PEW Foundation that found that about one out of five, or nearly 20 percent, of the nation’s households owed student debt in 2010.

The PEW report indicated that the debt was more than double the share two decades earlier and was a significant rise from the 15 percent owed from just prior to the Great Recession. The survey also indicated that college enrollment has increased sharply during the Great Recession and tepid economic recovery. A record 40 percent of all households headed by someone younger than age 35 owe such debt, by far the highest share among any age group.

“It’s important for students, parents and families to explore every avenue available to find free or low cost financing of college costs,” Brewster said. “PHEAA’s online guide provides quick, authoritative and reliable information and is a tool that can be used effectively.”


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