Financial Aid for Summer and Winter Terms 

Summer College Financial Aid

To be eligible for federal, state and institutional financial aid assistance for any summer session, you must complete the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Your FAFSA will determine if you qualify for federal or state grants or loans, or private alternative loans.

PennWest California students who apply for financial aid for the Summer College term will begin to receive financial aid award notifications in late March.

  • Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans: If you have completed the FAFSA and are enrolled at least half time for summer, you automatically will be awarded Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loans for the summer, fall and spring terms. For example, if you have a federal direct loan and your maximum eligibility is $3,500 for the year, your loan will be divided - 33% for summer, 33% for fall and 34% for spring - leaving you with $1,155 for summer, $1,155 for fall and $1,190 for spring.

    If you do not want your summer federal direct loans or require an adjustment, complete the Student Loan Adjustment Form to form before financial aid is disbursed. If you are enrolled less than half time for summer, your loans will still be packaged for the summer, fall and spring terms. If you do not register for enough classes by the time classes begin, your loans will be adjusted.
  • Pell Grants: Your federal Pell Grant award is based on credits enrolled and may be used for summer, fall and spring depending on your enrollment and estimated family contribution.  

    Pell grant recipients with pending summer financial aid refunds can charge books at the University Bookstore until noon of June 7, 2017, up to the amount of their credit balances, not to exceed $500 for the term.
  • Pennsylvania State Grant: To apply for the Pennsylvania State Grant for the summer term, you must submit the current Pennsylvania Summer State Grant Application to State Grant and Special Programs of PHEAA no later than Aug. 15.
  • Work-study: If you are seeking summer work-study employment, you must meet all federal Title IV eligibility requirements.

Winter College Financial Aid

PennWest California students enrolled for the winter term may be eligible for financial aid to help with those expenses. All students enrolling for Winter College will receive an increase in their Cost of Attendance, which may result in increased aid eligibility for grants and/or loans.

Financial aid for Winter College can be applied in one of two ways:

  • If you are graduating at the end of the winter term, your Winter College credits will be combined with your fall semester credits. An additional fall disbursement of financial aid, if necessary, will be made in late December.
  • If you are not graduating at the end of the winter term or are beginning your academic program in winter, your Winter College credits will be combined with your spring semester credits. Those credits will be evaluated; if aid adjustments are needed, they will occur with the spring term disbursement.

Note: In many cases, students who are enrolled full time in either fall or spring may be eligible only to borrow additional funds through alternative loans to help with winter term expenses.

Students with federal Pell and/or state PHEAA grants who are enrolled full time for either the fall or spring semester will not see a change in those awards. However, if the addition of your Winter College credits increases your eligibility for Pell or PHEAA grants, those adjustments will be made. Evaluation of students enrolled for Winter College will begin in November.

Winter Term Billing

Students enrolled in Winter College classes will receive a separate bill for the winter term. However, if you have financial aid scheduled for the spring semester that is sufficient to cover both winter and spring semester charges, there will be no balance due for Winter College.

You will not be penalized if your Winter College bill is not paid until the spring financial aid disburses. However, to avoid delays or late fees, you must have completed all the requirements for aid to disburse on time and you must have enough aid available to cover your winter charges. You must attend PennWest California for the spring semester to utilize financial aid for Winter College.

Detailed information about Winter College financial aid and billing will be included with winter billing statements. For an estimate of costs for your Winter College classes, contact the Office of Student Accounts by visiting Dixon Hall, Room 118; calling 724-938-4431; or sending email to

Winter Term and Satisfactory Academic Progress

If you are on an academic plan for the fall semester and/or may not meet the requirements for Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the fall term, the Financial Aid Office may not have a winter/spring award available for you before you start your Winter College classes.

Winter College classes begin almost immediately after the close of the fall semester, and we will need time to determine if you have met Satisfactory Academic Progress standards before we can determine your eligibility for winter/spring financial.

If you suspect that you may not meet Satisfactory Academic Progress at the end of the fall term, contact the Financial Aid Office and we can review your progress.