Financial Aid FAQs
Aug. 3, 2022
Below are answers to some common questions related to the financial aid process at PennWest:
When I enter the my.pennwest portal, I receive a message that I should complete entrance counseling. I’ve already done that, why am I receiving this message?
ANSWER: If you have previously completed entrance counseling, you do NOT need to complete new entrance counseling for PennWest. The my.pennwest.edu portal may still show a requirement for entrance counseling even after you’ve completed it; please disregard this task if you have already completed your entrance counseling.
If you’re unsure if you have entrance counseling on file, you may log in to https://studentaid.gov using your FSA ID. On the right-hand side under MY RESOURCES, click “View Your Documents.” In the drop-down box, choose “Loan Counseling.”
I previously completed my MPN for Federal Direct Loans, am I required to complete it again for PennWest?
ANSWER: If you have previously completed your MPN for Federal Direct Loans, you do NOT need to complete it again for PennWest. MPNs are good for 10 years and apply to all schools. The my.pennwest portal will still show a requirement for the MPN even after you have completed it; please disregard this task if you have already completed your MPN.
If you’re unsure if you have an MPN on file, you may log in to https://studentaid.gov using your FSA ID. On the right side under MY RESOURCES, click “View Your Documents.” In the drop-down box, choose “Master Promissory Note (MPN).”
I’ve answered the questions in the Financial Aid session of the mypennwest.edu portal, but there’s no indication that I’ve satisfied this requirement. Did I do something wrong?
Answer:There are three questions you will need to answer before you will be able to go further into the Financial Aid section of the my.pennwest.edu portal. Once you answer these questions, it can take up to 24 hours for the system process and your requirements to show as satisfied. If it has been longer than 24 hours, please contact the financial aid office of the campus you are attending.
When will my summer Federal Aid be disbursed? It’s later than usual.
Answer: We are waiting for the Department of Education’s approval to disburse federal aid on all of our campuses as PennWest. We expect to be able to disburse aid by Aug. 19 and mail refund checks Aug. 22.
When will my fall Federal Aid be disbursed? It’s later than usual.
Answer: We are waiting for the Department of Education’s approval to disburse federal aid on all of our campuses as PennWest. We expect to be able to disburse aid by Sept. 6 and mail refund checks Sept. 9.
I have not yet received my financial aid package for the fall/spring semesters. When can I expect it?
Answer: Financial aid packaging has now resumed for all students. If you are unable to see your financial aid package, please contact the financial aid office of the campus you are attending.
I have private loans. How will the transition to PennWest affect them?
Answer:We are working with ELMSelect, our private loan servicer, to transition the private loans to PennWest. You may be required to reapply if you applied under Edinboro or Clarion. You will be contacted if you are required to reapply.
What can you tell me about Parent PLUS and Grad PLUS Loans?
Answer: We are waiting for the Department of Education’s approval to disburse federal aid on all of our campuses as PennWest. We expect that approval in mid-August 2022 and will begin disbursement for summer as soon as we have that approval.
Is the Cost of Attendance listed on the my.pennwest portal my bill?
Answer: The Cost of Attendance on the my.penwest portal is NOT your bill. We have not invoiced for the fall term yet. Student Accounts is expecting to invoice soon.
For all students, we assign budgets for tuition and fees, books and supplies, and transportation, regardless of how they are taking classes (online or in person). For students who are enrolled at least half-time (6 credits for undergraduates; 4.5 credits for graduates), we also assign budgets for housing, meal plan/food costs, and personal miscellaneous expenses. Students are able to apply for financial aid up to the maximum amount of their budgets. This Cost of Attendance figure allows the Financial Aid Office to know how much aid a student is allowed to have; a student cannot receive more aid than their budget allows.
I can't find my campus at studentaid.gov to complete my entrance counseling or MPN. What do I do?
Answer: Select California University of Pennsylvania as your campus to complete the process.
Additional important details
Housing – On my.PennWest.edu, your housing information will reflect the information you put on your FAFSA. If your housing status is incorrect, you may log in to https://studentaid.gov with your FSA ID to correct your housing status on your 2022-2023 FAFSA. This housing status is only used for cost-of-attendance budget purposes, so financial aid can determine your housing budget accurately.
This housing status has no impact on your actual housing status with Residence Life. If you are planning to live on campus, you’ll need to follow the appropriate steps with Residence Life to choose your housing. Please contact Residence Life at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with any questions.
Expected Enrollment Status – Expected enrollment for all students is considered full time on the Award Offer tab in my.pennwest.edu. When the Financial Aid Office packages financial aid, your financial aid will be based on your actual enrollment.
Students Graduating in Summer or Fall – If you are planning to graduate in the summer or fall terms, you may see financial aid for summer, fall, and/or spring. The Registrar’s Office will be updating students’ expected graduation dates. Once they do this, we will be able to review your financial aid package and correct it.
If you have further questions about these topics or other issues, please contact:
California Financial Aid Office
Clarion Financial Aid Office
Edinboro Financial Aid Office