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Financial Aid


Approximately 91 percent of our students finance their educational dreams with some form of financial aid.

Financial assistance is available to students in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment. Freshmen and first-time Pennsylvania state grant applicants must complete the PA State Grant application at If you are selected for federal verification (an audit), submit the appropriate form as soon as you can.

Prior to applying for financial aid, Clarion's Net Cost Calculator, or the federal financial aid Forecaster, can give you an idea of how much and what types of aid you might be eligible to receive.

Clarion urges all students to complete an annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to May 1 each year via the federal website: Please indicate Clarion's Title IV code (003318) on the FAFSA form. Please note: The FSA ID (a username and password) has replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN. If you have not created your FSA ID yet, you can read additional information and create your ID here.

Academic Year Definition: At PennWest Clarion, an academic year is comprised of a fall and spring semester, during which time a full-time student is expected to complete at least 24 credits. The period of time school is in session consists of 30 weeks of instruction.

Title IV Authorization - Holding Credit Balances

The University may hold excess FSA funds (credit balances) if it obtains a voluntary authorization from the student or parent. Because FSA funds are awarded to students to pay current year charges, notwithstanding any authorization obtained by the University from a student or a parent, the University must pay –

  • Any remaining balance on loan funds within 14 days of the end of the loan period, and
  • Any other remaining FSA funds within 14 days of the end of the last payment period in the award year for which they were awarded.

Students can authorize Title IV funds to pay other charges such as parking, library and health center charges by logging into their MyClarion Student center. Late payment fees and Deferment fee (payment plan fees) cannot be covered even with permission, student's will be responsible for these charges.  This form will be signed electronically via secure login to your MyClarion Student Center with your Clarion ID and will be stored under Student Permissions in your student center. 

Students can rescind authorization any time during their period of enrollment,  To rescind this authorization submit a written request to Student Financial Services, 840 Wood Street, 114 Becht Hall, Clarion, PA  16214 or via my MyPennWest Clarion eagle mail account to

Should you choose to rescind this authorization, you understand that the cancellation is not retroactive and will apply to any credit balance created after the date of cancellation.  Credit balances will be refunded within 14 days after a request to cancel authorization is received.

Student will be responsible for paying any outstanding debts to PennWest Clarion if they cancel this authorization.

If you are not able to submit the form electronically via your MyClarion Student Center, you can request a paper authorization form by visiting Student Financial Services, 840 Wood Street, 114 Becht Hall, Clarion, PA  16214.

Please see full Title IV Funds Policy and FAQs below.

Title IV Authorization - Holding Credit Balances

Title IV Funds Policy

Title IV Authorization FAQs

Conditions for Financial Aid

In order to continue receiving financial aid following initial enrollment at PennWest Clarion of Pennsylvania, students must meet certain conditions each year.

  • Students must enroll at least part-time (six credits) for every aid program, except the federal Pell Grant program. Also, all federal and state aid applicants must reapply for aid using the FAFSA form each year.
  • Full-time baccalaureate students may receive assistance from most federal Title IV programs for up to six years of attendance or 180 semester hours; full-time associate degree students are limited to three years of attendance or 90 semester hours.
  • The Pennsylvania state grant program provides baccalaureate students with up to four years of potential funding and associate degree students with a maximum of two years of funding.  
  • Full-time PHEAA state grant recipients must successfully complete at least 24 new semester hours each year to be eligible for additional state grant monies for the upcoming award year. Part-time PHEAA grant recipients must successfully complete at least six credits during each semester in which they received a grant to maintain future award year eligibility.
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loan recipients must successfully complete a cumulative total of 30 credit hours to qualify for second year loan limits. In order to qualify for third, fourth, or fifth year level loans, recipients must successfully earn a cumulative total of 60 or more credit hours.
  • Federal and state regulations require students to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) to retain eligibility for financial aid in subsequent years. In order to demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, students must successfully complete at least 67 percent of all cumulatively attempted credits over the course of their career at Clarion. This percentage is calculated and reviewed each academic year at the end of the spring term, prior to the student's receipt of any additional federal financial aid monies for the future academic year. PennWest Clarion's complete SAP policy can be accessed here.
  • Undergraduate students, regardless of enrollment status, who fail to achieve a cumulative QPA of at least a 2.0, are normally placed on probation or suspension by the Office of Academic Affairs. If a student is suspended by the Office of Academic Affairs, they do not qualify for additional federal aid until they are reinstated to the university. If the student appeals the suspension action and is permitted to return to Clarion, he/she will receive additional federal financial aid ONLY if he/she also has successfully earned 67 percent of all cumulatively attempted credits.  
  • Graduate students must maintain a minimum 3.0 QPA.

Student Credit Balance / Excess Funds

A Title IV credit balance occurs whenever the University credits Title IV program funds to a student’s account and those funds exceed the student’s allowable charges. The University pays by check or direct deposit (EFT) the excess Title IV program funds (the credit balance) as well as credit balances not related to Title IV funds directly to the student as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days after:

  •  The date the balance occurred on the student’s account, if the balance occurred after the first day of class of a payment period; or
  •  The first day of classes of the payment period if the credit balance occurred on or before the first day of class of that payment period.

Refunds from excess financial aid are not available to students each semester until after the drop/add period is over. The quickest way to gain access to any financial aid refunds you may receive from excess financial aid disbursements is to sign up for direct deposit on the MyClarion portal. You can get step-by-step directions on how to sign up for direct deposit here.

View the full policy here.

Return of Federal Aid Monies Due to University Withdrawal

Federal Title IV regulations dictate the return of federal aid monies. If a recipient of Title IV funds (Pell Grant, SEOG Grant, TEACH Grant, Direct Stafford Loan) withdraws from school after beginning attendance, a portion of the Title IV funds may have to be returned to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE).

Title IV funds are awarded to a student under the assumption that the student will attend school for the entire period for which the assistance is awarded. When a student withdraws, the student may no longer be eligible for the full amount of the Title IV funds that the student was originally scheduled to receive.

Students, who are considering withdrawing after the semester begins or reducing their credit hour load, should contact the Student Financial Services Office first to determine the impact on their financial aid awards. Please refer to the official University Withdrawal Policy for additional information.

If a student withdraws before completing 60 percent of the semester, the percentage of Title IV funds earned is equal to the percentage of the semester completed. The university is required to return the unearned portion to the U.S. Department of Education. If a student earned less aid than was disbursed, the institution is required to return a portion of the funds and the student is then required to return a portion of the funds. When Title IV funds are returned, the student borrower may owe a balance to the institution. The institution must return the amount of the Title IV funds for which it is responsible no later than 45 days after the date of the determination of the date of the student's withdrawal.

The percentage of payment period or term completed up to the withdrawal date is determined by dividing the total number of days enrolled by the total days in the standard payment period or term. (Any break of five days or more is not counted as part of the days in the term.) This percentage is also the percentage of earned aid. Funds are returned to the appropriate federal program based on the percentage of unearned aid using the following formula: aid to be returned = (100 percent of the aid that could be disbursed minus the percentage of earned aid) multiplied by the total amount of aid that could have been disbursed during the payment period of the term.

Returns are allocated in the following order:

  • Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Subsidized Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Perkins Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal SEOG Grants

If a student withdraws after completing more than 60 percent of the semester, the percentage of Title IV funds earned is 100, and neither the student nor the school return any funds to USDE.

If a student earns more aid than was disbursed to him/her, the institution owes the student a post-withdrawal disbursement which must be paid within 120 days of the student's withdrawal.

To review the full policy, please click here.

Please note: The university refund policy for tuition and fees is very different from the Federal Title IV regulations for returning financial aid. For example:  If a student withdraws after the end of the university refund period, the student will be charged for 100 percent of his/her tuition and fees.  If the student withdraws before completing more than 60 percent of the semester, the university is required to return a portion of his/her Title IV funds.  In most cases, the student will owe the university for the Title IV funds returned.  If not repaid to the university, the student will not be able to return in future semesters or receive official transcripts.

View Financial Aid

To view the financial aid you are receiving, log into your MyClarion account, the student information system for PennWest Clarion.  Students, faculty, and staff utilize MyClarion for registration, grades, financial aid, billing, and many other services. Here's a quick reference guide for using MyClarion to access financial aid information:

  1. Login to your MyClarion account.
  2. Click the Student Center link.
  3. In the Student Center, scroll to the Finances area.
  4. Select "View Financial Aid."
  5. Select the appropriate aid year (ex. aid year 2015-2016).
  6. A summary of your financial aid will be displayed. You can view your aid awards for the year or by specific term (summer/fall/spring).

Appeal Procedure

Students denied financial aid for any reason may appeal the denial as follows:

  1. Write to the Student Financial Services Office (SFS), PennWest Clarion, 840 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16214, noting the denial and stating the reasons why financial aid should not be denied.  Note: If the student is appealing a lack of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) determination, specific directions on the appeal process are available here.
  2. SFS Office staff will review the denial in terms of information provided by the student.
  3. Following the review, the SFS Office staff will inform the student of the status of the appeal (granted/declined).
Academic Improvement Plan


Last Updated 2/20/23