University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for aid?
In order to apply for aid, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Where can I get a copy of the FAFSA?
You can get a copy of the FAFSA from your high school guidance counselor, the financial aid office at any college, or by calling the Federal Student Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. The FAFSA can also be completed online at

When can I file the FAFSA?
The FAFSA for the upcoming school year can be filed on or after January 1 of that year.

Is there a deadline for filing the FAFSA?
The deadline for campus based aid at Pitt-Johnstown is April 1. The deadline for the PHEAA State Grant is May 1.

Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?
Yes, you must file a FAFSA every year to be considered for financial aid. If you have previously filed a FAFSA, you will be sent a Renewal FAFSA which will be preprinted with information from the previous year. Be sure to review this information and make corrections as necessary.

What is Entrance Counseling and why do I have to complete it?
Entrance Counseling is a counseling session advising you of your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower. Entrance Counseling is required by the U.S. Department of Education.

How many credits must I take in order to be eligible for financial aid?
You must be enrolled for at least 6 credits to be eligible for financial aid.

What is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?
The EFC is used to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid.  The formula for the EFC calculation is established by law and is determined by the information reported on the FAFSA.

Why is the amount that I owe the school after financial aid has been deducted is more than my EFC?
The EFC is not necessarily the amount that you will owe the school. The EFC is the amount that the U.S. Department of Education determines that a family or student should be able to pay towards their education. However, you are ultimately responsible for the difference between the cost of attendance and all financial aid.

My parents are divorced and both are remarried. Do I need to include my step-parents income information on the FAFSA?
Yes. First determine which parent you lived with the most and/or who provided more support in the past 12 months. If that parent is remarried than you must include their spouse’s income information on the FAFSA. A prenuptial agreement does not exempt a step-parent from including his/her income information.

What is a PIN number and how do I get one?
The PIN is a four digit number assigned by the U.S. Department of Education. This PIN serves as your digital signature for online documents such as the FAFSA and Stafford Master Promissory Note. If filing the FAFSA online, the student and one parent will need a PIN number in order to sign it. You can request a PIN online at

I am currently borrowing a Stafford loan, but my parents refuse to borrow a parent PLUS loan. Do I have any other options?
You can look into alternative loan options. Alternative loans are available from banks and education loan organizations. Alternative loan terms vary based on the lender and the borrower’s credit history. Many of these loan require a cosigner if the borrower does not meet the credit requirements. These loans are typically deferred while the student is enrolled.

My parents no longer support me and I live on my own. Do I still need to supply my parent’s information on the FAFSA?
Despite living on your own and receiving no support from your parents, you are not considered independent for financial aid purposes. A student is considered independent if they meet one of the following:
• 24 years of age on or before the January 1 preceding the academic year
• A graduate student
• Married
• Have legal dependents
• An orphan or ward of the court
• A veteran of the armed forces
If you do not meet any of these requirements and there are special circumstances regarding your situation, contact the financial aid office to Discuss your situation.

How many credits do I need to complete every year to maintain financial aid eligibility?
In order to remain eligible for Federal financial aid, you must maintain satisfactory academic progress and remain in acceptable academic standing. Students are required to complete 24 credits each time they attempt 24 or more credits. In addition, students must maintain a minimum QPA determined by the number of credits they have attempted. If you have attempted 0-53 credits you must maintain a QPA of at least 1.50. If you have attempted 53.5 or more credits you must maintain a QPA of at least 2.00. Pitt-Johnstown will generally provided up to 12 full time semester of financial aid provided the student is making normal progress and is in acceptable academic standing.
Last Reviewed: March 19, 2008