Types of Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid

Mercyhurst University at the Booker T. Washington Center is made affordable not just by the already low cost, but also with the help of federal, state and institutional financial aid resources. Depending on your personal finances, academic program of choice and timely submission of important forms and documents (i.e., the FAFSA), your out-of-pocket expenses can be greatly reduced through financial aid.

The items below are the most-used types of financial aid by category: federal, state, institutional and private. While there may be other types of aid that are used from time to time, this list outlines the most common. Contact admissions or student financial services for answers to any financial aid related questions.

Institutional Aid

North East Grant

  • Amounts ranging from $600 to half-tuition
  • Determined by need and financial situation
  • Must file the FAFSA (no deadline for NE Grants)
  • Renewable for second year
  • Must be full-time (at least 8 credits per term)

Endowed Scholarship

  • Generally reserved for hardship cases
  • Usually require a thank you note be submitted to the financial aid office
  • Awarded at the discretion of the Office of Student Financial Services

Chamber of Commerce Scholarship

  • Any independent student working for an Erie business that is a member of the Chamber of Commerce is eligible for a COC scholarship.
  • The COC Scholarship is roughly $100 per credit
  • A letter from your employer verifying your status as an "employee in good standing" is required

Federal Aid

The following is a quick reference list. To learn more about federal aid click here.

Federal PELL Grants

  • Directly related to the student’s EFC, the PELL grant ranges from $400 to $4713
  • Does not have to be repaid
  • Need-based

SEOG Grants

  • A limited amount of SEOG grants are available for MNE students
  • Does not have to be repaid
  • Students must receive PELL to be eligible

Academic Competitiveness Grant

  • Must receive PELL to be eligible
  • $750 first-year award based on high school curriculum
  • 3.0 first-year GPA may qualify you for up to $1,300 in year two
  • Will be determined by director of admissions.

Federal Direct Stafford Loans

  • May be either “subsidized” (meaning the government pays the interest on them while you’re in school or “unsubsidized” (your interest will accrue while in school)
  • In the student’s name, and no co-signer is required
  • All first-time students (never attended college before) will be eligible for $5,500 for their first year
  • If student is independent (according to FAFSA), may be eligible for an additional $4,000

Federal Direct Parent Loans

  • PLUS loans are much like alternative loans, but are in the parent’s name
  • If parent gets denied, student gets an additional $4,000 Stafford loan
  • Repayment generally begins 60 days after last disbursement in a given school year

Federal Perkins Loans

  • A limited amount of Perkins Loans are available to MNE students
  • Subsidized
  • Student must receive the PELL grant to be eligible

State Aid

The following is a brief description of the state grant. To learn more, click here.

PHEAA State Grants

  • Must be a PA resident for at least a year
  • Must file your FAFSA by May 1; Aug. 1 if never attended before
  • Must be enrolled in at least a 2-year program
  • Must fill out and return the PHEAA state grant notice
  • Range from $500 to $4,000 depending on EFC and academic program

Private Loans

Alternative Loans

  • Numerous lenders offer student loans with interest rates starting at prime
  • Repayment for most begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least part-time
  • Creditworthy co-signers are usually required (does not have to be a parent)
  • Mercyhurst does not endorse any particular lender; if you call, we would be happy to give you some options.


Civil War photo exhibit
Photographs of the American Civil War

Dates: Jun 12-Aug 1, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

Mercyhurst North East