General Financial Aid and Student Account Questions

Students frequently have questions or concerns regarding their financial aid, bill, or refund.  Which office should the student see to have their question(s) answered, Financial Aid or Student Accounts?

The financial aid package you receive is typically applied directly to your student account to cover tuition and other costs billed by the University, like on-campus housing expenses and associated fees. Students can apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as through applying for other private or school-provided scholarships and loans.
Explore federal financial aid and complete your FAFSA. Find all the financial aid forms you may need to fill out to receive financial aid at Shippensburg.

If your financial aid offer exceeds your total charge due to factors such as scholarships, grants or alternate housing options, you’ll receive what’s called a financial aid refund. The refund contains any aid amount in excess of the University’s billable costs, like tuition, meal plans, on-campus housing and fees, and it can be used for textbooks and other living expenses. You may also be eligible to receive federal work-study funds, which can be paid directly to you through working for an on-campus employment program.

Calculate your estimated cost of attending Ship. New and used textbooks can be bought or rented at our University bookstore or purchased online.

Your financial aid package can include a mix of grants and scholarships, which don’t need to be repaid, and loans, which do need to be paid back (some with interest) after graduation. The aid sources listed in your offer might include federal education funds, awards from the University or both, but anything other than a grant or a scholarship typically requires repayment.

Students attending graduate school can complete the FAFSA to apply for federal aid, as well as qualify for grants and scholarships from the University financial aid package. Graduate school offers also sometimes include assistantships and graduate work-study programs to help manage the cost of earning a graduate degree. Review financial aid assistance for grad students at Shippensburg.

The Pell Grant is a grant that offers need-based federal financial aid to undergraduate students who qualify. If you have received a Pell Grant in your financial aid package, it will be applied to your cost of attendance and does not need to be repaid. Learn more about the Federal Pell Grant program.

In addition to tuition set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE)’s Board of Governors or the University Council of Trustees, the Cost of Attendance (CoA) to Shippensburg University includes estimated costs for on- or off-campus housing and expenses such as books, supplies and transportation. Those costs may not exactly match the actual expenses you incur, depending on your living situation, non-applicable fees, textbook prices and other factors.

When your bill is issued by the Student Accounts Office to be viewed and paid on your myShip portal, you can view any difference between your aid and the costs billed by the University. If you and your family need further assistance, you can always make a payment to the University or explore setting up a payment plan.

To close any gap in aid and costs, you and your parent can review and apply for additional federal loans, including Federal Parent PLUS loan qualification, or seek educational loans through a third party lender (bank or credit union). If your parents are denied from the Federal Parent PLUS loan, Ship can increase your federal student loan offer by up to $4,000 for the year. 

Review more resources for helping pay for your degree. Review our list of private and alternative student loan sources.

You aren’t required to complete the FAFSA, but we recommend that every student do so each year. If you don’t fill out a FAFSA for a school year, you could miss out on opportunities for “free” grants that could help lighten the burden of your financial obligations. Additionally, some Shippensburg-exclusive and outside scholarships require you to have a FAFSA on file.

Fill out a FAFSA once each year you are in school and want or need aid consideration. Each October 1st, the FAFSA application window opens in preparation for the following academic year. For example, the application for aid for the school year beginning fall 2023 will be open October 1st, 2022.

Learn more about how to apply for federal aid each year. Review official federal student aid deadline information.

FAFSA, which is an application to receive financial aid from the federal government, is something you must fill out in order to receive any federal student award funds as a component of the financial aid offer you receive from Shippensburg after admission. Your total financial aid package includes
any federal funds you’re eligible for, as well as other aid types such as scholarships, private grants and University work-study funds.

Learn how to apply for financial aid from federal, state and other sources. Review a complete list of financial aid forms to determine which apply to you.

As you fill out the FAFSA, you’ll be asked to enter the name and identifying code of schools where you want your application results sent; Shippensburg’s code is 003326. After the Department of Education evaluates your application, Shippensburg will receive your information to help finalize your financial aid offer.

If you submit your application for admission and your FAFSA in the fall (FAFSA application windows open on October 1st each year), you will likely receive a financial aid offer around late fall or winter to give time for updates to be made in our system.

Once your financial aid offer is processed and ready to view, you will be notified by email. At that point, it’s viewable on the myShip portal. In addition, new students will also receive paper versions of the financial aid offer in the mail.

If your application is missing documents needed to finalize your offer, Ship will send emails requesting what we need. Review these aid application requirements on your myShip portal. If it’s spring and you haven’t received a financial aid offer from Ship yet, ensure that you listed Ship’s school code (003326) on your FAFSA, so we receive those documents.

Any grants (like the Pell Grant or PA State Grant) or scholarships included in your Ship financial aid offer are awarded based on your eligibility as determined by your FAFSA and other information. Therefore, it’s possible that it will contain only low- or no-interest loans you have to pay back, for which every student can qualify.

If you don’t see any scholarships, ensure that you applied for Ship scholarships online by the necessary deadlines. Accepted students can apply to these scholarships and family members can look at the scholarships available. Find more Shippensburg scholarship information.

The Pennsylvania State Grant is sent to the first school you listed on your FAFSA. If Ship isn’t listed first, update your school choice to Ship via the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). If that isn’t the problem and you meet eligibility requirements, you may owe documents to the PHEAA. Review your account to check the status of your application

As long as you have enough aid to cover your bill and have cleared your bill with Student Accounts, any eligible refund due to you will be sent as a live check to your local address on file (residence hall, apartment or parent’s house) or directly deposited into the bank account of your choosing.

Set up direct deposit in person at the Student Accounts Office. Review the aid refund schedule and find refund-related forms.

If you received a scholarship check from a private, outside organization, send it to the Student Accounts Office at Shippensburg University, Student Accounts Room 100, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257. Please be sure to list your name and SUID number in the memo of the check so it can be added to your account. Unless otherwise noted, all scholarships are split 50% to the fall bill and 50% to the spring bill.

While your parent (listed on the FAFSA) can contact the Financial Aid Office by phone at 717-477-1131, federal privacy laws prohibit the Student Accounts Office from releasing student information to anyone other than the student. To allow the parent, relative or individual assisting with payment access to the Student Account, the student must complete a FERPA waiver with the Student Accounts Office in person. This is not something that can be downloaded and sent via fax,
email or mail. Once done, the student will select a pass code to pass on. When the parent or relative calls or emails, they must have the student’s name, SUID number and

Please contact the appropriate college savings plan directly. It is possible they will require a copy of the bill (printable from the myShip portal) to send payment to the University directly, or they may simply require a phone call requesting a distribution to you or Ship. Further, these payments (along
with all payments) are facilitated through the billing office at Student Accounts. Please contact Student Accounts via email or phone at 717-477-1211 if you plan to pay using a College Savings Plan, as payments can be delayed past the billing due date.

If you have further questions about types of financial aid and how to apply for aid and scholarships, contact Shippensburg University’s Financial Aid Office to speak with one of our staff members.

If you are an accepted student and need assistance with your actual Ship financial aid offer, your bill or your refund, contact the Student Accounts Office.