Penn State World Campus has awarded more than $582,000 in scholarships to hundreds of undergraduate students in the fall 2023 semester.
The scholarships were awarded through annual funds, endowment spending, and funding from Penn State. This fall, 628 undergraduates, or 8% of the total number of eligible enrolled Penn State World Campus undergraduates, received scholarship funding.
“Penn State World Campus is unique among its peers in raising philanthropic dollars to support online learners,” said Susan Kukic, director of development for Penn State Outreach and Online Education. “With the booming growth of online learning, we have a responsibility to more generously support these students, many of whom have compelling backstories and face substantial challenges or hardships to complete their degrees.”
To date, Penn State World Campus has disbursed more than $15 million in scholarship support to more than 13,000 students to help them offset the cost of their educations.
Scholarships for online learners at Penn State
Scholarships are awarded to students who have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), demonstrate a financial need, and have at least a 2.0 grade-point average.
They are first-time and returning students who are adult learners, military students, international students, and other students who are enrolled full-time or part-time with at least six credits.
Current students can apply twice a year for scholarships.
Applications are accepted in January for the following academic year, which begins in the fall semester. Students can apply in October for the following spring semester, which starts in January.
Recipients who are U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens must have a FAFSA on file with the Penn State World Campus Office of Student Aid. International students may apply without a FAFSA on file.
The World Campus website for students has information on applying for scholarships.
The impact of scholarship funding
Mauricio Dell is one of the recipients of the scholarship funding this semester. A native of Argentina who moved to the United States four years ago, he has been working minimum-wage jobs to help support his family. He decided he needed a college degree to advance his career, and he chose to enroll in World Campus because of Penn State’s academic reputation.
Dell is majoring in finance, and he wants to become a Certified Financial Planner or take the LSAT and go to law school after he graduates in 2024. The scholarship support he has received has been “invaluable,” as he works part-time while his wife works full-time.
“The scholarship has been a real help for me and my family,” Dell said. “It's allowed me to cut back on my work hours a bit so I can focus on advancing my degree and devoting more time to studying.”
Giving to Penn State World Campus
The philanthropic gifts to Penn State World Campus that benefit students like Dell have resulted in an endowment valued at $22 million.
Donors who wish to give their support can contribute to the funds from which scholarships are awarded, or donors can work with the Office of Development to establish a new one.
Learn more about giving to Penn State World Campus on its website for alumni and friends.