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Access and Affordability

Providing access and helping you afford your Penn State education are top priorities for the University and the College of the Liberal Arts. Thanks to the generosity of Liberal Arts alumni and friends, the college offers many need-based scholarships and funding for out-of-classroom experiences. There are also several ways to get funding as a graduate student in the College of the Liberal Arts, including assistantships, the Graduate Internship Program, and awards. 

A student learns about resources in the college at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Festival
A student learns about resources in the college at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Festival

Incoming Students

First-Year Students

The priority application deadline for need-based scholarships for students starting in the fall has passed. However, applications are still being accepted and will be considered in the order they are received depending on fund availability. Your application will be kept on file in case additional funds become available. To apply, send a request for an electronic application to and provide your nine-digit Penn State student ID number.

Transfer Students

All students must meet the criteria of full-time status at Penn State University Park with at least one major in the College of the Liberal Arts, a demonstrated financial need based on their FAFSA, and a successful grade-point average of 2.50 or higher. Please contact for assistance. 

Current Students

The priority application period for first consideration is January 1–April 1 of the calendar year of desired fall enrollment. Non-priority applications submitted after April 1 will be considered in the order they are received, depending on fund availability.

Learn more about Academic Scholarships

Out-of-classroom experiences provide students with the opportunity to use the knowledge you learn in the classroom in real-world settings. Because of the importance of these experiences—which include internships, education abroad, and research—the college offers funding to make them more accessible to every student.   

Awards typically range from $100–$2,500 and are designed to help make the experience more affordable. Students with at least one Liberal Arts major can apply for funding through the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network to support virtual, remote, and/or face-to-face out-of-classroom experiences.   

Learn more about Enrichment Funding

  • In addition to general scholarships offered through the college, several departments offer academic scholarships. Visit your department’s website to learn about additional scholarship opportunities. 
  • Liberal Arts students who encounter unexpected financial hardship may apply for Liberal Arts emergency funding. If you have questions about Liberal Arts emergency funding, please send an email to You can also apply for assistance from the University through Penn State Student Affairs for basic needs and support.
  • Penn State’s Office of Student Aid lists need-based, merit-based, and external funding opportunities such as loans, grants, and work-study programs. 
  • Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring may also be a source of additional funding. 
  • A special program is available to students who find they are unable to afford their final two semesters at Penn State. Visit Complete Penn State for more information about the program.  

Graduate Students

There are several ways to get funding as a graduate student in the College of the Liberal Arts, including assistantships; monetary awards and grants offered by the college, University, and external funding sources; and the Graduate Internship Program. 

The most common form of graduate funding comes from having an assistantship. While it is unusual for master’s students to receive assistantships, nearly all students in Ph.D. programs receive a multi-year assistantship or fellowship when they enter the program.

Assistantships include a stipend, tuition remission, and a subsidy for medical insurance. Students are assigned to a faculty adviser who supervises the experience. Graduate assistants support undergraduate instruction or undertake research projects, depending on the type of assistantship. 

Assistantships are awarded to students by their graduate major program during admission. Appointments are made based on student qualification, availability of funding, and admission to the department and Graduate School as a degree student.

Learn more about assistantships.

Find a listing of funding opportunities offered through the college, University, and external agencies for graduate student dissertation, research, and tuition support.

View available awards.

Given the highly desirable writing, communication, and quantitative skills that our graduate students possess, the Liberal Arts Graduate Internship Program (GRIP) was conceived to connect you with various University units that can most benefit from your expertise.  

Learn more about the Graduate Internship Program.

Future Students
CURRENT Students
Graduate Students
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