Financial Aid

If you are planning to do an internship or co-op during a fall or spring semester and you rely on student financial aid to help pay for your college expenses, your work experience could impact your aid in the following ways:

  • You will be ineligible for federal grants or loans (such as the Stafford Loan) because you will be registered for fewer than 6 credits. However, you might be eligible for other types of grants or loans, including private loans.
  • Internship and co-op courses—ENGR 195, 295, 395, and 495—are considered distance education courses, so they will not count toward the minimum 6 credits you need to be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Most scholarships awarded by Penn State, including Schreyer Scholarships, will be deferred to future semesters in which you are enrolled in courses on campus.  However, if you receive scholarships from outside agencies, contact those agencies directly to discuss your eligibility during your work assignment. If you need confirmation that you are registered for internship or co-op credit, please contact us.
  • Almost all engineering internships and co-ops are paid; this salary will be taken into account as income when you complete the following year’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and may impact the amount of future aid you are eligible to receive.

If you are seeking credit for your internship or co-op, you will be considered a full-time student for the purpose of loan deferment.  This means any loans or grants previously awarded to you will continue to be deferred until after graduation when you will need to start repayment.

Because of all the variables involved in determining individual student aid packages, you should meet with an adviser in the Student Aid office prior to beginning your internship or co-op experience for more information and to get your questions answered.


Engineering Career Resources & Employer Relations

College of Engineering

117 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4710

Phone: 814-863-1032