Cost of Education
While each student's actual costs will vary, we estimate that your expenses for the first year of the SIA program will be as follows*:
|PA residents yearly tuition||$21,960|
|Non-PA residents yearly tuition||$37,694|
|Fees (tech and student fee)||$1,034|
|Books and supplies||$1,840|
|Food & personal expenses||$5,330|
|Other miscellaneous expenses||$3,384|
|Total Estimated Costs|
*Please note that the figures shown above are 2019-20 costs. Tuition for the 2020-21 academic year will be set in the summer of 2020.
While an allotment for health insurance is not included above, we can adjust this estimated budget for financial aid purposes for any student who purchases insurance. Penn State offers a comprehensive plan, which costs approximately $3,400 per year. For more information about this option, please visit the Penn State Student Health Services website.
Sources of Financial Aid
The Penn State financial aid staff is available to make the process of financing your education as smooth as possible. A variety of financial aid programs are available to help you finance your SIA education. For more information about financial aid for graduate students, visit the Penn State Office of Student Aid website.
You will automatically be considered for SIA merit-based scholarships, based on information collected from your admission application. This evaluation is automatic and does not require any additional forms. These scholarships are offered to top applicants who demonstrate academic excellence during their undergraduate years and on their standardized tests for graduate school. Involvement outside of the classroom and relevant work or other experiences are also taken into consideration. These scholarships may be renewable if you maintain the required criteria for eligibility. If you are awarded a merit scholarship, you will be notified in your official admission letter.
Unfortunately, we cannot award merit- based scholarships to every applicant. You should expect to use other scholarship and loan opportunities to help ease the burden of your education expenses.
A variety of student loan sources are available to our students. The Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan (also known as the Stafford Loan) is the financial resource most used by our students. Through this federally guaranteed loan program, students may borrow up to $20,500 per year. The student is responsible for the interest that accrues on that portion of the loan during times of enrollment, but no payments are required until after a student stops attending school at least half-time. For the 2019-20 academic year, the Stafford Loan has a variable fixed interest rate set at 6.08% with an origination fee of 1.059% deducted at dispersement. The rate for 2020-21 will become available in June.
Many students need more loan money than is available to them through the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. These students turn to the Federal Direct PLUS Loan for Graduate Students (also known as Grad PLUS) or private educational loans. Applications for these loans require a credit check, so you will need a satisfactory credit history to be eligible. For the 2019-20 academic year, the Grad PLUS Loan has a variable fixed interest rate set at 7.08% with an origination fee of 4.246% deducted at dispersement. The rate for 2019-20 will become available in June. Interest rates and other fees on private loans vary.
Applying for Financial Aid
As mentioned above, merit-based scholarships awarded by SIA do not require a separate application. If you wish to apply for other forms of financial aid, including student loans, you should complete and submit the 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Include the Penn State school code 003329. You do not need to include parent information. You are encouraged to complet the FAFSA by the April 15 priority deadline.
External Scholarships and Fellowships Database
The School of International Affairs maintains the Advanced Fellowship Database Search, a helpful resource on external funding opportunities that includes information on scholarships and fellowships available to applicants based on demographic information, admission status, and field of study. Although not an exhaustive list of available external scholarships, we encourage you to utilize this valuable resource.
For further assistance, please feel free to contact Penn State's Office of Student Aid online or by phone at (814) 865-6301.