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Senator CostaPHEAA’s Student Aid Guide Now Available Online

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has put its free Student Aid Guide online at The Student Aid Guide is Pennsylvania’s most comprehensive financial aid publication for students and families to discover in-depth information about the financial aid process and paying for higher education.

Student Aid Guide Student Aid Guide A recent PEW Report found one out of every five households owed student debt in 2010. The number of households with student debt has more than doubled in the last two decades. The average outstanding student loan balance increased from $23,349 in 2007 to $26,682 in 2010. These debt increases have mainly affected households headed by someone younger than age 35.

The Student Aid Guide online includes interactive web pages on:

  • How to qualify for grants and scholarships and other financial aid that does not need to be repaid;
  • Types of loans that are available to students and their parents;
  • PHEAA PHEAA Career planning tools with access to checklists, timelines, applications and forms that families will need to apply for and receive financial assistance.

Join PHEAA on Facebook at for more information about the higher education financial aid process and upcoming events.

PEW Report

  • PEW Foundation Report The nation’s aggregate outstanding student loan debt is approaching $1 trillion (Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 2012).
  • About one out of five (19 percent) of the nation’s households owed student debt in 2010, more than double the share two decades earlier and a significant rise from the 15 percent that owed such debt in 2007 just prior to the Great Recession.
  • According to PEW, the increase in outstanding student debt since 2007 is the result of several factors.
    • College enrollment has increased sharply during the Great Recession and tepid recovery. In fall 2007, 18.2 million students were enrolled in college. By fall 2010, 21.0 million students were pursuing college, a 15 percent increase.
    • More college students borrowing to finance their education, and they are borrowing greater amounts;
  • A record 40 percent of households headed by someone younger than age 35 owe student debt (by far the highest share among any age group).
  • Since 2007 the incidence of student debt has increased in nearly every demographic and economic category, as has the size of that debt. The average outstanding student loan balance increased from $23,349 in 2007 to $26,682 in 2010.
  • In 2007, 10 percent of student debtors owed more than $54,238. By 2010, 10 percent of student-debtor households owed more than $61,894.
  • While every income group had more total student loan debt in 2010 than in 2007, the increases were greatest for the lowest fifth of households by annual income and in the highest fifth.
  • In 2009-10, 51.1 percent of full-time, first-time undergraduate students had a student loan, an increase from the 43.5 percent of such students in 2006-07.
  • Between 2007 and 2010, the middle three-fifths of households by income owed a shrinking share of a growing student-debt pie.

Costa CricketsCosta Crickets…
What’s all the chirping about?

Scholars in Local Government Program – Deadline Nov. 30

The Allegheny County Department of Human Services is seeking applicants interesting in a career in public service for their Scholars in Local Government Program. The program is a competitive career development initiative for recent graduates of masters or doctoral level programs to work in public service.

Graduates in social work, law, public policy and administration, or business, or a related program graduating within 18 months of the application deadline can apply.

The program includes a one-year term focused on completing high-profile projects and analyzing difficult problems. There will also be opportunities to meet private and public sector leaders and participate in educational and professional development opportunities.

Start your application at All application materials must be submitted and postmarked by Nov. 30 to be considered.

Flu ShotFree Flu Shots Available

The Human Service Center Corp will be providing FREE flu shots on October 3rd from 10am to 2pm in the first-floor youth room at 519 Penn Avenue in Turtle Creek. All individuals 18 years or older and not pregnant are eligible.

Visit the State Department of Health website to find a flu shot clinic near you.

Free Budget Counseling

NeighorWorksNeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania is offering FREE counseling on effective finance management once a month at the Human Services Center in Turtle Creek.

Counselors provide individual services for budgeting, foreclosure prevention, homeowner counseling and how to deal with and possibly eliminate debt. This service is by appointment only. To schedule your free appointment or learn more, call 412-281-9773.

Celebrating 30 Years of Service

The Human Services Center CorpThe Human Services Center Corp is celebrating its 30th anniversary with its Second Annual Community Resource Fair on October 18th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 519 Penn Avenue in Turtle Creek. The fair will provide information on job training, housing, vaccinations, senior services, transportation, youth programs, nutrition, physical/mental health and more.

This event is FREE to the public and will have ice cream for the first 300 attendees and other giveaways.

Steelers Update!

This Sunday, September 30, the Steelers have an early bye and do not play. The Steelers will return to action against their cross-state rivals the Philadelphia Eagles on October 7. Go Steelers!

Stay Connected

For updates on this and other legislative initiatives, stay in touch with me on the Internet through my website or on Facebook. Facebook

NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania PEW Foundation Report