Completion Scholarship - FAQs

Complete Penn State supports undergraduate students as they work towards completing their first associate's or bachelor's degree at Penn State. Provided below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Complete Penn State program. If you have questions that are not addressed below, please contact the Student Success Center:

The eligibly criteria for both the Complete Penn State program and the "Open Doors" Completion scholarship are provided below. Please keep in mind that scholarship awards are also based on the availability of funding available through the student's college or campuses throughout the academic year. Funding is awarded August through early June, until funds are exhausted.

To be eligible for support through Complete Penn State, a student must be:

  • currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at Penn State
  • one or two semesters away from completing a first associate’s or bachelor’s degree (30 or fewer credits remaining)
  • in good academic standing (2.0 GPA or higher)
  • experiencing a hardship that is complicating degree completion

Additionally, to be eligible for an "Open Doors" Completion Scholarship, a Penn State student must have evidence of the following:

  • a current FAFSA on file (if applicable) — international students may apply
  • documentation that confirms an official timeline to degree completion
  • financial need for educational expenses related to the current academic year
  • record of having accepted all available aid (including direct loans and parent plus loan)  
  • not previously received a maximum Complete Penn State/ "Open Doors" award

Yes, in certain unique situations, students with slightly more than 30 credits remaining can be considered, however, they must be within two or fewer semesters/terms from degree completion/graduation. In such cases, a student's anticipated timeline to graduation must be confirmed by their academic advisor.

Completion scholarships typically offer up to $3,000 for eligible students. Awards are based on demonstrated financial need and the availability of “Open Doors” funding at the student’s home campus or college. Funding is awarded on a rolling basis from August to early June until available funding is exhausted.

No, Complete Penn State scholarships cannot offer financial assistance to students who have account balances from a prior academic year. If you are unsure of your eligibility due to a past-due balance, please submit a completion scholarship application and a Student Success Center will contact you to gather more information.

It depends on a few factors. Students may request support more than once, however, most "Open Doors" completion scholarships award up to a maximum of $3,000 per student. Additional aid for students who have already received the maximum amount may not be possible or it will be identified from other sources (loans and other University grants).

The Complete Penn State program offers a variety of support services aimed at helping students complete their degree requirements and achieve their academic goals. Through Complete Penn State, our Student Success Center Coaches work with University-wide student support services to support your efforts in reaching the graduation “finish line” and beyond.

Your application will be reviewed by a member of the Student Success Center team. We will assess your eligibility for the scholarship and the additional details provided to see if you automatically qualify for the scholarship or if we need to collect additional information from you or your campus/college support team. Students who do not immediately qualify for the scholarship will be asked to schedule an appointment with a member of the Student Success Center staff. If you immediately qualify, the SSC will work with your college or campus to identify available funding to support an "Open Doors" scholarship. Application processing times vary and are typically longer during the start of the semester, before University billing deadlines, and during semester registration periods.

The Student Success Center oversees the program, however, Complete Penn State "Open Doors" completion scholarship awarding is a University-wide collaborative effort. Our scholarships are supported by donors who have often specified their gift to a specific college or campus at the University. Therefore, the Student Success Center helps advocate for eligible students by locating available funding and identifying possible funding sources for eligible students.

There are no University-wide or federal restrictions on awarding Complete Penn State scholarship awards to international students. However, funding may not be available for students who are enrolled at specific colleges or campuses based on the availability of funding each year. All students must have demonstrated financial need in order to be eligible.