Financial Aid Awarding Policies

Financial Aid Awarding Policies

The Financial Aid Package

Financial aid at Mercyhurst is awarded according to financial need, merit, talent, athletic ability or combination of these factors. If a student is eligible for financial assistance based on financial need, the student might receive a combination of gift aid (grants or scholarships that need not be repaid) and self-help aid (loans, which must be repaid, or part-time employment on campus). Any combination of awards is referred to as a student’s financial aid package. Once a financial aid package

has been awarded, a student can review it at any time throughout the year via Self Service. Students are awarded for the official academic year only (fall and spring semesters). If students are interested in receiving federal aid for summer, they must complete a Summer Aid Application and submit it to Student Financial Services two weeks before the end of the summer session for which they are registered. There is no institutional aid available for summer sessions.

Eligibility for federal and state grants, as well as some Mercyhurst scholarships, is based on the information on the FAFSA and the general eligibility requirements of each program. Gift aid is always awarded before self-help aid. If a student has remaining eligibility after gift aid has been awarded, the student’s financial aid package might also include work-study offers and student loans.

If any portion of the financial aid package consists of Federal SEOG, Federal Work- Study, or Subsidized Stafford Loan, total aid (excluding Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS Loan, and Alternative Loans) can never exceed a student’s demonstrated financial need. If a student receives a financial aid offer after the original financial aid package is developed and that new award causes an “over award,” some form of financial aid assistance will be reduced so the total aid does not exceed the student’s demonstrated financial need. In all instances, a student’s total financial aid can never exceed a student’s Cost of Attendance.

Mercyhurst University usually reduces self-help aid (loans and work-study offers) first, and only if necessary, will reduce gift aid (grants and scholarships). If gift aid must be reduced, Mercyhurst grants or scholarships are adjusted before federal, state, or external sources. Also, Mercyhurst grants or scholarships are reduced when   total awards from Mercyhurst exceed a student’s direct costs.  Students will never receive a refund of Mercyhurst grants or scholarships in the form of a payment.

Mercyhurst Scholarships and Grants 

Institutional scholarships and grant programs require that students be enrolled full time and maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA). Most scholarships are renewable for up to eight semesters, assuming a student maintains continuous enrollment (fall and spring semesters only). Students must continue to meet the scholarship criteria as described in communication sent directly to the student with the financial aid award letter. Students must also meet the minimum standards specified in the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy for Financial Aid. Other scholarships may be based on athletic ability or talent. Mercyhurst offers several scholarships and grants based on financial need. Students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually to receive Mercyhurst need-based scholarship and grants. Institutional grants and scholarships are awarded for the official academic semesters only (fall and spring) and does not include summer sessions. Students who are not enrolled for two consecutive semesters (fall and spring semesters only) forfeit their institutional aid and must reapply to the university as a readmitted student; readmitted students generally receive lower institutional aid than those maintaining continuous enrollment.

Note: The following information on the student aid programs is current as of the publication date of this academic catalog. Mercyhurst reserves the right to change or cancel awards because of regulatory changes, revised allocations, or additional information concerning a student’s financial aid eligibility.

Mercyhurst guarantees substitution of funds for neither any portion of the financial aid package, which may be canceled or reduced by government agencies or other sources, nor any portion of the financial aid package declined by the student. Awarding is contingent upon program requirements, student eligibility, and availability of funds. Work-study offers are not guarantees of employment; positions are generally filled on a first-come basis.

In addition to state, federal and private funding sources, Mercyhurst offers scholarships to incoming students based on academic merit, financial need, and athletic and artistic performance to help meet tuition costs. Unless otherwise noted, most Mercyhurst University financial aid is automatically renewable for four years of study from the student’s start date at Mercyhurst, as long as the renewal criteria is met.

Full-time enrollment is required, and a student must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress each year (detailed fully in the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy section). Herrmann, Egan and some other scholarships may have higher GPA renewal requirements. It is a student’s responsibility to know and understand the renewal requirements for each scholarship received.

Carolyn Herrmann Scholarships are awarded to applicants who demonstrate a high degree of academic ability. Named for a Sister of Mercy, Herrmann Scholarships are among our most prestigious awards, ranging from $12,000 to more than $20,000 for some students. High school GPA, SAT or ACT test scores, class rank, and high school coursework are considered in evaluating a student’s qualifications for this scholarship. If students qualify for other merit-related scholarships (e.g.  art, dance, music, band), their Herrmann Scholarship might be reduced. This scholarship is renewable for four years of study. Herrmann Scholarships might be reduced if a student’s GPA falls below 3.0; the award is forfeited in full if a student’s GPA falls below 2.5.

University Awards are awarded to students based on academic achievement     in high school. This scholarship is renewable for four years of study. University scholarships might be reduced if a student’s GPA falls below 2.5; the award is forfeited in full if a student’s GPA falls below 2.0.

President’s Grants are awarded to students who show strong potential as a Mercyhurst University student but are unable to afford the cost of tuition. These scholarships are central to our mission of ensuring Mercyhurst remains an accessible choice for students. Admissions counselors award these scholarships on behalf of Mercyhurst President, Dr. Kathleen Getz. Completion of the FAFSA is required to be considered for this scholarship.

Mercyhurst Grants are a need-based awards based on the completion of the FAFSA form to help students subsidize the higher expenses of the first year (e.g. meal plan requirements). These awards can be reduced by up to one-third each year for up to four years.

Athletic Scholarships are awarded by coaches to students who demonstrate substantial athletic prowess and potential. Applicants being actively recruited by an athletic team should discuss financial aid with the coach. Students must meet NCAA eligibility requirements to qualify for athletic aid. Only merit-based awards can be combined with an athletic scholarship.

Performance Scholarships are awarded by department faculty to music and dance applicants who demonstrate exceptional skill. These awards — starting   at $750 per year — go to exceptional dance (ballet-focused) and music (vocal or instrumental) students. In addition to completing their application, students must also audition to be eligible for these awards. If a student qualifies for other merit-related scholarships (e.g. art, academic), his or her Performance Scholarship might be reduced.

Erie Diocese and Sisters of Mercy Heritage Awards of up to $1,000 are awarded to students enrolling from a Catholic high school (Diocese award) or Mercy-sponsored, co-sponsored, or affiliated high school (Sisters award).

Alumni Legacy Scholarships of up to $1,000 are awarded to applicants who are dependents of a Mercyhurst alumnus or alumna. You must note this on your application for Mercyhurst to qualify for this scholarship.

Rotary Youth Leadership Award Scholarships are available for students who attended and completed the Western PA RYLA Conference and applied to Mercyhurst by March 1.  In addition to applying, applicants also should submit a copy of their RYLA completion certificate to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Students must have at least a 3.5 cumulative high school GPA at the time of admission.

ROTC Room & Meal Plan Scholarships are available from Mercyhurst for students who receive a full ROTC scholarship.  Cadets must complete a Cadet Payment Request (CPR) each semester via The deadline to submit a CPR is three weeks after the add/drop date published in the university catalog. Mercyhurst University offers full room and board scholarships for the first year to recipients of the Advanced Designation three-year Army scholarship. The Mercyhurst ROTC office will notify and work with the Director of Undergraduate Admissions as students become eligible.

Carpe Diem Housing Grants and Supplemental Campus Housing Grants are need-based awards that can be awarded to associate degree or undergraduate certificate-seeking students and those enrolled in undergraduate certificates to subsidize the cost of living on campus.

Traditional Students Internal Transfer Grant

Two-year scholarships are available for traditional-aged students (TR student type) pursuing a Mercyhurst University bachelor’s degree after completion of a Mercyhurst University associates degree program. Please note, the internal transfer scholarship is not applicable to the RN-to-BSN Completion program or the bachelor’s in Health Care Management program.


Award Amount      

3.5 - 4.0

$18,000 per year

3.0 - 3.49

$16,000 per year

2.75 - 2.99

$15,000 per year

2.5 - 2.74

$10,000 per year

Adult Student Internal Transfer Grant

Two-year scholarships are available for adult students (AS student type) pursuing a Mercyhurst University bachelor’s degree after completion of a Mercyhurst University associates degree program. Please note, the internal transfer scholarship is not applicable to the RN-to-BSN Completion program or the bachelor’s in Health Care Management program.


Award Amount      

3.5 - 4.0

$3,600 per year

3.0 - 3.49

$3,000 per year

Mother Catherine McAuley Scholarships may be awarded to an undergraduate students of any age pursuing a certificate or associates degree, or an adult student (AS student type; 24 years of age or older) pursuing a bachelor’s degree. A 2.0 minimum GPA is required for renewal. This scholarship has been named in honor of Mother Catherine McAuley. The heritage of Mercyhurst is traced back to Mother Catherine McAuley, who founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin, Ireland.

Booker T. Washington Aid

Scholarships are awarded to students enrolled full time at the Booker T. Washington Center. $200 per 3-credit course will be granted to each student.

Endowed, Restricted & Foundation Scholarships

There are several grants and scholarships available that have been endowed by an individual or established in memory of someone. There are also numerous restricted and foundation scholarships that have been made available by a company, individual, or organization on an annual basis. Eligibility varies according to the donor’s wishes. Students are informed of the criteria required and requirements for renewal at the time of awarding.

Federal Need-Based Grants

Students must file the FAFSA and meet eligibility requirements.

Federal Pell Grant

Awarded to undergraduate students based on financial need if enrolled and have not yet received a first bachelor’s degree. Students may be enrolled part time or full time to receive a Pell Grant. Dollar amounts awarded depend on the student’s Cost of Attendance, Estimated Family Contribution, total Pell Grants received previously, and if the student plans to attend full time or part time. A student’s EFC is derived from the information provided on the FAFSA.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant 
Undergraduate students are eligible to receive SEOG if they are Pell-eligible, pursuing their first undergraduate degree, and have a zero EFC. Because funding is limited, priority is given to applicants meeting the March 15 FAFSA filing deadline.


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