Types of Financial Aid

At Slippery Rock University, there are several types of financial aid available to assist eligible students in financing their education. Financial aid can be a combination of scholarships, grants, loans, and work study employment.

There are two basic types of financial aid—gift aid and self-help aid. Gift aid, such as student grants and scholarships, does not need to be repaid, while self-help aid comes in the form of student loans or employment. All types of financial aid can help students pay for their Slippery Rock education.

College Grants

College grants are a form of gift aid that is often based on student need and does not need to be repaid. The funds typically come from the federal or state government. To qualify for grants, students need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Grants that are offered in Slippery Rock financial aid packages can include a selection of the following: 

  • Federal Pell Grants - for degree-seeking undergraduate students 
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant - for students with exceptional financial need 
  • TEACH Grants - for students intending to teach in a school serving low-income students. This federal grant comes with a number of important stipulations that students must follow to be eligible. 
  • State Grants - awarded by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency using the FAFSA for students attending school in PA or who have permanent residency in PA. Students not from Pennsylvania should check their state’s grants for students. 

For more detailed information about need-based student grants, view SRU’s resource page on grant aid.


Another type of student financial aid that does not have to be repaid is scholarships. Eligibility is based on a number of factors including financial need, merit, and SRU major/program. For comprehensive information about student scholarship criteria or deadlines, please view our Scholarships page. 

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships also maintains a list of outside scholarships for our students’ convenience as well as a helpful scholarship list for students with disabilities

First-Year Student Scholarships 

To determine first-year scholarship awards, Slippery Rock often uses information from a first-year student’s application, FAFSA, and other financial aid information. First-year student scholarships specific to SRU consist of: 

  • Freshman Donor Scholarships, including alumni-related awards
  • Honor and Service Program Scholarships
  • Music and Art Department awards based on student auditions 
  • Athletic Scholarships, which must be discussed with the team coach 

Returning Student Scholarships 

Returning Slippery Rock students should still seek out scholarship opportunities after their first year. We recommend that current students continue to fill out their FAFSA each year. In addition, students should review the list of SRU Alumni Association Scholarships  as well as check for departmental scholarships related to their particular major.

If students are interested in Distinguished Scholarships and Fellowship Programs, they should contact the Office of Career Education and Development for assistance. 

Transfer & Graduate Scholarships 

Slippery Rock University does offer transfer scholarships.  For further details, please review the information provided on the transfer scholarship page.

Graduate scholarships at SRU are usually awarded by the department or program. Other graduate student scholarship resources include the SRU Alumni Association and those available through outside organizations.  For further details, please review the information provided on the graduate scholarship page .

Work Study and Student Loans

Slippery Rock offers federal work study, community service work study (at various campus centers and offices,) and SRU-funded work study programs. Work study positions are intended for undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help with educational expenses. More detailed information about SRU’s work study offerings is available. 

Loans must be repaid by the student so it is recommended that students borrow the minimal amount to cover essential educational expenses. In their financial aid packages, SRU offers a variety of federal loans including Direct Loans, Direct Parent Plus Loans, Direct Graduate Loans, and Perkins Loans. 

Alternative Private Education Loans offered by banks and credits unions can bridge the gap between program cost and financial aid. Since these are private loans not guaranteed by the federal government, it is generally best to consider other funding sources like grants and federal loans including Title IV programs first. For detailed information about student loans, please view the SRU Loan resource page.

Earn an affordable degree at Slippery Rock University! 

To learn more about student funding options and types of financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. View the Financial Aid Terms and Conditions to better understand SRU Financial Aid awards and students’ legal obligations. 

For further questions, reach out to Slippery Rock’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships or request information from Admissions.