By offering forgiveness for qualifying Penn Highlands’ students for up to $1,000 over three semesters, the Black Bear Begin Again Program offers a pathway for returning students with outstanding balances to return and complete an academic credential (certificate or degree).
To pre-qualify for consideration, interested students must:
- Have not attended Penn Highlands Community College for two or more years.
- Complete both an Application for Admission and the Black Bear Begin Again Program application found at the bottom of this page.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
- If selected, complete an interview process with the selection committee.
If selected for the program, students must maintain eligibility with the following:
- Register for a minimum of six credits each semester of program involvement.
- Limit coursework to only those required for graduation.
- Connect with an advisor at least twice each semester to discuss progress.
- Earn a minimum of a “C” grade in each course (no incomplete grades or student initiative withdrawals will be accepted).
- Maintain a term grade point average of 2.0 or higher each semester.
- Meet all financial aid and account balance requirements.
Things to consider include:
- Students’ past balances will be forgiven over three consecutive terms or at the time of program completion. 25% of the past balance will be forgiven after the first semester, 50% forgiven after the second semester, and 100% of the past balance will be forgiven after the third semester or following achievement of selected credential, whichever occurs first.
- The Black Bear Begin Again Program will only be applied to past student balances of $1,000 or less.
- 10 students will be selected for the Black Bear Begin Again Program each academic year.
- Students returning to Penn Highlands may not be eligible to receive financial aid due to a lack of satisfactory academic progress during their prior enrollment. In these instances, students will be counseled regarding payment plan options for new tuition and fee charges. If the student makes satisfactory academic progress following the first semester in the Black Bear Begin Again Program, financial aid eligibility will be reviewed and may be recalculated.
- Black Bear Begin Again Program students must register for a minimum of six credits each term and a maximum of 18 credits per term (11 credits maximum during the summer terms).
- Students must maintain enrollment in the program to access past balance forgiveness.
- If a student leaves the program due to academic failure or failure to make payment, the student will be removed from the program and will be ineligible to return.