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Financial Assistance

What's new? Get the latest early childhood education (ECE) information and resources directly to your inbox.

May 2024

Approval of applications for both CDA Vouchers and Rising STARS Tuition Assistance will be temporarily delayed as available funding is being assessed.

Suggested Financial Assistance Options for Degree Attainment

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) supports degree attainment for early childhood education (ECE) professionals through several programs. At this time, OCDEL would like to recognize the following financial assistance options for degree attainment:

  Rising STARS Tuition Assistance (RSTA) Teacher Education And Compensation Helps Early Childhood® Pennsylvania Scholarship (T.E.A.C.H.) Early Childhood Education Professional Development Organizations (ECE PDOs) Federal Pell Grant Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form
Programs of study eligible to be funded: Director Credential, School Age Professional Credential Associates Degree, Bachelors Degree, PK-4 Cert Level I & II

CDA, AA, BA, credentials that stack into degree programs, can also include apprenticeship.

(entire program, not just ECE courses)

Undergraduate programs of study Any undergraduate or graduate programs of study
Does NOT fund: Degree programs Non-certification Master’s, related degrees, non-degree coursework Graduate programs, credentials that do not stack into degree programs. Graduate programs of study Non-degree coursework
Items covered: Tuition (95%), book reimbursement, facility support Tuition & most fees (95%), book reimbursement, travel stipend, paid release time, compensation (raise and/or bonus) Tuition and additional items; coverage is comprehensive, and based on individual needs. Items covered can include but are not limited to: tutoring, travel, childcare, etc. Amount awarded depends on number and level of degrees previously obtained, financial need, cost of attendance at your IHE, etc. Covers any billable items. Awards depend on income, tax filing status, cost of attendance at your IHE, etc. Covers any billable items.
Will I have to pay it back? No, if student remains in a DHS licensed center for 2 years. No, however an employment commitment is required. No, as long as student remains in ECE Field (any setting serving children birth though 8) in PA for 2 years after completing PDO coursework. No, in most circumstances. Yes. This is a traditional “student loan”.
Annual Maximum up to $8,000 up to 15-18 credits Individually determined. N/A N/A
May be adjusted/reapply on an annual basis: Reapply each semester. No. Reapply annually. Renew application annually. Renew application annually.
Eligibility Requirements

Yes.

View requirements.

Yes.

View requirements.

Pennsylvania resident working 25 hours/week in a DHS licensed program.

Yes.

View requirements.

Yes.

View requirements.

Recipient Priorities? N/A T.E.A.C.H. Scholarships require employer sponsorship; sponsoring employers agree to pay a percentage of tuition/fees (typically 5%), provide paid release time and a raise and/or bonus at the end of each scholarship year. This option may have a recipient priority. N/A N/A
Learn More pakeys.org pacca.org

PASSHE ecepdo.org

PHMC ecepdo.phmc.org

Find Your PDO pakeys.org/pdos

studentaid.gov

studentaid.gov

Contact pakeyvoucherprogram@pakeys.org teachinfo@pacca.org

PASSHE passhe-pdo@ship.edu

PHMC ecepdo@phmc.org

Find Your PDO pakeys.org/pdos

N/A N/A

 

Navigating Financial Assistance

Featuring Colin Day, Director of Communication for The Pennsylvania Key

This introductory video briefly discusses financial assistance options that the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) recommends for early childhood education (ECE) professionals seeking degrees.

A man in black and white surrounded by the words "Navigating Financial Assistance" and a white version of the OCDEL logo.
Last Updated: May 2021

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