Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)

Students who intend to use TAA funding to complete a Penn State program will need to follow specific steps and processes unique to TAA. The World Campus TAA support team will be in contact with you to help you navigate these processes. You can reach the TAA support team at 814-865-1146 or [email protected].

Please review the following information for more details.

Undergraduate students eligible for TAA funding can have their application fee waived. To request an application fee waiver for an undergraduate degree program, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Undergraduate Admission Application online up to the point of the application fee submittal. Do not hit submit or pay the fee. Just save your changes and log out.
  2. Write down your User ID and password for the MyPennState portal. You will need them later to check your application status and to accept your offer of admission.
  3. Request a fee waiver by emailing the TAA support team at [email protected] with the following information:

TAA Application Fee Waiver

Body of Email: 
Full Name 
9-Digit Penn State ID (if known) 
Date of Birth 
Home Address

Your fee waiver will be processed within 24–48 business hours after it is received, and you will receive an email confirmation. At that time, you will be able to log in to your application, review it for accuracy, and submit it without paying the fee.

Students expecting to use TAA funding for a graduate program must pay the application fee and request reimbursement for it once they receive their final funding approval. To request an application fee reimbursement, complete the following steps:

  1. Pay the application fee when submitting your application and save your itemized receipt.
  2. Once your TAA funding is approved, submit your receipt for reimbursement to the Penn State World Campus Bursar Office in one of the following ways:

Penn State World Campus Bursar Office 
121 Outreach Building
University Park, PA 16802

The Bursar Office will reimburse you within two weeks of receiving the receipt.

TAA–funded students may be eligible for financial aid in the form of grants and loans. You're encouraged to accept grants (which do not require repayment), but not loans (which would have to be repaid later), because TAA funds will be paying for all your education-related expenses.

If you have special circumstances that warrant the use of loans, please consult with a member of our financial aid team prior to accepting any loans. Contact the Financial Aid Office at 814-867-4244 or [email protected].

To determine your financial aid eligibility, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • The initial FAFSA submission will require information from your tax return for a specified calendar year. If your job loss affected your income after the reported tax year, please contact our Financial Aid Office to request a Special Circumstance Evaluation to accurately reflect your current financial situation.
  • The FAFSA needs to be completed each academic year.

You may be eligible for a federal Pell Grant or a PHEAA Grant (for PA residents only). The funds for each of these grants are managed in different ways.

Federal Pell Grant

  • If you are eligible for the Pell Grant, it will be automatically posted on your Financial Aid Award Summary.
  • Money awarded will be refunded to you.

PHEAA Grant (for PA residents only)

  • If you receive a PHEAA grant, it must be applied to your tuition bill and deducted from the amount billed under TAA. You should not have any of it refunded to you.
  • Because of the complexities involved with reconciling the TAA and PHEAA funding, it is in your best interest to inform Penn State World Campus by emailing [email protected] if you applied for and were found eligible for a PHEAA grant. Otherwise, that money may be refunded directly to you, and then you will be responsible for paying it back to Penn State.

Students seeking TAA funding approval will work with their academic advisers to develop an individualized Academic Plan. This plan will serve as the basis for the specific information required for the final approval.

It is important that you select your courses carefully because once your TAA funding is approved, the courses listed in your Academic Plan will become your TAA–approved Course List. This means that only courses from this list will be paid for with TAA funds.

Your Academic Plan needs to address these six points:

  1. Accounts for all the courses and credits you will need to complete at Penn State
  2. Takes into account all the courses being evaluated for transfer (if you are transferring in courses), but uses only courses that have been approved for transfer to Penn State at this time
  3. Lists the courses you plan to take each semester
  4. Maintains full-time enrollment:
    • Undergraduate Students: at least 12 credits in fall and spring, and 6–9 credits in the summer semesters
    • Graduate Students: at least 9 credits in fall and spring, and 6 credits in the summer semesters
  5. Can be completed within allowed time frame of six or eight semesters — check with your Career Link worker if uncertain of your time frame
  6. Includes appropriate math course(s) based on the results of the ALEKS math assessment, if required (for undergraduate students only)

TAA–funded students can use specific book vouchers that will be provided once the final TAA funding approval is received.

When your book voucher is ready, Barnes and Noble College (BNC) will send a notice to your Penn State email account with detailed instructions on how to place your book order.

  • Your book voucher will include a specific amount of money available to you each semester based on the number of credits you registered for. You'll see this amount at checkout.
  • The voucher will have an expiration date that will be listed in the email.

Which Course Materials to Purchase

  • You will be able to purchase only "required" books/materials for each course.
  • Optional books/materials are not covered through your trade benefits and will not be available for purchase with this voucher. However, if you feel that you have special circumstances that need to be considered, please let us know.
  • You are expected to select the most economical, high-quality book options available. For instance, you'll need to look for used books in "like new" condition when that option is available. You can select any options available, including print or digital options. Please note that Marketplace Sellers options typically have new and used books for a lower price.

What Shipping Option to Use

  • When selecting shipping options, you must use the most economical and reasonable method available. The expedited options, up to 2nd day air, would be approved only in the week prior to the start of the semester.

Materials Not Available through Barnes and Noble College (BNC)

  • You must purchase any required materials that are not available through BNC yourself and then submit your itemized receipts to the Penn State World Campus Bursar Office for reimbursement.
  • Your receipts can be submitted in one of the following ways:

Penn State World Campus Bursar Office 
121 Outreach Building 
University Park, PA 16802

The Bursar Office will reimburse you within two weeks of receiving the receipts.

As a TAA–funded student, you have an important role in ensuring that accurate information is submitted on your behalf. Here is how this process will work:

  • We will be using your activity in Canvas (learning management system) as the basis for reporting your participation/attendance.
  • We expect that you will log in to Canvas at least once a week for most of your courses.
  • If we do not see Canvas activity from you in any given week, we will reach out to you to find out what you were doing during that week "offline" to participate in your courses.
  • If we contact you, you must respond to us with the relevant information within 24–48 hours. If we do not hear from you by the end of the week in which we contacted you, you'll be considered absent for the week in question.

If you will be receiving Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) while enrolled in a TAA–approved program, you will most likely continue to submit your regular reports directly to the Unemployment Office as instructed by them. This will be in addition to the weekly attendance reporting described above.

All recipients of TAA funding will be required to complete Benchmark Progress Reports as directed by their TAA case managers. Review the information on professional roles if you have additional questions.

Your TAA case manager at a CareerLink (or another agency outside PA) will be providing you with a Training Benchmark Progress Report Form that must be completed and returned to them every 1–2 months (depending on your state of residence).

Undergraduate student forms will be completed by the assigned academic advisers and returned to the students. Students must then submit the forms to their TAA case managers.

Graduate student forms will be completed by the TAA Support Team.

Provide Benchmark forms to your adviser/TAA Support Team about two weeks prior to the submission deadline. In addition, please make sure that all the information at the top of the form, especially program start and end dates, is filled out correctly. You should be prepared to talk with your adviser around this time to discuss your progress, if you have not done so recently.

Your TAA case manager, your academic adviser, and the Penn State World Campus TAA Support Team will all have roles in facilitating your education using TAA funding.

Your TAA case manager at the CareerLink (or another agency outside of PA) monitors your continued eligibility for TAA funding based on state and federal requirements.

Your academic adviser is your main point of contact for any Penn State academic questions or concerns. Advisers are available to provide guidance regarding course selections, assist you in dealing with any academic challenges, and help you stay on track to your degree completion. They will be filling out your Benchmark forms, so it is important that you check in with your adviser at least once per semester to discuss your progress in the current semester and to confirm your course selections for the following semester.

The Penn State World Campus TAA Support Team helps you obtain and maintain your TAA funding for your selected Penn State program. They serve as a resource for you for questions related to the intersection of Penn State processes and TAA rules and requirements. They also serve as main points of contact for TAA–related entities (CareerLinks, State Departments of Labor, etc.) outside of Penn State. In that role, they oversee all the reporting from Penn State to those entities, including weekly attendance submission.

You are responsible for making satisfactory academic progress (cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher) in order to maintain your funding as well as enrollment with Penn State. Remember that you have a variety of supportive resources available to you at Penn State World Campus in addition to the continued access to New Student Orientation (NSO 100) for your first year. Please use these resources as questions and needs arise.

If you begin to struggle in a course, please reach out to the course instructor and your academic adviser for assistance as soon as possible. It is much easier to address challenges before they accumulate over time and jeopardize your ability to successfully complete a course. The Penn State World Campus TAA Support Team needs to be informed of these situations and can serve as an additional support resource.

Repeating a Course

TAA funds will pay for each course only once. If you fail a course and need to repeat it, you have two options:

  1. Take it again at your own expense in a later semester.
  2. Add the course you need to repeat on top of 12 planned credits (that are covered by a flat fee) in a later semester. This will not incur additional cost.

If there is a significant change in your circumstances (starting full-time work, unexpected health issues, etc.) preventing you from continuing with your program, you must inform the TAA Support Team promptly. If, after discussing your options, you choose to terminate your participation in the TAA–funded program, you must withdraw from Penn State within 48 hours of making this decision in accordance with instructions listed on the withdrawal form.

You must consult with your assigned academic adviser at least once each semester to discuss progress in your courses and program and confirm course selections for the next semester. Your adviser will complete your Training Benchmark Progress Report forms required by your TAA case manager. Your adviser will also be your main point of contact regarding any academic questions or concerns.

Requesting Entrance to Major

Students starting in a temporary status need to request the change of major in LionPATH as soon as the Entrance to Major requirements are met.

If your program requires an internship, we recommend that you start thinking about it early. If your program does not provide an internship preparation course, you can take the following steps:

Three semesters before planning to start an internship:

  • Read about internship requirements and the approval process
  • Contact the department internship coordinator to address any questions or get ideas
  • Explore resources available through Penn State World Campus Career Services

Two semesters before planning to start an internship:

  • Schedule an appointment with Penn State Word Campus Career Counselors to discuss your plan for securing an internship, discuss any struggles you are having, or focus on refining your résumé or interviewing skills

Our graduation information can help you prepare for this milestone. You'll need to indicate your intent to graduate at the beginning of your last semester. Following that, you should communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor(s). This will alert your instructor(s) of the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines.

You are welcome to attend the Commencement Ceremony with all other Penn State students graduating at that time. You will also be invited to the celebration hosted specifically for Penn State World Campus students.