PhilaU Students Compete in the Philadelphia Design Challenge

Here’s another wonderful blog post from Casey Dougan.  Thanks Casey!

On Tuesday February 19th, I had an amazing opportunity to work with 120 Philadelphia area students for the third annual Philadelphia Design Challenge.  The challenge was a collaborative effort between Temple University, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia University, and various local high schools to tackle the citywide problem of “Broad Access.”

Through implementing the design process, we set out to identify opportunities and discover creative ways to approach them. We explored the city to observe the areas of North Philly, South Philly, and Germantown and then met with panels of experts such as city planners, community group leaders, and local business people to help us better understand the spaces.

On Tuesday, we split into groups and came together at Temple University to combine our research and observations. I was placed in a group with two Temple University MBA students, an industrial design junior from The University of the Arts, and a junior in high school. Together, we identified underdeveloped space and gentrification as the issue to tackle and spent the day researching, brainstorming, prototyping, and modeling our system to address it. We decided to target specific neighborhoods and create an easily accessible website and storefront to provide small business information about demographics, loans, government subsidies, and partnerships available to entrepreneurs who want to create business in the area.

In the end our idea did not win the challenge, but I learned a lot about collaboration and enjoyed the opportunity to use the skills I have learned in the Design, Engineering and Commerce Program here at PhilaU in the real world.

Casey Dougan
Class of 2015

Show Me the Money!

Have you filed the FAFSA yet? If not, get started this weekend! In order for Philadelphia University to consider you for additional scholarships and grants, you must first be accepted to the university and you must file the FAFSA. Here are some tips and pointers from Greg Potts, PhilaU’s Director of Admissions. If you have any questions about filing the FAFSA, please email Financial Aid.

Congratulations on your acceptance!  Now comes the least glamorous part of the college selection process, but what this time of year lacks in fun and glamor, it makes up for in importance.  Financial Aid season is upon us!

You have probably spent hours on the internet looking at college websites, toured several campuses, met students and faculty members, and sampled the good and the bad offerings of campus dining—only good at PhilaU though!  This time of year is critical in determining your ability to afford the school that is the perfect fit for your daughter or son.

It is important to start your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) early.  The sooner you submit the FAFSA, the sooner colleges will, “show you the money!”  You will have time to correct any mistakes that you make if you file before your taxes are complete.

Here are a few quick reminders:

The FAFSA has the word “free” in it, so make sure you visit to complete your FAFSA.  Do not use a .com site.  If the site wants to charge you to file, leave fast.

Over 80% of the FAFSA answers can be found on the 1040 form.  So, you should file or estimate your taxes before starting the FAFSA.

Don’t think you will qualify—file anyway.  Even if you only receive Federal Student Loans, these loans often carry lower interest rates than private loans.

Don’t forget to add PhilaU as a FAFSA recipient.  Philadelphia University’s school code is 003354.


Here is a list of materials that will help you complete the FAFSA:

Student’s Social Security Number (can be found on Social Security card)

Student’s driver’s license (if any)

Both parent(s) and student’s W-2 forms for the previous year and other records of money earned

Both parent(s) and student’s (and student’s spouse’s, if applicable) most recent Federal Income Tax Return – IRS Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040Telefile, foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia

Both parent(s) and student’s current bank statements

Both parent(s) and student’s current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records, stock, bond, and other investment records

Documentation that the student is a U.S. permanent resident or other eligible noncitizen

Click here to review a list of common mistakes made while completing the FAFSA

Happy number crunching!

Greg Potts
Director of Admissions