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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I claim a PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan tuition payment?

If you are planning on using Pennsylvania 529 GSP funds, please follow the steps below:

Student Instructions
  1. After you receive an e-mail notification that your billing statement is available, log into your Student Center.
  2. Select "Manage My Account/Make a Payment".
  3. Select "View" or "Download" in the "Your Statements" section.
  4. Print and/or save a copy of the Billing Statement for the account owner to submit with the Payment Authorization Form(PAF)or with an online qualified withdrawal.

The PA 529 GSP payment, as well as any additional personal payment being made by other means, must be received by the statement due date in order to avoid any late fees.

Account owner instructions.

  1. Complete the Payment Authorization Form (PAF) provided by PA 529 GSP or access your account online at to print a PAF or complete a qualified withdrawal online.
  2. If completing a qualified withdrawal online, upload an electronic copy of the billing statement(see #4 above).
  3. If completing a paper PAF, mail or fax both the PAF and the copy of the billing statement to PA 529 GSP.

PA 529 Guaranteed Savings Plan
Processing Center
PO Box 55463
Boston, MA 02205
Fax: 617-559-2452

Please note: Penn State cannot request funds from a PA 529 GSP account on behalf of the account owner. Therefore, please DO NOT mail your PAF to Penn State.

PA 529 GSP mails PAFs in July or early August for the fall semester and in October for the spring semester. Summer PAFs are provided upon individual request. Additionally, a PAF can be obtained online at or by calling 1-800-440-4000.

What if I have a third party paying my Student Account Statement?

I am experiencing difficulty reaching your office by phone. Is there another way that I can ask a question?

Yes, please click on the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page to send an e-mail message. Our staff will respond to inquiries within 1-3 business days.


Can I be reimbursed tuition for a semester if I withdraw due to medical reasons?

Students that withdraw from a semester due to medical reasons can petition the Bursar’s Office for a possible one-time waiver of tuition. Requests for a tuition waiver are not guaranteed. The following documentation is required when submitting an appeal for a waiver of tuition based on medical reasons:

  1. A petition letter from the student requesting an adjustment of tuition and an explanation of the medical circumstances surrounding the withdraw (a specific description of the medical condition and how the student was unable to complete the semester).
  2. A letter from the student’s physician, on office letterhead, outlining the medical diagnosis, dates treated, and prescribed treatment for the medical condition. This letter should include the recommendation of the physician to withdraw from the university.

Petitions should be mailed to 103 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802 to the attention of the Fee Assessor.

Should I receive a discount because my mother/father or spouse is employed at Penn State?

Yes, the employee must submit a "Dependent Grant-In-Aid Form" to the Employee Benefits office to receive the discount. The Dependent Grant-In-Aid online form must be completed for EVERY semester or summer session in which the Grant-In Aid is to be applied for a dependent and/or spouse. This form can be found online at

Once approved by the Employee Benefits office, the staff discount will appear on your tuition bill. The 75% deduction will only be applied to the tuition. The staff discount cannot be applied to room and board charges, Information Technology Fee, Activities Fee, or Facilities Fee.

If you have additional questions, please contact the Employee Benefits office at 814-865-1473.

Why am I being charged the activity and facilities fees if I am a World Campus student?

World Campus students who take courses through other Penn State campuses will be assessed the activity and facilities fee. The non-refundable fees are charged according to the total number of credits in which the student is enrolled immediately prior to the first day of the semester. Adding credits on or after the first day of the semester could result in a corresponding increase of the fees. Dropping credits on or after the first day of the semester will not reduce the fees charged.

Financial Aid

How do I get financial aid?

If you are interested in student aid, contact the Office of Student Aid or the student aid representative at your Penn State Campus.

How do I e-sign my Federal Direct Stafford Master Promissory Note (MPN)?

The Master Promissory Note for the Federal Direct Stafford Loan can be completed online or by contacting the Office of Student Aid. Information for completing this online is available at:

I was told I have an "Entrance Hold" on my loan. What does this mean?

Federal Regulations require the completion of a Loan Entrance Counseling Session prior to the disbursement of your student loan(s). Entrance counseling provides information that will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a loan borrower, as well as other tools to assist you with managing your loans.

A hold is placed until the Loan Entrance Counseling is complete. Please go to the Office of Student Aid website for additional information at:


Why have I not received my refund?

There could be several reasons why your refund has not been processed. Here are some possible reasons:

  1. If a payment was made by personal check, a refund will not be processed for 14 days from receipt of that payment.
  2. If you are not signed up for eRefund, the account information provided may be incorrect. And, if this is the case, you will receive an email notification.
  3. You have not "accepted" your loans/financial aid in LionPATH.
  4. Your financial aid has not disbursed into your account.

How do I enroll in eRefund?

To enroll in eRefund login to Student Center.

Select "Manage My Account/Make a Payment".

Select “Click to enroll in eRefund”, complete the requested information.

After an eRefund has been generated by Penn State to your financial institution, the process may take up to 3-5 business days before it will appear as a credit in your account. Please refer to your financial institution's policy concerning the availability of these funds.

How do I get a refund of the credit balance on my account?

For the quickest delivery of refunds, students should enroll in eRefund.


How can I be reclassified as a Pennsylvania resident for tuition purposes?

Please see for an overview of the process.

Who makes the initial determination of a student's residency status?

The Admissions office determines a student's residency status based on the information provided on each student's application.

What is regarded as a “domicile” for determining residency classification?

Domicile is a person's existing and intended fixed, permanent, and principal place of residence.

Tax Credits

Is the amount of qualified tuition and related expenses the total amount of the tax credit I can claim on my tax return?

Not in all situations. The amount of the tax credit that you may claim will depend on your individual situation. The IRS is providing instructions on the application of the 1098-T information and eligibility requirements for the new tax credits.

Please consult your tax preparer/consultant to determine how the American Opportunity and Lifetime Learning tax credits and the Deduction for Educational Expenses affect you.

What type of circumstance would impact my eligibility to claim an educational tax credit or a deduction for educational expenses?

You may have received nontaxable grants or scholarships, tax-free distributions from an Education IRA, or tax-free employer provided educational assistance that may need to be deducted from qualified expenses to calculate the credit amount.

Can I claim an American Opportunity, or Lifetime Learning tax credit or the Deduction for Higher Educational Expenses for qualified tuition and related expenses paid in advance of when the academic period begins?

Generally, the credit/deduction is available only for payments of qualified tuition and related expenses that cover an academic period beginning in the same calendar year in which the payment was made. An exception, however, allows the taxpayer to claim a tax credit/deduction for payment of qualified tuition and related expenses made during the tax year for the academic period January, February, and March of the following year. Consult your tax preparer/consultant for tax return preparation advice.

Meal Plans

Where can I find information about meal plans and LionCash+?

Please visit the Penn State id+ Web site at for information on both campus meal plans and LionCash+. You may also visit the Housing and Food Services Web site at

For general questions regarding meal plans, please contact For LionCash+ inquiries, please contact


How can I have my insurance company pay my Health Center fees?

University Health Services is now participating with outside insurances. We request that you provide UHS with your insurance information prior to or at your first visit. Please check with your insurance company to verify coverage for UHS services.

Visit for more information.

I need insurance for my student, who do I speak with?

We recommend that you contact the Office of Student Insurance:


How do I request a transcript?

Transcripts may be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar:

Change of Address

How do I change my address with the University?

The permanent or local address may be updated at the Registrar's office - 112 Shields Building, at the student's college dean's office, or on LionPATH.

To update your address on LionPATH:

  1. Log in to Student Center. on LionPATH
  2. Select "Demographic Data" under Personal Information
  3. Select the "Addresses" tab at the top of the page
  4. Select "Edit" to update your address
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