New Student Information
We hope that the following information will facilitate your transition to college life:
- Accept Offer to Penn State
- Open a Bank Account
- Sign up for eRefund
- Grant Access to your Student Account
- Paying Your Student Account Statement (bill)
- College Saving Plans (529 Plans)
- External Awards
Accepting your Offer
- To accept your offer of admission and pay your acceptance fees, login to your MyPennState account.
- Your first contact with the Office of the Bursar will be after you accept your offer to attend Penn State.
- In addition to the enrollment fee, all degree-seeking undergraduate students must pay a General Deposit.
- If you will be residing in University housing, you will also have to pay a Housing Deposit.
- The Housing Deposit is applied to the student's first Room and Board charge and the General Deposit is applied to the student's first tuition charge.
In New Student Orientation (NSO), obtain a PSU ID+ Card, and activate your Access Account
Required Placement Tests
- In general, if you receive an offer of admission from the University, you will receive information about NSO two to three weeks after you accept this offer.
- Beginning in March, if you have accepted your offer of admission, you will receive notification by mail to take your required placement tests online. You will be given a deadline by which you MUST take these tests online in order to have the results scored, printed, and ready for your New Student Orientation program.
- The tests take about three hours or less.
Attend New Student Orientation
- After you complete testing and your testing materials have been processed, you will be scheduled to participate in New Student Orientation activities at your campus of admission.
- This takes place on most campuses in May or June and possible dates for which you could be scheduled run through July or August (depending on your campus of admission). You are typically notified of the date for which you are scheduled to participate in this program two weeks to one month prior to its occurrence. Additional details about these programs are included with the notification of your program date.
- These details about New Student Orientation will be sent to you starting in the middle of April, but you will not be scheduled for a program or sent information about it until after you have completed your required placement tests.
Please note: The information above concerning NSO is general in nature and may not pertain to every student. Specific information of a more detailed nature will be mailed to each student individually at the appropriate time. For more information, visit the NSO website at: orientation.psu.edu.
To watch our NSO video, click here
- If you attended NSO, you should already have your Penn State id+ Card. If you do not have your card, please visit idcard.psu.edu/getting-your-id-card for instructions on how to obtain one.
- If you attended NSO, you should already have your Access Account. If not, please visit http://identity.psu.edu/services/authentication-services/access-accounts// for instructions on activating your Access Account.
Penn State E-mail Account
- As a new student, you will receive a Penn State e-mail account. Important information from the Office of the Bursar, as well as other departments, will be communicated to you via e-mail.
If you don't already have a bank account, open one at PNC Bank
- With a PNC Bank checking account, you can link your account to your id+ card so you can also use it as a PNC Bank ATM card. You'll only need one card to carry around campus.
- Visit idcard.psu.edu/banking for information on PNC services with id+ and opening your PNC account.
Instructions for Signing up for eRefund
eRefund is a fast and convenient way to receive your student refund. To enroll in eRefund:
- Log in to LionPATH
- Click on "Manage my Account/Make a Payment"
- Select "Click to enroll in eRefund"
- Complete the requested information
Authorized Payer Access
You can grant access to Authorized Payers, through your Student Center in LionPATH, to enable them to view and pay the Student Account Statement, enroll in the Installment Payment Plan, and access IRS 1098-T. After you grant access, a user ID, temporary password, and login link will be sent to the Authorized Payer. Please note this is in ADDITION to the delegated access you may have ALREADY granted via LionPATH for academic information. To grant Authorized Payer access, please follow these steps:
- Student will need to log in to their Student Center on LionPATH
- Click on "Manage My Account/Make a Payment"
- Select "Add New" under Authorized Payer
Please note that all fields marked with a red asterisk are mandatory and must be filled in. We recommend that the Authorized Payer's email address be entered in the Authorized User field.
When will I get a Tuition Statement?
- You will receive notification via your Penn State e-mail account that your Student Account Statement is available to view/pay on LionPATH. Authorized Payers will also be notified through e-mail when the Student Account Statement is available.
- Student Account Statements are prepared on a monthly basis. Billing begins in early august for fall semester and early December for spring semester, with a due date on the 22nd of the month. However, this may vary slightly depending on when enrollment in classes occurs. Residence hall charges are included, if applicable.
- More billing information is available at: Paying your Statement.
What if my financial aid is not showing on my Student Account Statement?
- The "Anticipated Student Financial Aid Detail" section on your Student Account Statement shows your current known available aid. If you have additional scholarships, grants, or loans, please refer to Financial Aid and Your Bill for information . The Student Account Statement on LionPATH will reflect current information available at the time the statement is prepared.
How can I pay my Student Account Statement?
- Electronic payment options are available on LionPATH. The eCheck option is a fast and convenient method to pay your Student Account Statement directly from a personal checking account. There is no charge to pay by eCheck. You may also pay by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express). A 1.5% Service Fee will be charged for credit card payments made over the Web. We cannot accept credit card payments by mail, phone or in person.
- If you wish to mail a check, you may print a remittance stub from LionPATH and mail it with your payment to Penn State. Your payment must be postmarked by the due date on your bill to avoid a 1.5 % Late Payment Fee on the total outstanding balance. Please allow time for processing (5-7 days).
Tax-advantaged savings plans
Many financial advisors agree that 529 plans are one of the best ways for families to save for college. Many families across the country are finding that using a college savings plan to pay for college makes more sense than ever. All 50 states now offer these college savings plans.
The specific requirements for establishing and withdrawing from a plan will vary by state, so please check with your state or visit www.savingforcollege.com for links to information for all the state plans.
Pay for Current Semester Expenses: Contributions into a PA 529 account are deductible from Pennsylvania taxable income (within limits). By putting funds that a family intends to use to pay for even current semester expenses into a PA 529 account and then paying qualified expenses from the PA 529, a family can save 3.07% (the current PA income tax rate) on their expenses. There is no time limit to qualify for a Pennsylvania tax deduction; however, please keep in mind that the processing period for contributions and withdrawals may take a few weeks. Contributions of up to $14,000 per beneficiary per year (up to $28,000 per couple) are deductible from Pennsylvania income tax. For more information about the PA 529 plan, please call 800-440-4000.
If you are receiving a scholarship
Organizations, agencies and donors offer scholarship opportunities to students who demonstrate scholastic merit or meet other specific eligibility criteria. The entity awarding the scholarship, not Penn State, is responsible for selecting the candidate and determining the value of the award.
For more information on outside scholarships, click here.