Next Steps for First Time Students
Activate your Access Account
When applying to Penn State, undergraduate applicants typically create a MyPennState profile. However, the MyPennState profile provides only limited access to Penn State services.
The Penn State Access Account is your digital identity that grants you permissions to protected online University resources and services. The process will automatically initiate when you attempt to access protected resources and services such as view your Financial Aid Award or accept your admission offer.
Review your College Financing Plan
The College Financing Plan is a standardized financial aid notification designed by the Department of Education. It is a snapshot of your personal aid package, intended to provide prospective students with a consistent way to view costs and aid between universities. Since the Financing Plan is a standardized form and only contains cost and aid estimates, we recommend that you review your Student Aid Summary for additional information. Once you schedule your courses for the upcoming semester, the costs and aid displayed on your Student Aid Summary will update accordingly.
Grant Your Parent/Guardian Delegated Access
Parent access to student information in LionPATH is called Delegated Access. Delegated access gives parents, guardians, or other individuals access to view:
- class schedule
- enrollment verification
- financial aid
- To Do List
Students are responsible for setting up delegated access in LionPATH and for determining which areas the individual can access.
For help in setting up delegated access for students, visit the "Setting Up Delegated Access" online tutorial.
For help on how to use delegated access, visit the "Using Delegated Access" online tutorial.
To log in, access the Guardian Delegation Login page.
When a student grants delegated access, the delegate will need to accept the invitation for delegated access before logging into the account.
Submit your Final High School Transcript to Undergraduate Admissions for Review
Penn State requires students who have accepted their offer of admission to provide documentation that indicates the student's high school completion status. There are several options of how to submit your documentation, visit Undergraduate Admissions for additional information.
Respond to Verification
This will be presented to you in your ‘To Do List’ located on the Home page of your LionPATH account, if you are selected, after you have responded to your offer of admission.
Verification is a federal mandate requiring universities to confirm the accuracy of the information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your student will receive an email from our office, which explains what documentation must be provided if they are selected for verification.
Follow all directions, and respond quickly to this request to avoid a delay in the processing of your student’s aid. Often a parent signature is required on the verification documents.
Please monitor your @psu.edu email and LionPATH accounts. We will reach out to you if there is an issue with your upload or we require additional documentation.
Pennsylvania Residents: Check the Status of Your State Grant
Eligible Pennsylvania residents may receive an email from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) asking for additional information.
Select "Sign-In" or "Create An Account" to check the status of your Pennsylvania State Grant at PHEAA.
Complete Entrance Counseling and a Master Promissory Note (MPN) for Federal Direct Loans
To accept and receive your Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, first-time borrowers must complete both of these steps on studentaid.gov:
- Complete Entrance Counseling
- Sign your Master Promissory Note (MPN)
You may accept, decrease or cancel your Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loan(s); however, we recommend waiting until after you have reviewed your fall semester tuition bill in August.
Complete the Pre-Registration Activity Guide
This will be presented to you in your ‘To Do List’ after you have responded to your offer of admission.
This activity guide includes completing the Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA). The Financial Responsibility Agreement is housed within the activity guide.
Participate in New Student Orientation and Enroll for Classes
All new first-year students to Penn State must participate in New Student Orientation (NSO). At NSO, you will meet with faculty and staff, begin to develop goals for your time at Penn State, learn about campus resources, and schedule courses for your first semester.
Accept, Decline, or Decrease your Financial Aid - This will be turned on in LionPATH for new students after the May 1st decision day
Keep in mind that we typically award for both Fall and Spring together, so you are accepting the total amount for the year. The exceptions would be if you applied for a one semester Graduate PLUS or Private Alternative Loan.
The following types of aid must be accepted in order to be applied to your bill:
- Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Graduate PLUS Loans
- Private Alternative Loans
- University Loans
Federal Work Study does have to be accepted, but DOES NOT appear as a credit on the bill. Federal Work-Study allows you to earn money to help cover non-billable educational expenses by working. Wages are direct-deposited into your checking or savings account every two weeks.
Scholarships, Federal Pell, and PHEAA State grants will be automatically accepted by the system once it is determined that the student is eligible for the award.
Click here for more information about how to accept, decrease, or decline your awards.
Research Additional Financing Strategies
Financial aid typically covers only a portion of your educational costs and for the majority of Penn State students, these costs must be paid by the family using a combination of financing strategies.
Search for Scholarships
All students who are offered admission and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to Penn State are considered for scholarships awarded by the Office of Student Aid. Penn State scholarships are awarded to exemplary students and are highly competitive due to limited funding. You can research additional opportunities on our Scholarship page or through outside scholarship search engines.
Grant Permission for your Title IV Aid to be Applied to your Student Account
If you are a recipient of Federal aid funds, your approval is required to cover charges to your student account (other than tuition, fees, and room and board). To authorize Federal aid funds please follow these steps:
- Student will need to log into LionPATH
- Click on 'My Finances'
- Click on 'My Account'
- Click on 'PERMISSION TO USE FEDERAL AID'
- Follow instructions to submit request
You have the right to rescind your approval by contacting the Bursar's Office. If you rescind your approval, you will not be able to grant permission again for the same semester.
Review 'Information for New Student's on the Office of the Bursar's Website
The Office of the Bursar is responsible for maintaining student accounts pertaining to tuition billing, acceptance fees, charges, payments, posting of financial aid, and refunds of excess funds, when available.
To learn about Authorized Payer Access, the eRefund process, 529 plans, etc. view the Bursar's New Student section.
Grant your Parent/Guardian Authorized Payer Access
Your student can grant Authorized Payers (Parents/third parties) access through their LionPATH account, to enable you to view and pay the Student Account Statement, enroll in the Installment Payment Plan, and access IRS Form 1098-T.
Visit the Granting Authorized Payer Access section of the Bursar's site for details.
Pay your Statement
Fall bills will be generated in August, Spring in December, and Summer in May. Typically they will be generated on the 1st and be due the 22nd. Please view your statement for specific deadlines and payment options or visit the Office of the Bursar for additional information.
If arrangements have not been made to pay your bill by the due date, you will be assessed a 1.5 percent late fee.