Financial Aid Disbursement

After you have completed the steps to finalize your aid and semester classes begin, your financial aid will disburse into your account and be credited towards your tuition bill. Pay special attention to your LionPATH account for any Holds and To Do List items as this may prevent the timely disbursement of your aid.

Monitor your PSU email for messages regarding aid disbursement and refunds.

Disbursement of Federal Direct Loans and the Pell Grant

Per federal regulation, we can begin the disbursement process of federal funds no earlier than 10 days prior to the semester begin date.

  • Summer disbursements will be different in that loan funds will not be disbursed at the beginning of the semester. We will not disburse Federal Direct Loans until closer to the first day of Session II.
  • You will receive your loan disclosures from your Federal Direct Loan Servicer indicating that the semester begin date will be your actual disbursement date, however, this is only an estimated date of disbursement.
  • The process to request Federal Direct Loan funds and disburse them into your student bursar account will take approximately 3-5 business days.
  • Be aware that once the funds disburse, they will no longer show as anticipated aid. But within the same day, you will see the funds posted to your Student Financial Account.

Disbursement of Private Alternative Loans

The disbursement of alternative loans will begin at the same time as the Federal Direct Loans.

  • Keep in mind that with alternative loans there is a 10 day right of rescission period where disbursements are held in order for you to change your mind and cancel the loan.
  • Pay special attention to your loan disclosures to determine the actual disbursement date of your alternative loan funds. Apply early to prevent any delays. We cannot move the disbursement date of your loan.

Disbursement of other aid sources

Other aid sources such as state grants and outside scholarships will disburse into your bursar account when the funding has been received by Penn State. Please check with the relevant outside agency to determine an estimated disbursement date of your funds.

If you still owe on your bill

It is best not to wait until the Federal loans disburse to make payment arrangements for the remaining balance on your bill as this may result in a late fee. Instead, take the full balance owed minus the net amount of your expected financial aid and pay the remainder before the due date. Your Account Statement will not update until a new one is generated on the first of the next month.

If you are due a refund

If you have enrolled in eRefund:

  • 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.
  • Those enrolled in eRefund can expect their refunds on or around the first day of classes.
  • If you need to pay rent, buy books, etc., then you will want to be sure to have other funding available.

If you choose to have a check mailed to you or the refund is being directed to a parent based on the disbursement of a PLUS loan:

  • Refunds that are delivered by mail will be delayed.
  • For students who do not indicate a refund preference, refunds will be mailed to the permanent address at a later time.

If your refund is delayed, you have additional options:

Book Charges

All registered students are eligible to purchase books at a PSU bookstore/PSU Bookstore online and add the bookstore charges to their Penn State student account. Visit the PSU Bookstore Purchases website for information.

Emergency Short-term Loans

Short term loans are available at your campus aid office for students who have started their classes and are expecting a refund to pay for living expenses.