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Understanding your Estimated Financial Aid Budget

This guide explains how to read your financial aid package listed on the Award Summary in LionPATH.

Financial Aid Budget

The Estimated Financial Aid Budget provides a breakdown of all expenses to attend Penn State. View your Estimated Financial Aid Budget by clicking on:

  1. View Financial Aid
  2. Select Aid Year to View 
  3. Your Budget will be listed as "Estimated Billable Expenses" and " Estimated Non-Billable Expenses" and the amount that you can still borrow or cover with additional aid is totaled under "Financing Strategies"

 Award Summary with Budget Information Highlighted

Estimated Billable and Non-Billable Expenses

Estimated billable educational expenses are based on full-time enrollment, the campus you will attend, your living arrangements, and whether you are an in-state or out-of-state student. They include:

  • tuition
  • fees
  • housing and food (if you are living on campus)


You may also need to account for estimated non-billable expenses such as:

  • books and supplies
  • transportation
  • miscellaneous expenses (laundry and personal care items)
  • food and housing (if you live off campus)

Final tuition and fees are set annually in July by the Penn State Board of Trustees.


Financial Planning

When making the decision of whether or not you will attend Penn State, it is important to determine how you will pay for your education costs not only for the first year, but for all four years, by looking at both the billable and non-billable educational expenses you will incur.

You can control the non-billable expenses to some degree by making smart spending choices. You will be more likely to succeed at Penn State if you are well prepared, both financially and academically.

Using your Award Summary, subtract the estimated amount of student aid from your estimated costs to calculate the amount you can expect to pay—consider your cost of attendance, including billable and non-billable expenses.

The shopping sheet, a standardized award letter designed by the federal government, is also available for your use when comparing financial aid packages and costs between universities. If you are admitted for summer, you should note that your summer costs and aid are included on your Award Summary, but they are not included on your shopping sheet.

Know your rights and responsibilities. As a student financial aid recipient, it is your responsibility to know and comply with the rules governing the aid you receive. Be sure to read your rights and responsibilities and maintain satisfactory academic progress to remain eligible for aid.

Monitor your Penn State email account. Most communications from the University will be sent to your Penn State email account. Copies of messages will also be located in your Communications Center in LionPATH. You can link to it from your LionPATH Home page:

Link to Communications Center from LionPATH. Displays on the front page of LionPATH.

Next Steps

After you have paid your admission fees, review:

Next Steps for Students

Next Steps for Parents

Penn State Federal School Code











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Money Manager


Loan Repayment