Paying Your Bill: Top Questions Answered

Paying your bill is a critical step that completes your registration as a student. Learn what you can expect and what you can do to take care of your bill-related needs with these common questions and answers from the World Campus Office of the Bursar.

Note that all of these questions and answers are correct through the summer 2016 semester; starting with the fall 2016 semester, the registration and billing process will change and will take place in LionPATH.

Do I need to do anything else after I schedule courses for the semester?

Yes — after you schedule courses, you must pay your bill to complete your registration. Penn State has a two-step registration process. Step one is scheduling courses, and step two is paying your bill.

After you schedule your courses, you will receive your semester bill via your Penn State email account or in the mail (for students in certain programs), and then you can pay the bill or confirm that you’ll be using financial aid. Even if you have a zero balance on your bill, you still need to complete this step. Penn State World Campus will notify you if you schedule courses but do not pay your bill and complete your registration.

Your bill will indicate a due date, and you have until this due date to complete your registration for the summer 2016 semesterIf you do not pay your bill and complete your registration by your bill due date, you may be canceled from your courses.

When can I expect to receive my bill?

Bills are generated beginning in late July for the fall semester, mid-November for the spring semester, and mid-April for the summer semester. You may receive your bill around this time or later, depending on when you schedule courses.

Most students will be notified via email that a bill is available for them to view and pay in eLion, but students in certain programs will receive a bill in the mail after courses begin. Your bill will indicate a due date, after which a late fee may be applied. Find complete details about receiving and paying your bill, including payment options.

Note that summer 2016 billing will still occur in this manner, but billing will be done through LionPATH starting with fall 2016 bills.

What if I have financial aid to cover all or a portion of my bill?

Even if your financial aid covers all of your bill, you must still take action to indicate your use of financial aid to complete your registration for the semester.

The amount of your bill will reflect any portion of your tuition and fees that are not covered by financial aid. After your registration is complete and courses begin, your financial aid will disburse into your student account, and you will be notified via email or mail.

When will I receive my financial aid refund?

If you are due a refund of excess financial aid, your refund will be processed after your aid disburses. Students often receive refunds within the first two weeks after courses begin. You should plan to pay for everything you need to begin your courses, including books and materials, without relying on your refund.

The quickest way to receive your refund is via Penn State’s Rapid Refund Program, which deposits the refund into your bank account. You can enroll in Rapid Refund in eLion, through the summer 2016 semester. Learn more about refunds and enrolling in the Rapid Refund Program.

Note that beginning with the fall 2016 semester, you can enroll in direct deposit in LionPATH.

Will I be charged for courses that I drop?

Beginning with the first day of courses, if you drop below full-time status or below the number of credits you were originally scheduled for, you may be charged a portion of the tuition for courses that you drop, according to Penn State’s Tuition Adjustment Policy.

Tuition adjustments will be determined based on the date when you drop the course. Even if you drop and then add back the same number of credits, you may still be assessed a tuition penalty. Your tuition adjustment will only amount to $0 if you drop and then add the same number of credits on the same day before midnight, Eastern Time.

Note that this information is effective through the summer 2016 semester. The timing and related tuition adjustments for dropping and adding courses will change for fall 2016. Check our Tuition Adjustment Policy for up-to-date information as the fall semester approaches.

Does being a part-time or full-time student affect my bill?

Your bill is calculated based on the number of credits you plan to schedule:

  • 12 credits or more is considered full-time and billed at a flat rate
  • Fewer than 12 credits is considered part-time and billed based on the number of credits scheduled

If the amount of your bill is not what you expected, this may be one reason. To find tuition rates for your program and number of credits, use our tuition estimator.

Feel free to contact us for additional information and assistance:

by World Campus Bursar Office staff