Student Accounts: Friends of Penn State vs. Penn State Access

Hello, welcome back to the HelpDesk. I didn’t expect to see you again so soon. I will be with you in just one moment. I need to finish explaining to this student about the two different types of Penn State accounts.

“Yes sir, that is correct; there is an FPS account, which is a limited account, and then there is the Access Account, which is a full services account. Yes sir, you were using your FPS Account, which is why you are not able to access your Penn State Webmail.  Thank you; have a good day.”

What? You didn’t know about the two types of accounts either? Well, have a seat and let me see if I can explain it to you.

When students start the process to become a Penn State World Campus student, they get an FPS Account (FPS means Friends of Penn State), which gives them the ability to apply for admission online and limited access to some of our systems — including eLion, which allows them to register for courses, and ANGEL.

After a student enrolls in a program and schedules courses, they are given an Access Account. Now this account gives students full access to Penn State systems. Often the Access Account will have the same user ID as the FPS account, but it always has a different password. This new password will allow them a different level of access to our systems.

The password is usually mailed to students via the United States Postal Service. But, once they receive their User ID in their email, they can contact the HelpDesk and we can give them their password over the phone (after verifying some information).

If students continue to use the password they used for their FPS account, they can get into their courses but will be unable to access Penn State’s Webmail system and library resources or gain full access to eLion.

If they log into eLion with their Access Account password rather than their FPS password they will see a vastly different eLion. Instead of the 4-5 links they saw on the left side with their FPS password they will now see 30-40 links. These links are in alphabetical order and they allow a student to add or drop courses, pay bills, request transcripts, and much more.

Well I hope that clears everything up for you. I’m sorry but I have to get back to work now. Stop in again and we can talk some more.

-Jim S.


Differences between Friends of Penn State and Access Accounts:

Friends of Penn State Account

  • Given to prospective students to let them apply for admission online
  • Provides limited access to eLion and ANGEL
  • Does not provide access to certain library resources
  • Does not allow access to Webmail

Penn State Access Account

  • Could be the same user ID as the Friends of Penn State Account (but will use a different password)
  • Provides full access to eLion, Webmail, ANGEL, and many other Penn State resources