Money Matters


Office of the Bursar
103 Shields Building

The Office of the Bursar is responsible for the maintenance of student accounts pertaining to acceptance fees, tuition billing, charges, payments, financial aid disbursements, and refunds of excess funds, when available.


Deposit Information

Your first contact with the Office of the Bursar is when you accept an offer to attend Penn State. In addition to the $130 enrollment fee, all degreeseeking students must have a $100 general deposit on their account. If you will be residing in University housing, there will also be a $100 housing deposit. The two deposits are similar to security deposits and do not offset student account balances or tuition charges. The housing deposit is transferred to you account when you leave University housing, and the general deposit is transferred to your account when you graduate or leave Penn State. These deposits will be used to cover any last-minute charges, and the unused balance will be returned to you.

Access for Parents/Others (spouses, family) to Financial Information Through eLion

You have the option to grant Parents/Others access to specific student information via eLion ( Granting access will allow the Office of the Bursar to discuss financial information with those authorized individuals.

Step 1 – Parents/others who do not have an active Penn State User ID can obtain a Friends of Penn State account. Go to eLion  and select “Parent/Other.” Click on “Create an Account” and follow the instructions to create a Friends of Penn State (FPS) account.

Step 2 – Provide student with the Penn State User ID – either a Friends of Penn State (FPS) account (parents/others) or a Penn State Access account (for employees).

Step 3 – Student logs into eLion and selects “Personal Profile” to grant his or her parent/other access to specific student information such as Bursar Tuition Bills and Taxes 1098-T.

When will I receive a tuition bill?

Approximately six weeks prior to the start of classes, bills will be prepared for students who have a class schedule and an active Penn State Access Account . You will receive notification via your Penn State email account that your tuition bill is available to view/pay or to confirm registration on eLion. Paper bills are not mailed.

The Office of the Bursar, as well as other Penn State departments, will communicate important information through your Penn State email account. You will need to check your Penn State email account on a regular basis.

Bills are prepared in mid-July for fall semester, mid-November for spring semester, and mid-April for summer sessions. Residence hall charges are included on the bill, if applicable. Bills are prepared on a weekly basis through the first ten days of the semester for students scheduling later. 

Completing Registration

The registration process consists of two steps. First, register for specific courses. Second, complete your registration by paying tuition and fees or confirming registration electronically (when all charges will be covered by financial aid). In all cases, action is required to complete registration.

How can students pay the tuition bill?

The eCheck option is a fast and convenient method to pay the tuition bill directly from a personal checking account without extra fees. Credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express) are accepted via eLion. A 2.5% Convenience Fee will be charged for credit card payments made over the web. Credit card payments cannot be accepted via mail, phone, or in person.

If you want to mail a check, a remittance stub may be printed from eLion and mailed with the payment. Your payment must be postmarked by the due date to avoid a $50 Late Fee. Please allow five to seven business days for processing after the payment is received.

Are payment plans available?

Penn State offers a deferred payment plan, which allows you to pay over a period of three months with payments of one-third of the semester charges. Fall semester payment due dates are in August, October, and November. Spring semester due dates are in December, February, and March. A $45 non-refundable fee covers all administrative costs.

Enrolling in the deferred payment plan is easy. When you view the tuition bill, you will be given the option to complete registration using the deferment plan. The tuition bill will list billable costs (tuition, fees, room and meals, if applicable) and the most current known available financial aid. The first one-third of billable costs is payable by the due date of the tuition bill. The payment may be made through eLion by eCheck or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express) or by mailing a check with the payment stub to the Bursar’s Office. The $45 deferred payment fee must be included each semester with the initial payment, as well as payment for any unpaid prior balance.

Tuition Management Systems, a national payment plan provider, also administers an interest-free plan for Penn State. This is a ten-month, pre-payment plan that runs from April through January. Fall semester payments are due April through August; spring semester payments are due September through January. For more information or to enroll, visit or call toll free 1-888-722-4867. The annual plan covers both fall and spring semesters.

What if I have additional student aid?

The Estimated Financial Aid section on your tuition bill reflects the most current known available financial aid. Students with additional scholarships, grants, or loans that are not reflected on the bill should refer to the “Contact Us” section on the Bursar’s Web site to notify us about additional aid not showing on the bill. This would include notifying our office of payment from a College Savings Plan.

Outside Scholarship Information

Many students will receive scholarships from various organizations, agencies and foundations as they graduate from high school. In order for your student’s tuition bill to reflect these outside awards, it is important to send any award letters and/or scholarship checks as early as possible to:
The Pennsylvania State University Outside Scholarships
109 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802

Rapid Refund

For the quickest delivery of a refund, students are encouraged to sign up for RAPID REFUND to electronically deposit the funds into a bank account. Students should log into eLion, select “Financial,” and then “Refund Information.” Students can also choose to have their refund mailed to a permanent or local address. Refunds that are delivered via mail will be delayed. For those students who do not indicate a refund preference, refunds will be mailed to the permanent address at a later date.

Financial Literacy at Penn State

The Office of Financial Literacy at Penn State is located at 100 Outreach Building, University Park, PA 16802. Financial Literacy was created as a collaborative effort between the Office of Student Aid and the Commission for Adult Learners to increase student awareness of and access to financial education resources. The financial literacy program aims to help adult learners acquire financial knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and take effective actions regarding money management. MoneyCounts is a monthly financial literacy series of workshops and webinars about various financial topics of interest. Information and links for registration to the workshops and webinars .

Student Financial Education Center

The Student Financial Education Center (SFEC) offers in-person peer financial education. The center is located at 309 Paterno Library and is open Monday – Friday 12:30 – 4:00 pm. Walk in or by appointment.
“I have benefited greatly from my college experience. I have learned so much about leadership and diversity at Penn State and these life lessons will stay with me after I graduate. Attending college as a full-time student worker, wife, mother and veteran have made this journey challenging. As I approach graduation and the dream becomes a reality, I appreciate the kind support and acknowledgment of my merits as a nontraditional student provided by Adult Learner Programs and Services.”

-Stephanie Vellucci, Veteran Army, Health Policy& Administration
Student Financial Education Center

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