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Parents - Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

Yes. The Registrar's office publishes the University's official academic calendar.

Parents and students may obtain information concerning financial aid through the Student Aid website, calling 814-865-6301 or writing to, The Office of Student Aid, The Pennsylvania State University, 314 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802.

Questions concerning a student's bill, refund or payments are referred to the Bursar's Office. You may contact them at 814-865-6528, accessing the Bursar's website or writing to, Bursar's Office, The Pennsylvania State University, 103 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802.

The Housing Assignment Office is responsible for all on-campus housing. They may be contacted at 814-865-7501 or writing to, The Assignment Office, The Pennsylvania State University, 201 Johnston Commons, University Park, PA 16802.

It's important to understand that the semester doesn't end with the last day of classes. Final exams are offered the week following the end of classes during fall and spring semesters. The Academic Calendar shows the final exam dates for each semester. Although not all courses offer comprehensive final exams during this week, your student should not make plans to leave campus until he knows exactly when his final exams are scheduled.

For University Park students, the final exam schedule is published at the beginning of the fifth week of the semester. Students will be able to view their final exam schedule in LionPATH and, if necessary, resolve any conflicts at that time. Once the conflicts have been resolved, their final exam schedule will be finalized and they can make arrangements to return home.

Please review Final Exams for more information.

The federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 identifies the rights of students and their families with respect to student educational records kept by institutions. As part of the requirements of FERPA, the University has a Policy on Confidentiality of Student Records (policy AD-11). The University has also developed related policies that concentrate on the use of institutional data (policy AD-96) and computer and network security (policy AD-95).

When the student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution, regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student. This means that parents may not obtain any of their student's education records without the written consent of the student.

Degree Progress

The Penn State Degree Audit Report is a computer-generated report that matches the degree requirements of an undergraduate degree program with a student's course work taken. The audit identifies those graduation requirements completed as well as those requirements needing completion prior to graduation. The purpose of the audit report is to provide each student and his/her adviser with a degree progress monitoring tool to assist in academic planning and appropriate course scheduling each semester. Students can obtain an audit of their current major or explore other majors by seeing how their completed course work matches with the requirements of other majors.

Degree audits can be obtained from:

Graduation

You may instruct your son or daughter to access the "Apply for Graduation" link within the My Academics page in the LionPATH Student Center, or to contact their academic college, the Graduate School for graduate students, or the Registrar's office.

The schedule of commencement ceremonies at University Park is prepared approximately one year in advance. For information on ceremonies at locations other than University Park, contact the Registrar's office at that location.

Students should contact the Penn State Bookstore at 814-863-3558 or 814-863-3589, to order their caps and gowns, and to order their personalized announcements.

There is no limit on the number of guests that may attend the graduation ceremony. Tickets are not required.

Ceremonies average one and one-half to two hours in length.

Diplomas for doctoral candidates and undergraduate college marshals will be distributed at the ceremony. Diplomas for all other approved candidates will be mailed approximately four weeks after the commencement ceremony to their permanent residence or LionPATH diploma mailing address.

Grades and Transcripts

Students have access to their semester grades in LionPATH.

Penn State's policy on Confidentiality of Student Records is designed to comply with the 1974 federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). This federal law prohibits disclosure of student records information without prior consent of the student. Through LionPATH, students may grant delegate access for their parent to view grades as follows:

  1. The student must grant their parent delegated access in LionPATH by selecting "Main Menu > Self Service > Student Delegation > Guardian Options" in the breadcrumbs menu navigation and following the instructions to grant delegated access to the Grades function.
  2. Delegates will be notified via email that they have been granted delegated access in LionPATH. [Note: The email will be sent the email address the student entered during the setup of delegated access.]
  3. Follow the instructions provided in the email to setup yur LionPATH login username and password.
  4. Once logged into LionPATH, you can access your student's grades by selecting "Main Menu > Self Service > Enrollment > View My Grades" in the breadcrumbs menu navigation

Penn State policy on Confidentiality of Student Records is designed to comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). This federal law prohibits disclosure of student records information to a third party without written consent from the student.

You may make a request using the Third-Party portal by visiting the Transcripts section on our website. Select "Parents" and upload a signed consent from your student.

No, transcripts are not faxed for several reasons:

  • Official transcripts are printed on safety paper to prevent tampering. The fax process would eliminate this security measure.
  • The recipient cannot be assured from where the faxed transcript originated, therefore there is no way to authenticate the transcript received.
  • We do offer special services when requesting a transcript; including accepting fax requests, and next business day delivery (FedEx). Currently enrolled students may also request an official transcript on the web.

Registration

Students are considered fully registered when they enroll in classes.

No. Each student is responsible for their own registration.

The procedure your son or daughter will use is academic withdrawal. Undergraduate students may initiate a withdrawal by completing a Withdrawal Form. Graduate students must contact the Graduate School.

If your son or daughter has made this decision prior to paying the semester bill and before classes begin, he/she may simply drop all courses for the semester through LionPATH. However, once classes begin for the semester, your student must contact the campus Registrar; or send a letter to the Office of the University Registrar, Enrollment Services, 112 Shields Building, University Park, PA 16802; or send a fax to 814-863-1929; or send an email (esmail@psu.edu). If the decision not to return is made after the semester bill has been paid, then your son or daughter will need to process a withdrawal. A tuition refund schedule can be found on the Bursar's website. It is highly recommended that your son or daughter contact the Housing Assignment Office if he/she is living on campus, and the Office of Student Aid if he/she is utilizing financial aid. In all cases, your son or daughter should contact their college to inform them that he/she will not be returning.

All refunds are processed through the Bursar's Office.

Your son or daughter must file for re-enrollment.

Students wishing to take courses at Penn State, but who do not intend to pursue a degree at Penn State, attend as a nondegree student. Nondegree students enroll on a space available basis and are not guaranteed admission into a degree program.

There may be several reasons why your son or daughter could not register for a particular course:

  • Not all courses are offered every semester.
  • Some courses are offered to students in selected colleges one semester, and to students in other colleges the next semester.
  • The course may have been full at the time the registration request was made.
  • The department offering the course may have placed an enrollment control on the course so they can specifically monitor who enrolls in the course. In those cases, the department offering the course would need to be contacted.

If a course is required for the student's major and they are not able to register for it, they should first contact their adviser for assistance. Then they would need to contact the department office that offers the course.

Enrollment Verifications

Insurance companies, financial lenders or employers may require proof that a student was or is currently enrolled at Penn State. An enrollment verification provides proof of enrollment, graduation, student status, and other related information.

Enrollment Verifications are available to parents via LionPATH. However, parents must first be granted delegrated access by their student(s) as follows:

  1. The student must grant their parent delegated access in LionPATH by selecting "Main Menu > Self Service > Student Delegation > Guardian Options" in the breadcrumbs menu navigation and following the instructions to grant delegated access to the Grades function.
  2. Delegates will be notified via email that they have been granted delegated access in LionPATH. [Note: The email will be sent the email address the student entered during the setup of delegated access.]
  3. Follow the instructions provided in the email to setup yur LionPATH login username and password.

Once logged into LionPATH, you can access your student's Request Enrollment Verifications screen by selecting "Main Menu > Self Service > Academic Records > Request Enrollment Verifications" in the breadcrumbs menu navigation.

The Office of the University Registrar will not complete agency supplied verification forms. Rather the official University enrollment verification statement will be attached to the original agency supplied form.

No, enrollment verifications are not faxed for several reasons:

  • Verifications are printed on safety paper to prevent tampering. The fax process would eliminate this security measure.
  • The recipient cannot be assured from where the faxed report originated, therefore there is no way to authenticate the validity of the document received.
  • We do offer special services including accepting fax requests, and next business day delivery (FedEx).

No, we do not verify enrollment information over the phone.