UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Student Aid’s top administrator said effective mid-January students will see improvements in the way their financial aid is presented in LionPATH.
Melissa Kunes, assistant vice president for Undergraduate Education and executive director for Student Aid, said the change will make it easier for students and their families to understand their costs and financial aid options in a more user-friendly presentation, as well as operate better on mobile devices.
The new developments feature a “total estimated payment to the University” function. This combines the concepts of cost and aid to produce a single number that students can expect to pay to Penn State. Students will see their estimated billable expenses, then estimated financial aid subtracted from that number to see what they can expect to owe each semester.
Costs will also be broken out between direct billable expenses and indirect nonbillable expenses, such as laundry, clothing, personal care products and other day-to-day expenses.
Additionally, the application is dynamic and will change dependent upon a student’s changing financial situation, such as when they report they will be living off-campus, or when Penn State receives notice a student has secured a scholarship, or if a student switches from full time to part time.
Starting next year, if a student wishes to pay for their health care through Penn State, they can complete a web form to have that cost included in their cost of attendance budget.
“We are very excited about this new student customer service and we think it will be very beneficial for students and their families in planning for college costs,” Kunes said.
An additional benefit to a concise report of expected costs to the University, Kunes added, is that student aid counselors can have more meaningful conversations with students about how to pay for college and about their long-term financial wellbeing.
The improvements are part of the One Penn State 2025 initiative, part of which calls for a more seamless student experience by simplifying business transactions with the University.
Student Aid is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for university-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at undergrad.psu.edu. Sign up for UE Headlines for the latest news.