Parents and Families NSO Homework

Your student has a list of items to complete before orientation- the most important of which being scheduling their orientation. New Penn State students use their NSO Tasklist to complete the onboarding steps. Parents and family members do not have access to the NSO Tasklist, but this page is designed to help you support your student.

To prepare for New Student Orientation, family members can:

▢ Encourage your student to Complete their NSO Tasklist, including making reservation for NSO

Please encourage your student to return to their NSO Tasklist to complete it before they attend NSO. If they haven’t made a reservation for NSO yet, they can do so on their NSO Tasklist.

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▢ Learn about FERPA, Delegated Access, and Authorized Payer

As students transition to their first year at Penn State, they will take on the responsibility for their own educational records. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that gives students the right to say who can and cannot access their educational records. If students wish to grant access to their parents or family members to view grades, access and pay tuition bills, or obtain verification of enrollment, they must give them access for that specific purpose. We encourage families to talk about what access will best meet their needs.

LionPATH is Penn State’s student information system, which provides students with access to their academic, registration, and financial records. In LionPATH, students will enroll in classes, view financial aid awards, view tuition bills, and check their grades.

Students may wish to grant access to this information to parents/family members. This access can be granted using Penn State’s Delegated Access and Authorized Payer features.

Delegated Access allows parents/family members the ability to view financial aid, grades, holds, class schedule and more. For more information, including instructions for your student to take action, please visit:

Authorized Payer allows parents/family members access to view and pay tuition bills, enroll in the Installment Payment Plan, or access the IRS 1098-T. For more information, including instructions for your student to take action, please visit:

You can learn more about Delegated Access and Authorized Payer by visiting our LionPATH Help Page for parents and families.

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▢ Learn about the Cost of a Penn State Education

It's never too early to start developing a plan for your student’s educational expenses and a lifetime of financial well-being. Penn State has developed some helpful tools to get your student thinking about the ongoing cost of a Penn State education, which includes more than just the tuition bill. We strongly recommend that you and your student review each of these resources in detail before your orientation so that you are prepared to ask questions when you participate. has tools available to help with planning, including the tuition rates for the upcoming year. There, you’ll also find Penn State’s tuition calculator. It will help you to estimate the approximate cost of the tuition, fees, and essential costs associated with attending Penn State. Your student can find personalized estimated costs on their the Student Aid Award Summary available in LionPATH.  

Tuition rate is variable because of a few different factors: 

  • Your student’s residency: whether you are in-state or out-of-state
  • Your student’s program of study, and 
  • Your student’s semester standing 

The calculator is important because after your student reaches junior/third-year status, there is an increase in tuition due to the types of courses that they’re taking and the individuals teaching them.  Outside credits that you will send to Penn State (including AP credits that you took in high school or credits from a different institution) count towards the credit threshold for the Upper Division tuition increase. 

Tuition Schedule and Student Account Statements 
Student Account Statements are generated during the first week of every month after a student schedules courses. The due date is typically on the 22nd of the month.

  • Students participating in LEAP at University Park should receive a tuition bill on or around June 1.
  • All students who participate in NSO in May will be billed on or around June 1, and everyone who participates in NSO in June will be billed on or around July 1.
  • Students admitted to the fall semester should receive a tuition bill during the first week of  August.

The Office of the Bursar has prepared this information on their website to help you navigate tuition. And these videos will answer common questions about tuition, billing, payment options, refunds, and more.

If you are the parent or family member of a new international student to any Penn State campus, please be sure to visit this page to learn more about resources and support available to you:

Resources to help you manage the financial aspect of a Penn State education: 
The Office of Student Aid has a variety of resources and tutorials to help your student with loans, scholarships, grants, and financial aid processes. 

If you are the parent or family member of a new domestic student to any Penn State campus, we encourage you to watch this video prepared by the Office of Student Aid. It overviews the Master Promissory Note, Entrance Counseling, Loans, Verification, Satisfactory Academic Progress and more.

If you are the parent or family member of a new international student to any Penn State campus, the FAFSA and other federal resources are generally not applicable to your student. International students can apply for merit based and outside scholarships. They can use a private loan, but need a credit-worthy citizen of the United States to co-sign. There is more information available for new international students in this video.

The Sokolov-Miller Family Financial and Life Skills Center is available to students at all Penn State campuses and provides knowledge and skills they can use to manage their financial resources effectively. The Center’s online modules and one-on-one meetings can help your student learn how to budget, understand loans, begin saving for their future, and more. We encourage all students living on campus to get started by using the Meal Plan Budgeting Tool.  

Student employment opportunities are a great way for your student to earn money, learn about money management, gain skills that will help them in the workforce, and more. Students interested in securing an on-campus job should visit If they plan to get an on-campus job, be sure to bring the necessary documents to complete their hiring paperwork.  

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▢ Remind your student to complete the necessary steps for their Penn State id+ Card at least two days before their scheduled NSO.

In order to check-in for NSO, all students must upload a photo, plus a government issued ID so that we can prepare their Penn State id+ Card in advance. All students should activate their mobile Penn State id+ Card prior to arriving for NSO. Any student who arrives to NSO without completing the photo upload step should expect a signifigant delay in the NSO Check-In process. 

We've provided instructions for students on their NSO Tasklist and when their photo has been approved, the corresponding item on their NSO Tasklist will automatically be marked as complete.  

If you'd like to help your student with this important step, you can find instructions at this website:

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▢ Remind your student to enroll in Two-Factor Authentication

All students are required to enroll in Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) to access any Penn State system (LionPATH, Canvas, our reservation system). Two-Factor Authentication is an extra layer of protection that makes it more difficult for someone else to log in to your student's Penn State account and gain unauthorized access to their personal information, as well as sensitive and confidential Penn State resources and data.

It's imperative the second device is their device (not yours). Unauthorized verifications will result in your student being locked out of their account and not being able to schedule classes during orientation. You can learn more about 2FA here.

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▢ Meet university immunization requirements

All incoming Penn State students must provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps and rubella. In accordance with Pennsylvania state law, students living in on-campus housing must also provide proof of the meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menveo, Menactra, MCV4), which protects against infections caused by serogroups A, C, W and Y. 

Additionally, the University strongly urges all students to be immunized against COVID-19 (primary series and booster).

To submit, students should log in to myUHS using their Penn State Account, and upload image files of their official immunization records and, if applicable, any positive antibody titer blood test results. 

Immunization requirements are applicable to all undergraduate and graduate students at University Park and Commonwealth Campuses excluding World Campus and Great Valley. Immunization records only need to be submitted once. For questions or more information, visit University Health Services website.

Immunization records must be submitted before your student's NSO program.

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▢ Submit health insurance information through LionPATH

Penn State asks that all students submit their current health insurance information. After registering for classes, your student should log in to LionPATH and visit the Health Insurance page to submit this information using their health insurance card.

For more information about Health Insurance at Penn State, please visit the University Health Services website.

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▢ Become familiar with Penn State's academic requirements

Academic advisers help students know which classes to take for their degree, but it helps to have an idea of what is required. Please view our General Education at Penn State overview.

Please encourage your student to download and complete their Transfer Credit Worksheet (found on the NSO Tasklist). This worksheet asks students to list their Advanced Placement (AP) exams, Advanced Level (A-Level) exams, International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, or courses for college credit at another institution. In consultation with their academic adviser at NSO, students will decide how to best use these credits at Penn State.

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▢ Learn more about the Penn State Parent and Family Experience

Student success improves when parents and families are appropriately involved with their student throughout their time in college. One of the best ways to support your student is to become familiar with the campus resources that can help your student navigate the challenges and triumphs of college life. The Penn State Parent and Family Experience provides you with a portal designed to keep you up-to-date on campus news, resources, and much more.

Visit the Penn State Parents Program to learn more.

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