Parent to Parent Blog

Parents & Families Guide

View the Parent & Families Guide Now
Parents and families of Penn State collage

International Student Families

As new members of the Penn State community, there is a lot of new information to learn. This page is intended to help you get started. It includes an introduction to:

Summer 2017 Parents & Families Welcome Reception & Resource Panel

          • Join us for a special event just for you!
          • Sunday, June 25, 2017
          • Redifer Commons, Private Dining Room A&B
          • Session One : 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
          • Session Two: 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
          • Come talk with representatives from Housing, Food Service, University Police, Assignments, Residence Life and the Parents Program.

          Fall Welcome

        • Presidential Welcome Reception for International Students, Scholars, and Families
          • August 11, 2017
          • 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
          • Old Main Lawn
        • International Student Resource Fair
          • August 11, 2017
          • Time TBD
          • Alumni Hall
        • Parents Program Welcome Tables
          • Friday, August 18 & Saturday, August 19, 2017
          • Location 1: Bigler & Curtain Intersection
          • Location 2: Pollock & Shortlidge Intersection
          • 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
          • The Penn State Parents Council welcomes you to campus and answers any last minute questions at two key locations on campus. Stop by and say hello!

International Student Orientation (ISO) & New Student Orientation (NSO):

Every international student is required to attend International Studnet Orientation (ISO) prior to attending New Studnet Orientation. Global Programs oversees ISO.

New Student Orientation (NSO) at University Park is a two-day program aimed at providing you, and your family, with an introduction to life on campus, in the classroom, and in State College. All new students are expected to attend NSO.

If you are admitted for Summer/Fall 2017, details about New Student Orientation at University Park will be available in April 2017. You will be able to make your reservation to attend an NSO program after you've completed your ALEKS Math Assessment and our reservation system becomes available in April.

First–year students will receive a program invitation and instructions to complete their next steps once they accept their offer of admission to Penn State. This information will come to the email address provided on the student’s application for admission. Note: It is only through New Student Orientation that new students will meet with an academic adviser and register for courses.

A companion program for parents and family members has been designed with your transition needs in mind and because family support is an important factor in student success at the University. While NSO is not mandatory for parents and family members, we encourage you to accompany your student to campus.

For more information about NSO (including a preliminary schedule), please visit If you should have questions after reviewing the website, please contact Student Orientation and Transition Programs at 814-865-4178, 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, or by e-mail at


LionPATH is Penn State's student information system, which provides students with access to their academic, registration, and financial records. Your student can give you access to student information via Delegated Access. Click here to view a LionPATH tutorial.

Paying Tuition

Your student can grant you access as an Authorized Payer through their Student Center in LionPATH. This will enable you to view and pay the Student Account Statement (bill), enroll in the Installment Payment Plan, and access IRS 1098-T. Click here for more information on Authorized Payer access.

Office of Student Aid

If you and your student have submitted the 2016-17 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), your student can log into to view the financial aid he/she is eligible to receive. From the Student Center, click on View Financial Aid. We recommend that your student refer to the Award Summary frequently for up-to-date information about the status of his/her financial aid. If you have not yet applied for financial aid, you may still submit the FAFSA at  Please visit for information about applying for financial aid.

The financial aid that your student is eligible to receive will be listed on the Student Account Statement (bill) as a resource to help pay the bill.

If you, as a parent, need additional financial resources to help pay for educational expenses, you may want to apply for a Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan. Parents of dependent undergraduate students who meet eligibility requirements may apply for the PLUS Loan.  For step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a federal Parent PLUS Loan, visit the online tutorial at

Penn State id+ Card

When a student arrives on campus, he or she should visit the Id+ Office, located at 20 HUB-Robeson Center, and bring a valid photo identification (such as a driver’s license or passport) to be issued the official Penn State photo id+ card. The id+ card is a vital part of life at Penn State, providing easy access to many University resources and services. Visit for additional information.

Housing Assignments & Arrival

Many international students require temporary housing during International Student Orientation. Additional information may be found with Global Programs:

First-year students admitted to University Park are required to live on campus. The student can accept the Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract through MyPennState during the admissions process.

Check In

University Housing will officially open for fall semester on Friday August 18. Early arrivals may begin on Wednesday August 16. First-year students should be settled in by Saturday afternoon, to attend University welcome events.

More details on fall arrival to come!

SAFE & AWARE Online Modules

All incoming first-year students are required to complete Penn State SAFE (Student Alcohol Feedback and Education) and Penn State AWARE (a sexual violence awareness learning module).  Incoming first-year students will receive a letter and an email in their Penn State email account with instructions for completing both of these online programs.

Parent & Family Checklist

Parent & Family Checklist


Connect through the Parent & Family Experience, a portal designed just for you, by setting up your profile

Add to your address book

Consider volunteering for the Parents Program

Connect with Penn State and the Parents Program on Facebook and Penn State Global Programs on Facebook

  Familiarize yourself with Global Programs and International Student & Scholar Services


  All incoming students must submit immunization records prior to arrival on campus. Visit the University Health Services website for more information.
  Remind your student to copy and bring insurance and prescription cards with them
  Remind your student to bring information about their current and maintenance prescription medications
  Consider subscribing to the Family Health Line
  Remind your student to submit their health insurance information in LionPATH


Ask your student if they received the email with the tuition bill

Remind your student to consent to do business electronically and to sign the Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA) in LionPATH prior to enrolling for classes

  Discuss getting online access with your student, as they must delegate access in order for parents to view student information

Plan for future semesters at

Add funds to student's LionCash+ account:


Remind your student to complete online modules

Encourage your student to participate in Welcome Week activities:

Discuss campus safety and decisions regarding alcohol and drug use and policies

Discuss time management, study skills, and mutual expectations for staying in touch

Talk about how your student will finance their education

Remind your student to read the Penn State Reads Selection

Explore programs and services available to assist your student

Provide reminder of life skills (including doing laundry, managing bank account, eating well)

Remind your student to check their Penn State e-mail account frequently. University offices or departments will communicate important information to the student's Penn State e-mail address (

Remind your student to add their cell phone number to the PSU Alert System at to receive text and/or voice alerts.


Parents & Families Weekend: October 13-15, 2017

Student Checklist

Student Checklist


Submit immunization records at prior to attending New Student Orientation

Have information about current and maintenance prescription medications (Prescription refills are available at UHS)

Bring insurance and prescription cards - Students without health insurance can purchase it through Penn State


Penn State SAFE (Student Alcohol Feedback and Education) (Family version)

Penn State AWARE (Sexual Assault Awareness Module)

Know the Code Quiz

Pre-NSO Homework


Check your Penn State email frequently

Give parents and/or family members delegated access to LionPATH and Authorized Access to view and/or pay tuition (optional)


View room assignments and roommate information

Contact your roommate to make introductions and discuss what to bring   

Read about what to pack and what to leave behind

Map out the location of your classes

Explore purchasing or renting textbooks through the Penn State Bookstore

Review move-in procedures; print out parking information



222 Boucke Building | 814.863.1313 | Contact The Penn State Parents Program