Category Archives: Project Updates

Student financials is focus of Release 6

The focus of the next LionPATH release is on Student Financials. Functionality within this release includes viewing student accounts, tuition assessment, billing, payment processing, and refunding.

Some important dates for staff to keep in mind for this release are:

Date Description                          
7/6 Students notified by email to sign up for eRefund and Authorized Payer access
7/22 Access to view/post student financial data in ISIS ends
7/22 Access to student financial applications in eLion ends for students/parents/other
7/23 Student account balances transferred from ISIS to LionPATH
7/25 First tuition calculation for fall 2016 courses
7/25 Online payments accepted for balances due
8/1 First billing in LionPATH
8/22 First due date in LionPATH

Penn State Payment Gateway

Students will have a single sign-on through their student center in LionPATH. Others (parents, employers, etc.) will be able to view/pay the bill by the student creating Authorized Payer access.

Functionality includes:

  • Viewing account activity and bills (dynamic/static)
  • Electronic payment processing (eCheck/credit card)
  • Enrolling in eRefund
  • Enrolling/Managing Installment Payment Plans
  • Granting Authorized Payer access
  • Text alerts for certain financial activities
  • Form 1098-T

Billing

  • Bills will be generated for all students on a monthly basis (1st of every month)
  • Due date for all bills will be the 22nd of each month
  • Bills not paid by the due date will have negative service indicator placed preventing future enrollment, transcripts and diplomas
  • Prior to the next month’s billing, a 1.5% late fee will be assessed on any unpaid balance

For more information, student financial training materials can be found online at https://tutorials.lionpath.psu.edu.

Fall 2016 enrollment process for current students

Student using computerWith the transition to LionPATH, the University has changed the way students enroll in classes. Previously, students would schedule classes and then complete registration by responding to the tuition bill. With the new system, students will be considered fully enrolled once they agree to the Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA) and enroll in at least one class.

Currently enrolled students have now begun interacting with LionPATH to search for fall 2016 classes. LionPATH functionality will continue to roll-out over the next several months as it follows the life cycle of the student.

Here are steps students must take to enroll in classes through LionPATH:

  1. Complete the Pre-Registration Activity Guide that ends with signing the Financial Responsibility Agreement (FRA) – The FRA is a promise to take financial responsibility for payment of the student account. Students must complete this in order to be able to enroll in classes.
  2. Search for classes Students are now able to view fall 2016 classes through the LionPATH student center by using the class search or Schedule Builder. The Schedule Builder will help students plan their daily schedule by comparing possible class combinations and allowing breaks to be built into each day.
  3. Add classes to the online shopping cart  Beginning March 8, students can add their desired classes to the shopping cart. This will temporarily save the classes until their enrollment date.
  4. Validate the classes  Also beginning March 8, students can validate the classes in their shopping cart to ensure they will be able to enroll in them after their enrollment date. This does not guarantee that students will be able to enroll in a class later, but it will let them know what enrollment requirements they currently do not meet.
  5. Enroll in classes – Fall 2016 enrollment opens in mid-March. Students can review their specific enrollment date within the student center to determine their first date of enrollment. After the enrollment date, students can select the classes in which they want to enroll and click the enroll button to complete the new enrollment process.

continuing-student-enrollment-process

 

What is the Consent to Conduct University Business Electronically?

While not technically a part of enrollment, this agreement will be presented to each student before they are able to access LionPATH features, and will prevent all other actions until they have clicked the box to indicate their agreement. If they do not agree, they will have to conduct LionPATH business outside of the system.

For more information about LionPATH, visit launch.lionpath.psu.edu.

LionPATH Release 3–5 Updates

LionPATH Road Show

Road show at University Park, where the LionPATH team updated Penn State staff on the functionality of the new system.

Release 3—January 2016; Release 4—February 2016; Release 5—March 2016


The focus of the next three LionPATH releases are on the enrollment and financial aid processes. Students who will be attending Penn State in fall 2016 will be enrolling in classes, accepting financial aid, paying their bills, and tracking their academic progress through LionPATH. Students will continue to enroll for spring and summer 2016 in eLion.

Staff online training materials for using LionPATH can be found at: https://tutorials.lionpath.psu.edu.

Enrollment functionality for each release

ReleaseDateDescription of New Functionality
3January 25, 2016Student aid begins processing ISIRs (Institutional Student Information Records) to determine eligibility for financial aid for fall 2016. The ISIRs contain information from the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).
4February 15, 2016Student Center is released. Student Center is used by students, and those they delegate, to view/update student information. Student Services Center is used by staff to view/update student information and is only slightly different from the Student Center.
Students can log in and verify or update bio-demo data and complete the “to do” activities in the Activity Guide to prepare for fall 2016 enrollment.
Advisor Center is released. Advisor Center is used by academic advisers to view information about their advisees in order to assist them with enrollment and educational planning.
4February 22, 2016Public Schedule of Classes for fall 2016 is published at public.lionpath.psu.edu. Penn State users can access the Schedule of Classes from within LionPATH using Schedule Builder or the Search link.
5March 1, 2016Students use the Student Center to enroll for fall 2016 classes using LionPATH when enrollment appointments are opened. Priority enrollment begins March 16 and other students begin enrolling on March 23.
Students will accept or decline financial aid using LionPATH, and be able to view their financial aid account.
5April 2016Mobile app will be released.

Schedule of Classes

The schedule will list all of the classes offered for fall 2016. With LionPATH, the entire list of all classes offered by the University—both current and historical—is collected into a course catalog. Schedules are built for each term by copying the schedule from a prior term and updating that information and adding additional sections. It is a streamlined version of the schedule to be used by students and staff to search for classes and is similar to the schedule used previously.

Another view of the catalog and schedule were made available in September 2015 to the Faculty Senate, campus registrars, college schedulers and the Office of the University Registrar who are responsible for finalizing and validating the schedule for fall 2016. Their work will be completed in February.

Schedule Builder

Most students will benefit from using the Schedule Builder functionality when they are planning to enroll. By selecting the link in the Student Center, students will be taken to a web-based purchased software product that has robust search functionality. Students can select the courses they want to take in an upcoming term, and the system will build all the possible schedules based on the offered sections for the selected classes. Breaks can be added to block time for other activities. After refining and selecting their optimal schedule, students can transfer the sections to their “shopping cart” in LionPATH. All this can be done prior to their first day to enroll.

Shopping Cart

Students select their classes through Schedule Builder or the class search and save them in a shopping cart. While this terminology isn’t optimal, it works very much like the shopping cart we are all familiar with in online shopping. Students will be able to validate their enrollment in the selected classes saved in their shopping cart prior to their enrollment date. This will give them time to seek approval for exceptions to enforced prerequisites and course controls. When it is the student’s first day to enroll, noted in the Student Center and Student Services Center under Enrollment Dates, he or she can select the classes in their shopping cart and choose to enroll in them. The student’s eligibility to enroll will be checked before the enrollment transaction is completed.

Financial Aid Processing

Beginning February 1, financial aid started processing financial aid applications in LionPATH for students who are new in fall 2016. Subsequent processes will include the awarding of financial aid to students through LionPATH, which will also be the place where students will accept or decline these offers.

Training was provided for student aid staff in January. Information with the dates and times of training was provided to those who were to be trained.

LionPATH Launch Page

A new launch page to access LionPATH will be introduced at the following URL: launch.lionpath.psu.edu.

The launch page will display the link to LionPATH, as well as links to training information, support, related systems and FAQs. Separate tabs will display relevant information for students, faculty, and staff. As new functionality is moved to the LionPATH launch page, messages will be added to eLion to redirect users to LionPATH or the correct third-party system.

Consent to do LionPATH Business Electronically

In February, students will receive an email to log into the Student Center and work through an Activity Guide they will see in the To Do List in Student Center. When students log in for the first time, the Consent to do University Business Electronically will display.

This document must be signed in order for a student to access any information within the Student Center. The student needs to read the document and select the “I agree” option. If the option is not selected, the student will not be able to enroll using the online system. He/she will need to go to the Campus Registrar’s office to complete enrollment.

Student Center

The Student Center will provide all student data in one convenient location. Tabs and hyperlinks on the page will allow the students to view demographic data, see any holds placed on their account, receive messages and review their academic information along with their student bills and financial aid information. Not all features will be available In February. Announcements will be made as new functionalities are added through fall of 2016.

Student Activity Guide

An email with links and instructions to log into LionPATH will be sent to all new graduate and currently enrolled students early in the spring 2016 semester. Other new students will receive the email closer to their time to enroll. Students will be directed to the “To Do List” section in the Student Center, which displays a link to the Activity Guide. The Activity Guide provides a set of steps that students must take to prepare for enrollment in the LionPATH system.

Financial Responsibility Agreement

The Activity Guide contains a Financial Responsibility Agreement. This document requires students to read and sign an agreement indicating that they will be responsible for the tuition and fees incurred at enrollment. A completed enrollment generates a bill, which must be paid in accordance with the agreement. Financial penalties for not paying the bill on time have been changed to be based on a percentage of the amount due. Much like an outstanding credit card balance, the penalty will be added to the balance due. Students who do not sign this document will not be allowed to enroll in classes.

Other tasks in the activity guide include updating bio-demographic information and adding emergency and missing person contact information.

Advisor Center

Advisers will enter LionPATH in February to begin to prepare for fall 2016 enrollment for their advisees. Training will be provided prior to the release in the form of online tutorials and classroom presentations in all undergraduate colleges and campuses.

Conversion of Data

The academic record for all students enrolled since 2000 will be converted into LionPATH. It will include all major, minor and certificate information for each student as well as course enrollments. While each individual student record has not been manually reviewed, the conversion process has been thoroughly tested and validated by the LionPATH team along with representatives from the Office of the University Registrar. There will be some differences in how the information is represented, but the same courses and grades will show on both the ISIS and LionPATH transcript and the credit totals and Grade Point Averages (GPAs) will match.

Training

Face-to-face training will be provided to those who are given update access during each release. Most view access training will be through online tutorials.

Release 3

  • Schedule Builder and Schedule of Classes—online tutorial videos will be provided.
  • Student Aid—student aid counselors will have instructor-led training prior to the release of information.

Release 4

  • Online video tutorials will be provided for students on understanding and using the Student Center. These tutorials can be accessed by clicking on the “Help” button on the LionPATH launch page.
  • Advisers will receive online and some instructor-led training to understand the functionality contained in the Advisor Center.

Release 5

  • Student online video tutorials will be available for the enrollment process, which can be accessed by clicking on the “Help” button on the LionPATH launch page.
  • Training will be provided to staff who will need to enroll students who cannot enroll themselves due to prerequisites or course controls.