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Federal Employees, Spouses, and Legal Dependents
FAQs

General

Is This the Real Penn State?

Penn State World Campus is one of Penn State's 25 campuses, and its courses are taught online. World Campus students are held to the same rigorous standards as students taking courses on campus. As a World Campus student, your transcripts and diploma will look the same as any other Penn State student's. There will be no indication that you studied online.

How Does Online Learning Work?

You can complete most of our degree programs at your own pace. Penn State World Campus courses are asynchronous — meaning you don't have to attend online classes at a specific time. Find out how online learning works.

When Are the Undergraduate Admission Deadlines?

For a complete listing of important dates and deadlines, view the Academic Calendar. Generally undergraduate degree application deadlines are:

  • Fall Semester Degree Application Deadline: End of June
    • Courses run August–December
  • Spring Semester Degree Application Deadline: End of October
    • Courses run January–April
  • Degree Application Deadline: Mid-March
    • Courses run May–August

Please note that based on availability, undeclared students can register for courses right up to the day before those classes begin. Learn more at Information for Undeclared Undergraduate Students.

Can I Transfer Credits?

Prospective undergraduate students may transfer credits from college-level work completed at a regionally accredited institution. The academic department in which you enroll will have the final say on what credits can be accepted toward your degree. Penn State's Transfer Course Evaluation Guide, a convenient, step-by-step tool, may help you to determine approximately how much of your previous credits may transfer, but cannot determine which credits will apply to the program you choose.

Can I Use International Credits?

If you are an international student, please review the International Students page to determine what documentation you will need to apply. If you have any questions, please contact an international counselor at 814-865-5471(select option 7 from the menu and ask to speak with an international counselor).

What Are the Other Ways to Earn Credit?

CLEP: The College-Level Examination Program gives you the opportunity to receive college credit for what you already know, by earning qualifying scores on any of 33 examinations.

Credit by Examination: Penn State World Campus students can earn additional credits, to fulfill degree requirements, through successful completion (C or better) of a comprehensive examination, which is a substitute for completing the usual requirements of a course.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): While most adult learners use transfer credits, we invite you to explore the other possibilities for earning additional Penn State credit, including military credit, work experience, and credit by portfolio.

How Do I Apply to Graduate School?

Graduate school requirements, dates, and deadlines are specific to each program. Learn how to apply or find Program Specific Contact Information.

How Long Will It Take Me?

An associate degree requires 60 credits; a bachelor's degree around 120 credits. The length of time it will take to complete your program will depend on the number of credits you transfer to Penn State, the number of credits you are able to take each semester, and how many semesters you attend during each academic year.

How Much Will My Degree Cost?

Your Penn State World Campus tuition is calculated at a cost-per-credit rate, based on the program you choose, and the number of credits for which you register. In addition to the cost per credit, students are responsible for the information technology fee each semester of enrollment, as well as course material costs.

To estimate the cost to enroll in a specific program, use the Tuition Estimator, which will generate results based on the most current academic year tuition rates.

Tuition Reduction FAQs

Who is eligible to receive the Federal Government tuition reduction and what programs can the tuition reduction be applied to?

Students must be currently employed by the Federal Government or the spouse or legal dependent of a currently employed federal worker and the tuition reduction can only be applied to Penn State World Campus degree and certificate programs or courses. Note: Penn State reserves the right and may request a current Federal Leave and Earnings Statement, marriage license, or tax return from any student who seeks to apply the 5% tuition reducation.

How is the tuition reduction benefit applied?

If Penn State World Campus is your primary campus location and you have submitted a timely Tuition Reduction Form, the appropriate tuition reduction percentage will be calculated against the prevailing World Campus per-credit tuition rate.

I am already a Penn State student and I attend classes at a physical campus. Does that matter?

Penn State's tuition rates vary by student level, program, residency, and primary campus location. If your primary campus location is not Penn State World Campus, the tuition reduction for World Campus courses will be calculated based on the World Campus tuition rate and not on your primary campus tuition rate.

Can the GI Bill ® be used in conjunction with the Federal Government’s tuition reduction?

Yes, the GI Bill ® can be combined with this benefit and may cover up to 100% of the remaining tuition costs.

Can a student combine Penn State World Campus Military Grant-in-Aid with the Federal Government tuition reduction?

No.

Can a student use DoD Tuition Assistance and the Federal Government tuition reduction together?

Yes.

Would a disabled veteran receiving monetary compensation be eligible?

No.

Would a retired military person with full retirement benefits be eligible?

No, unless they are currently employed by the Federal Government as an employee.

Are Federal contractors eligible?

No.

Are retired Federal employees eligible?

No.

Can the Penn State grant-in-aid employee benefit be combined with the Federal Government tuition reduction?

Only spouses and dependents of current Penn State employees who are also currently employed by the Federal Government are eligible to combine the Penn State employee spouse/dependent grant-in-aid benefit with the Federal Government tuition reduction. Note: Penn State employees are not eligible for the 5% tuition reduction.

Who do I contact if I have questions about tuition reduction eligibility, or questions regarding combining the Federal Government tuition reduction with other programs?

You can contact the World Campus Bursar Office at 814-863-8300, Monday–Friday: 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST. or you can email them at [email protected].