Answers to your refund questions

Housing and Food Services to Issue Prorated Room and Board Refunds

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, Penn State Housing and Food Services and Residence Life would like to thank all resident students and their families for the patience and understanding they have shown over the past several weeks as we respond to the unprecedented and evolving changes. 


The change to remote learning, effective from spring break 2020 through the end of the spring semester, necessitated the closing of most on-campus residence halls statewide during this period. 


Penn State President Eric Barron announced at the virtual town hall for students and families on Tuesday, March 24, that prorated refunds of room and board would be provided for students who have an on-campus Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract this semester but then left campus during the remote learning period.


The total refund amount for each resident student will be calculated by applying a refund percentage to each student’s spring semester room charge and to the Campus Meal Plan base cost.  All unspent spring semester Dining Dollars will also be refunded.


The refund percentage is a declining proration by day across the 16-week semester. Since the remote learning period began after the eighth week, the refund percentage begins at 50 percent on the first day of remote learning and prorates to 0 percent on the last day of the semester.


Room and/or board refunds will be credited to each student’s LionPATH account if the HFS Contract was initially paid through LionPATH.


The University recommends that students use eRefund, the fastest, safest, and most convenient way to receive a refund from the University if a credit balance remains on the account. Visit for more information.


Refund processing will begin the first week of April for students who left at the beginning of spring break and did not return to campus. 


Refunds for students who chose to leave campus sometime after the start of the remote learning period will be processed beginning April 13.


Students living off-campus who had purchased the Campus Meal Plan will also receive a prorated refund.  Students who had purchased a Commuter Meal Plan, which has no base cost, will be refunded the unspent Dining Dollars balance on the student’s account.


LionCash+ balances remain active and, as always, continue automatically from one semester to the next and from one year to another. Students currently residing in communities with vendors accepting LionCash+ can continue to spend their LionCash+ balance.


Details about the prorated refunds have been sent via email to every Penn State student who has a spring semester Housing and Food Services Contract.


The University realizes that many may be experiencing financial strain during this challenging time and hope that this prorated refund will provide some comfort and relief.