Frequently Asked Questions


How do I check my account/refund online? 

Visit and click on the student accounts portal link in the quick link tile.


Where do I go to add or drop a class?

Students can drop courses online anytime during the term.  If you have any questions contact the Registrar’s office (Academic Records) at 724-938-4434

Global Online students should contact Global Online at 724-938-5958.

I dropped a course and added another course. Why did my charges increase?

For undergraduate students, the dropped course was not within the time period for an adjustment to the tuition charges if attempted hours are less than 12.  Students are charged based on the number of credits attempted.  The academic support fee is a per credit charge, so the fee will be adjusted based on the number of credits attempted.


Why haven't I received a bill?

 All bills during a term are electronic bills, and notifications are sent to the student's PennWest California e-mail address.

Where will my tuition bill be mailed?

All bills are electronically available on the student accounts portal on the site.

My first bill listed a Federal Stafford Loan as estimated financial aid, but my loan has not been receipted to my tuition account. What happened?

All first-time PennWest California loan borrowers must complete online loan entrance counseling. You must also complete your Direct Stafford Loan Master Promissory Note using your federal personal identification number.  Also, check for missing documentation on the VIP "financial aid" tab (especially if chosen for verification).

My bill listed grants and scholarships as estimated financial aid, but these are not applied to my tuition account. What happened?

Check your financial aid account online for missing or incomplete documentation. You may also contact the Financial Aid Office at 724-938-4415. If outside scholarship payment has not been received, check with the issuing agency.

I am receiving a scholarship but it is not listed on my billing statement. Why?

Documentation from the outside scholarship agency must be supplied to the Student Accounts office (formerly the Bursar's Office) in order to defer the scholarship amount until the payment is received.


What is a Campus-wide ID Number (CWID)?

The Campus-wide ID Number (CWID) is printed on all student billings and is required by the Student Accounts Office (formerly the Bursar's Office) when inquiries are made about the student's account. 

What is FERPA?

FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) clearly defines a student's right to privacy and confidentiality, strictly limiting the disclosure of personally identifiable information from records kept by schools. Billing information can only be released to the student unless a student has given written consent to disclose this information to a third party. Students may enroll parents or other third party guests through the Banner Self-Service Proxy Access available through the My PennWest.  This requires a passphrase which must be used in conjunction with the CWID when the third party or student requests information via the telephone.

Can you give me a letter for insurance purposes stating that I am a full-time student? Or, I need a copy of my transcripts.

All students should contact the Academic Records Office this information.

How can I change my address?

All students can change their address by going to and doing the following:

  1. Sign into your Portal
  2. On the Student Quick Access Card select “student self-service”
  3. Click on Personal Information.
  4. A “My Profile” page will open - Click on Personal Information
  5. To add or edit your personal information click on the pencil/edit icon to the top right of each detail block (i.e. Personal Details, Email, Phone Number, Address, Emergency Contact).
  6. If you are updating your address
    1. To end an outdated: click on the edit pencil icon below the address and update the “valid to” date to yesterday’s date. Click “add” at the bottom of the page or click the trashcan to delete the address.
    2. To add a new address: choose “add new”. From the type of address dropdown menu choose “permanent”. Add today’s date for the “valid from” date. Add your most accurate, current address. Click add at the bottom of the page.

How can I find out about work-study jobs?

Contact the Financial Aid office at 724-938-4415, or click here for a list of current work-study positions.


Why can't I register for classes or see my grades? What is a hold? [14]

A hold, or seal, is placed on a student account by a department if his/her account is not in compliance with University policies. For example, a hold from the Student Accounts Office (formerly the Bursar's Office) reflects tuition payment problems; a Parking Office hold reflects unpaid parking tickets or public safety issues; an Advising Office hold reflects registration issues; a Library hold reflects unpaid library fines, etc.

Students are unable to see their grades or register for classes until the issue is resolved with the office that put the hold on the account.


Can I set up a payment plan?

Yes, the University offers payment plans for the Fall and Spring terms.

The University reserves the right to institute additional penalties where appropriate if payments are not made according to the University payment policy.

How do I know the amount to pay if my financial aid is incomplete? 

Payments should be made according to the amount due. If no financial aid is available to reduce the total amount due, calculate the payment amount based on the total amount of the bill.

If I never attended a class, am I responsible for paying for that class?

Yes. You must officially withdraw from a course during the drop period listed in the refund section for any tuition adjustment.

When is my financial aid credited to my tuition account?

The initial crediting of financial aid grants and loans is after the add/drop period for the fall and spring terms, as noted in the Academic Calendar. Grants, loans and scholarships are credited as received during the rest of each semester.


When is my refund coming?

The University encourages direct deposits of refunds. This allows the student's refund to be deposited directly into their bank checking or savings account electronically. Students should monitor their accounts. When the account shows "refund," allow  3-5 days for the ACH direct deposit refund (depending upon the banking institution involved). No refund information can be given over the telephone and no refund check can be picked up in person. To set-up direct deposit, visit click on the student accounts portal and then look for the Refunds tab at the top of the page. You can then enter the routing number and bank account number.


If I withdraw from a class, am I responsible for paying for a course I withdraw from?

Yes. Students who reduce their credit hour load after the end of the drop period are not eligible for a refund of tuition charges. The drop period is six days into a normal academic term or less than 8.5% of the term.

Adjustments for complete withdrawal from the University are made for a limited period.  For more details, refer to our Refund Policy.

Full-time students who are concurrently enrolled in both the normal academic (15-week classes) and late-start or short session classes will be treated as normal academic session students for the purposes of this policy. If the student drops a late-starting course prior to the beginning of the course, refund for the course will be provided in accordance with this policy.

Refunds are made to the amount of the charge, not the amount that has been paid to date. For exact dates, or for late start/short session adjustment amounts, contact the  Office of Student Accounts.

Keep in mind you are charged based on the number of credits attempted. Any total number of credits attempted within the 12-18 credit range for an undergrad student is a flat charge.

If I withdraw from all of my classes, what portion of my charges am I responsible for paying?

Adjustment to both tuition and fees - with the exception of the technology fee - follows the same refund schedule as listed above.

Financial aid awards must go through a Title IV review process to determine how much, if any, financial aid must be returned or repaid.

What is the difference between academic, financial and financial aid penalties for withdrawing from a course?

Academic penalty involves the grade assigned to the student's transcript. Financial penalty involves the tuition and fee charge adjustments. Financial aid penalty involves Title IV adjustments to aid awarded.