Frequently Asked Questions

Admitted students should review the FAQ in its entirety to stay abreast of important information. For ease of navigation, clicking on the any of the search terms below will take you directly to the question(s) related to that topic.


What is Dickinson Law's COVID-19 policy?

Penn State Dickinson Law currently delivers our program of legal education in a fully in-person learning environment while keeping our campus community as safe and healthy as possible. We continue to monitor the evolving health situation. For the most recent University protocols on masking, physical distancing, vaccination, and more, please visit Penn State’s virus information website.


When should I move to Carlisle?

If you are planning to relocate to Carlisle, we encourage students to sign leases that begin August 1. Arriving in Carlisle in early August allows incoming students to unpack and settle into their living quarters, familiarize themselves with the area, establish a routine, and connect with classmates prior to mandatory orientation programming.  


What school code do I use for the FAFSA?

Please use code 003329 (the code for The Pennsylvania State University) when completing the form and double check to ensure you are completing the correct year. Applicants for Fall 2022 should complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA.


How do I reserve my seat in the incoming class?

Admitted students can reserve their seat in Dickinson Law’s incoming class by paying their deposits no later than the deadlines identified in their acceptance letter. Our standard first deposit deadline for early decision candidates is January 15. Our standard first deposit deadline for regular decision candidates is April 15. Our standard second deposit deadline for all candidates is June 15. If you would like to request a deferral, please email Bekah Saidman-Krauss to explain the circumstances surrounding your request.

You may pay both your first and second deposits using our secure online form. If you prefer to pay by check, please make your check payable to The Pennsylvania State University and mail it to Dickinson Law at 150 S. College Street, Carlisle, PA 17013. Please note that check payments must be postmarked by the date of your deposit deadline.


How do I access federal student loans?

Federal Direct Loans are not need-based and eligibility is not based on a credit score, but rather, on a lack of adverse credit history. Law students may be eligible to borrow through both the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Graduate PLUS Loan programs. The Director of Admissions & Financial Aid will email a Financial Aid Procedures document to all deposited students in mid-May; please review this document for details on accessing and accepting federal student loans.


Can I borrow a private student loan?

Although Penn State does not maintain a preferred lender list and can therefore not provide you with suggested private lenders, we will work with a lender of your choice to certify and disburse your educational loan. Review the Financial Aid Procedures document for additional information.


Are there loans available to me as an international student?

Access to US federal student loans is based on citizenship; some non-U.S.-citizens will find they are eligible for these loan programs. In some cases, international students may be able to access student loans through their country of citizenship and apply the funds to their studies in the U.S. Students are encouraged to research whether their country or province of citizenship has loan programs that may be used at a U.S.-based institution. Additionally, in some cases, international students may find that they can borrow a private loan if they are able to identify a U.S.-based co-signer.


How do I put student loans from my other degree(s) into in-school deferment?

Your enrollment will be reported automatically by Penn State University several weeks into each semester. If you were not in repayment (i.e., if your loans are still in their initial six-month grace period) at the start of the academic year, you should not need to proactively report enrollment prior to the standard fall reporting date, as your first payment is likely not due until later in the fall semester. However, if your loans are already in repayment, you may need to proactively request an enrollment verification from the University Registrar and have the report sent to your loan servicer. (Note that your enrollment cannot be verified until classes begin.) Students with private loans in repayment should contact their lender to determine if special documentation is required for an in-school payment deferment.


What happens to my deposit once I matriculate?

Deposits are placed onto your Penn State tuition account and apply towards tuition and fees for your first semester. If you received a scholarship that covers full tuition, the deposit will apply toward your fees of approximately $91 a semester and the remainder will be refunded to you.


Do I need to submit an official transcript to Penn State Dickinson Law?

Please ensure that an official copy of your final, undergraduate transcript is on file with LSAC by August 1. If you applied to law school prior to completing your undergraduate degree (i.e., during your senior year), you must submit an updated copy of your final transcript to LSAC.


What textbooks will I need for my first semester? How should I acquire them?

You may purchase or rent textbooks from a vendor of your choice (e.g., the University Bookstore, Amazon, Half.com, eBay, etc.) or acquire them from a current student. Required textbooks for the Fall 2023 semester will be shared here at a later date. We encourage you to plan ahead, shop around, and find the option that works best for your budget and learning style. If you plan to charge your books to your bursar's account, you must purchase your textbooks from the University Bookstore. You may, however, find less expensive retail options elsewhere.


What, if any, requirements must I fulfill to keep my scholarship?

To maintain your scholarship, you must remain in good standing under the academic rules as well as the Honor Code. It is important to note that maintenance of good academic standing is a prerequisite for continuation at the law school and for graduation — not just for scholarship retention.

In order to enjoy continued enrollment at the law school and, ultimately, graduate, students must maintain good academic standing. To maintain good academic standing, each student must earn a first semester of the first-year grade point average of at least 1.7 and maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 at the end of each semester thereafter.

Additionally, because Dickinson Law places a high value on academic integrity, Honor Code violations will result in revocation of any and all Dickinson Law scholarships and grants. 


Do I need vaccinations?

Penn State University requires all incoming degree seeking students to provide proof of measles, mumps, and rubella immunizations. Because incoming students at Dickinson Law do not reside in University housing, they are exempt from the University’s Meningococcal conjugate vaccine requirement. View the list of strongly recommended immunizations and submit your immunization information when available.


Who should I contact about classroom accommodations?

Penn State and Dickinson Law welcome students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. Students with temporary or permanent medical conditions or physical, cognitive, or psychological disabilities may be able to receive accommodations to eliminate barriers to their success. Incoming students seeking disability accommodations should follow the three step process outlined on our Disability Accommodations Process page. We recommend you complete this process as soon as possible but no later than the first week of August, especially if seeking approval for classroom-related accommodations. Email Dean Dodge with any questions about disability accommodations or services at Dickinson Law.


How do I obtain student health insurance?

Full-Time U.S. Students — Penn State requires full-time U.S. students to submit their health insurance coverage information at the beginning of each academic year. If students do not have health insurance coverage, they will be able to note that on the form. Here are the instructions on meeting the current requirement to report or waive insurance or enroll in SHIP:

  • Log in to LionPATH.
  • Navigate to the Health Insurance page.
  • Under the current coverage year, select Waive.
  • Follow instructions to either note that you do not have health insurance coverage or to provide policy details of your current coverage using the information found on your health insurance card.

If you do not have health insurance or are not adequately covered at the campus you attend, the Health Insurance Office strongly encourages you to consider purchasing the Penn State Student Health Insurance plan (SHIP). The Penn State SHIP is offered through First Student College Student Health Insurance, underwritten by United Healthcare Student Resources. Dickinson Law students are eligible to purchase the Penn State SHIP if they are enrolled in six or more credit hours. Please note that for U.S. students who do not have insurance, SHIP is not the only option; it is the provider recommended by Student Health Insurance. Please feel free to explore other options that may be available to you, including Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act exchange, the private health insurance market, etc.

International Students — International students and any accompanying dependents are required to purchase the Penn State Student Health Insurance plan (SHIP) or submit proof of health insurance coverage that meets the full set of requirements. Students who do not take action to Waive or Enroll through LionPATH by the deadline will be automatically enrolled in the Penn State SHIP and the health insurance premium will be charged to their student account.

Visit our Student Health Insurance page for more information, and contact the University Student Health Insurance Office (814-865-7467 or uhs-insurance@psu.edu) with additional questions.


How can I find a place to live in Carlisle?

A wide range of housing options are available in Carlisle. For detailed information, please visit our housing webpage. You may also want to join the Facebook group for incoming students for notices of available space.


What is a loan origination fee?

Most federal student loans have loan fees that are a percentage of the total loan amount. The loan fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive. This means the money you receive will be less than the amount you actually borrow. You're responsible for repaying the entire amount you borrowed and not just the amount you received.


I have student loans from a prior degree. How do I place them in deferment while I am in law school?

Federal rules do not allow us to certify enrollment until you are officially a student — i.e., after the start of orientation. At that time, there are three ways to ensure that your student loans are put in deferment.

  • Request an enrollment certification on LionPATH on or after the first day of classes, and choose to have it sent to your lender.
  • Print an in-school deferment form from your loan servicer’s website. Dickinson Law’s Registrar, Pam Knowlton, will help certify your enrollment on or after the first day of orientation. You will mail, fax, or upload the form to your lender per their instructions.
  • Penn State University will begin reporting your enrollment electronically after the add/drop period each semester. If your first loan payment is scheduled to occur after add/drop in your first semester (this typically falls in early September), you may wish to forego the manual enrollment certification process and wait for the electronic updates to occur. Reach out to Rebecca Schreiber if you have questions about the timing for this option. 

I am an international student. How do I start the visa process?

International students work with the Directorate of International Student & Scholars Office for advising through the visa process. Within 1-2 weeks of paying your seat deposit, you will receive an email from international@psu.edu with additional information on how to request your necessary immigration documents.


What should I know about parking?

Free street parking is readily available; however, we advise you to stay alert to days of the week when parking is restricted for street cleaning. On such days, parking is typically restricted from the hours of 8 a.m. until noon.

Parking in any Dickinson College lot is prohibited. Dickinson College Public Safety will ticket vehicles as necessary.


Am I permitted to have my bicycle on campus?

The Carlisle community provides bike-friendly routes, resources, and recreational opportunities. Students wishing to bike to campus should review the rules and regulations on the Bicycle Regulations website. When parking your bike on campus, be sure to park at places clearly designated by the presence of bicycle racks using a locking device. Any bicycle parked at Dickinson Law shall be parked at the risk of the owner.


Do I need to register for classes?

As an incoming 1L, you will be registered for classes by Pam Knowlton, Dickinson Law’s Registrar. You will not need to sign up for your classes on your own. Pam will be in touch with all incoming students in July with instructions for completing the Student Activity Guide in LionPATH. All incoming students must complete the Student Activity Guide before registration can be finalized.


When will I get my class schedule?

Pam Knowlton, Dickinson Law’s Registrar, will release the 1L fall class schedule by mid-August. Schedules will be accessible in LionPATH, and you will receive an email with instructions on how to access your schedule.


When will I be able to access my PSU email account?

You will receive an email from Penn State with instructions on how to set up your Penn State Access Account, which will allow you to log into LionPATH (Penn State’s student information system), Canvas (Penn State’s learning management system), and any secure pages on Dickinson Law’s site. Please note that setting up your Access Account will not automatically give you access to Outlook (Penn State uses Office365). Penn State does not attach University email to incoming student accounts until closer to the date of matriculation. Accordingly, for the remainder of the summer, Dickinson Law will continue to communicate with you using the email address that you provided to us on your application—not your PSU email address. To update the email address that we have on file, please contact the Admissions Office.


When will I be able to access my course assignments?

As a Dickinson Law student, you will be able to access your course assignments through Canvas, Penn State’s learning management system. Please note that you will need to have activated your Penn State Access Account in order to log in to Canvas.

Because most of your professors will expect you to have completed work (usually reading) that they have assigned for the first day of class, we will email you a link to view your first assignments so that you can complete them at your convenience prior to Orientation. Additional information is available in Canvas.


Will I have homework due on the first day of class? If so, when and how will I be able to access my assignments?

Yes, most of your professors will expect that you have completed work (usually reading) that they have assigned for the first day of class. First assignments are collected from our 1L faculty in the summer and made available to you online via Canvas in mid-August. The Registrar will notify you when first assignments are available.


When will I receive my fall bill?

The University Bursar will post your first bill in early August, with a late August due date. If you have completed all financial aid-related To Do items in LionPATH, your financial aid will be applied to your account prior to the August bill’s due date. Penn State offers an installment payment plan for students who plan to pay a balance due out-of-pocket.


When will I receive my financial aid refund for living expenses?

Loans and grant aid will be posted directly to your Penn State student Bursar account and applied to your tuition bill each semester. Any amount exceeding your billed charges (e.g., tuition and fees, health insurance for international students, posted Bookstore charges) will create a credit balance, which will be refunded to you for living expenses. Students who anticipate a credit balance on their account will receive half of the balance in the fall and half in the spring. Due to federal regulations, the University begins to process refunds no earlier than 10 days prior to the start of the semester.

The fastest way to receive your refund is to sign up for eRefund through your LionPATH account. Students should expect they may not receive their eRefund until the end of the first week of classes. If you do not enroll in eRefund, a check will be mailed to your LionPATH permanent address, resulting in a significant delay. Review the Financial Aid Procedures document for additional details.


How should I prepare for financial wellness during law school?

AccessLex is a nonprofit organization that works to maximize value and affordability of a law degree and offers many resources for future and current law students and graduates. We encourage all incoming students to engage with the Ask EDNA! Education Network — a free series of resources from AccessLex.


What if I don’t see my question on this list?

Feel free to contact the Admissions Office.