|Logging in to Campus Express
Q: How do I log in to Campus Express?
A: To log in to Campus Express, you need a PennKey and password.
Q: What is a PennKey?
A: Your PennKey is the same as your email name. For example, if your email address is email@example.com, then your PennKey is sam. Your PennKey has a password associated with it. Note that PennKeys are all lower case, i.e., if a person whose PennKey is "smith" enters "Smith" or "SMITH", authentication will fail.
Q: Why do I need a PennKey?
A: With a PennKey, you can log in to many electronic services at the University including Campus Express.
Q: Who is eligible for a PennKey?
A: University of Pennsylvania faculty, staff and students; employees of the University of Pennsylvania Health System; and sponsored guests (individuals who have an official business need for accessing restricted Penn resources) are eligible for a PennKey.
Q: How do I obtain a PennKey?
A: You should have received an email with information about creating a PennKey. If you have not received this information, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the PennKey website for information on registering a PennKey.
Q: I got my email and setup code. Now what do I do?
A: If you have your setup code, PennKey registration is an easy process.
Once you've registered your PennKey and password, you can test them at http://www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey/index.html.
You establish your PennKey and password online using a PennKey Setup Code to identify yourself.
- Obtain a PennKey Setup Code following the instructions at About PennKey Setup Codes.
- Log in to the PennKey application and follow the prompts to register your PennKey and password.
Q: I received an error message when I tried to register my PennKey and was unable to complete the process. What should I do?
A: You may be able to solve the problem yourself after reviewing descriptions of several common registration errors on the PennKey website.
Q: How can I tell if my PennKey works?
A: Try it out at http://www.upenn.edu/computing/pennkey/index.html. If you can authenticate successfully on this page, your PennKey and password are valid.
Q: I verified my PennKey at the PennKey test page, but I still can't access Campus Express. What do I do?
A: For technical problems with Campus Express Online, click on Help and Support in the top-left corner of any page and submit your issue.
Q: What should international students without a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) enter when the last four digits of their SSN are requested on a PennKey registration log-on screen?
A: They should enter the last four digits of the 9-digit identifier (ID) they received from the University. This ID takes the form xxx-xx-xxxx and is variously referred to as a Student ID, a Federal Taxpayer ID and a Penn-assigned SSN. International students typically receive this identifier from their admitting program office while faculty and staff receive it from their business administrator.
Q: Can I change my PennKey once it's been assigned?
A: Your PennKey is based on your PennName, a unique identifier that is the basis for usernames on many Penn systems. Thus, a request to change a PennKey is, in effect, a request to change your PennName. PennNames can only be changed under the following circumstances:
To initiate a request for a PennName change, contact your Local Support Provider for Computing (LSP). And remember that if your PennName changes, not only will your PennKey change but also your username on all other systems that are based on PennNames.
- If you have a legal name change
- If the PennName assigned to you may be deemed offensive
- If you are being harassed and need to change your username
Q: I've forgotten my PennKey and/or PennKey password. What do I do now?
A: Your PennKey is usually identical to your username on your University email account. For example, if your email address is "email@example.com", then your PennKey is most likely "smith". If you need further assistance determining what your PennKey is, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. No one can retrieve your password for you. If you've forgotten it, you will need to reset it following the instructions at Set/Reset Your Password.
Q: How long will my PennKey stay active?
A: Except for Non-Persistent PennKeys, which are issued to individuals with a short-term relationship to the University, PennKeys generally do not expire. Non-Persistent PennKeys expire on the date indicated at the time the key was created, and all PennKeys are subject to suspension or expiration for security reasons.
Q: When I try to create a password, it still gets rejected because it supposedly contains a dictionary word, though I don't think it does. What's going on?
A: This is a common and frustrating problem. "Dictionary" does not simply mean a standard English language dictionary -- it also includes foreign language dictionaries and all kinds of specialized dictionaries that hackers use to crack passwords.
For example, the string "xyzzy" is found in a computer dictionary -- it's a term from an early computer game and has found its way into password cracking dictionaries, so it is not a suitable password.
The following approach can be helpful in choosing a strong password: Make up a sentence that's meaningful to you. Then use the first letter of each word as a letter in your password. If you wish, add additional characters to make it more difficult to guess.
- Start with the phrase such as Orange elephants invade Alaska; film at eleven.
- Take the first letter of each word as your password: OeiAfae
(This is an acceptable password; it follows the rules but is hard for someone to guess since it's essentially a random string of characters.)
- To make the password even harder to guess, add punctuation, numbers and other non-alphanumeric symbols: OeiA;f@11
Q: Can my PennKey password be reset manually by a PennKey administrator or can someone tell me what it is if I forget it?
A: No. Passwords are stored in the system in encrypted form and cannot be read by administrative personnel. Only you should ever know what your password is. The only manual operation that an administrator can perform on your PennKey is to issue a Setup Code against it, which effectively freezes it until you reset your password using that Setup Code or another that you subsequently obtain.
Q: How often should I change my PennKey password?
A: There is no need to regularly change your password. But, if you suspect that someone has learned your password or could easily guess it, then you should change it immediately. See the Set/Reset Your Password page for more information.
Q: I think somebody "stole" or accidentally found out what my PennKey password is. What should I do?
A: If you believe that the security of your PennKey password has been compromised and that someone has or will use it to access your account(s), contact ISC Information Security at email@example.com or 215-898-2172. They can immediately issue a Setup Code against your PennKey that will effectively "freeze" your PennKey until you can obtain a Setup Code to reset your password.
If you believe that any criminal activity has taken place or will take place, it is strongly recommended that you contact Penn Public Safety at 511 (on-campus) or 215-573-3333 (off-campus).
Q: What is My Tasks?
A: My Tasks is the new tool to help you keep track of all the different services available to you on Campus Express Online. My Tasks generates a lists of recommended functions you can use on Campus Express Online and links you to the appropriate site to begin these transactions. As you complete items throughout the site, these tasks will appear in your Recent Activity to serve as a checklist for what you have accomplished.
Q: Do I have to complete everything listed in My Tasks?
A: My Tasks is a tool to help you organize the items available to you on Campus Express Online. These are not required tasks. While we strongly encourage you to take a look at each task and review the available functions of the site, there is no consequence for leaving tasks uncompleted.
Q: I have completed a task, but it still appears in My Tasks. Why is that?
A: Some of the tasks available on Campus Express Online may never fully be complete even if you have finalized a transaction. For example, if you placed an order for textbooks, that does not necessarily mean that you will never have to place another order. Similarly, you can add PennCash or DiningDollar$ at any time. So even if you just added funds to your PennCard, there is still a possibility you may want to add more in the future.
Again, the tasks listed in My Tasks are not required actions, simply recommendations on how you can utilize Campus Express Online. Those items that have already been completed but continue to show in My Tasks serve as a reminder to you as you progress through the semester.
Q: Can new spring semester students use Campus Express Online to submit a PennCard photo?
A: Absolutely. If you are a newly admitted student who begins classes in the spring semester, you can still use Campus Express Online to submit your photo. First, make sure you're enrolled in a program and registered for, at least, one class for, at least, one business day. Then, when you arrive on campus, just stop by the PennCard Center, 3601 Walnut Street, 2nd floor, to pick up your PennCard. A valid government issued photo I.D. will be required in order to pick up your PennCard.
Q: How do I apply for a PennCard?
A: The fastest and easiest way is to log in to Campus Express Online and click Apply for PennCard in the My PennCard tab. Other ways to apply are as follows:
- Mail in the application included in your Campus Express mailing with a paper photo that meets the requirements detailed in the Campus Express brochure.
- Apply in person and have your photo taken at the Campus Express Center in Houston Hall during New Student Orientation, although we strongly encourage you to submit a digital photo early through Campus Express Online so we can have your card ready for pick-up.
- If you arrive on campus after NSO, stop by the PennCard Center at 3601 Walnut Street, 2nd floor.
Q: Where do I pick up my PennCard?
A: If you are a new fall student, you should submit your PennCard application and photo within two weeks of receiving your Campus Express brochure -- that way, your PennCard will be ready for pick up at the Campus Express Center in Houston Hall during New Student Orientation. If you submit your application and photo later in the summer, your card will probably be ready for pick up at the Campus Express Center, so check with us at Campus Express during Move-In. But, it's always best to submit your PennCard application and photo as early as you can.
If you arrive on campus after NSO, you may obtain your PennCard at the PennCard Center, unless your school made other arrangements. Important: A valid government issued photo I.D. will be required in order to pick up your PennCard.
Q: As a new fall student, how do I get my PennCard if I arrive on campus before New Student Orientation?
A: Some graduate programs distribute PennCards at their school's orientation session. Contact your school coordinator for further information. Other students who are on campus for a verifiable academic reason prior to New Student Orientation should contact the PennCard Center at 215-417-CARD.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Your initial PennCard will be issued at no cost to you. A replacement fee will be charged for lost, stolen or damaged cards.
Q: How do new summer semester students get their PennCards?
A: If you are a newly admitted student who begins classes in the summer semester, you can still use Campus Express Online to submit your photo. First, make sure you're enrolled in a program and registered for, at least, one class for, at least, one business day. Then, when you arrive on campus, just stop by the PennCard Center, 3601 Walnut Street, 2nd floor, to pick up your PennCard. A valid government issued photo I.D. will be required in order to pick up your PennCard.
Q: Should I carry my PennCard with me?
A: Yes. You should carry your card with you at all times. University policy states that you must present your PennCard upon the request of any University official and that you must display your PennCard at designated times in certain campus buildings.
Q: How do I get my PennCard if I arrive on campus after New Student Orientation?
A: After New Student Orientation, students may obtain their PennCards from the PennCard Center located at 3601 Walnut Street, 2nd floor. The PennCard Center is open during normal University business hours.
Q: What can I do with my PennCard?
A: With your PennCard, you may:
- Enter academic and residential buildings on campus.
- Enter dining halls and access your dining plan.
- Charge purchases to your Student Financial Services line of credit.
- Make purchases using your PennCash account.
- Link your PennCard to your PNC Bank or Student Federal Credit Union account so that you may use your PennCard as an ATM card or pin-based bank debit card.
Q: What happens if I lose my PennCard?
A: Lost or stolen cards must be reported immediately to the PennCard Center at 215-417-CARD or to Public Safety at 215-573-3333. Once you have reported your PennCard missing, you must obtain a new card by coming to the PennCard Center. Please note that there will be a fee for the replacement card.
Don't forget -- if you linked your original PennCard to your bank account, you'll need to re-link your replacement PennCard. Contact PNC Bank or SFCU for help with linking your PennCard to your bank account.
Q: What is a PennCard Access Code (PAC)?
A: Your PennCard Access Code or PAC is the four-digit number used in conjunction with your PennCard at Penn to gain admittance to residential buildings.
Q: How do I find out my PAC?
A: In the past, a PAC number was automatically assigned to students based on the last four digits of Social Security Numbers as the default code. In 2010, several University offices worked together with the Undergraduate Assembly to make significant and positive changes to that process. As a result, new students are now assigned a random four-digit number as their PAC. To find out your assigned PAC or to change your PAC, go to Get My PAC under My Housing in Campus Express.
Q: How do I change my PAC?
A: Students can change their PAC numbers by going to Get My PAC under My Housing in Campus Express.
Q: Should I change my PAC?
A: All students are advised to change their code to something that is both secure and easy to remember.
The access code was developed to protect the safety and well-being of Penn students. When choosing your PAC numbers, you should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Pick a four-digit number that you can easily remember.
- Do NOT choose a number that is used for other important functions or that is easily guessed. For instance, you should NOT use your bank number or PIN, your date of birth, or any part of your Social Security number or Penn ID number.
- Do NOT share your PennCard Access Code with others.
PennCard Access Code
Q: What is a PennCard Access Code (PAC)?
A: Your PennCard Access Code or PAC (formerly referred to as your Residential Access Code or Personal Access Code) is the four digit number used in conjunction with your PennCard at Penn to gain admittance to residential buildings.
Q: How do I find out my PAC?
A: In the past, a PAC number was automatically assigned to students based on the last four digits of Social Security Numbers as the default code. In 2010, several University offices worked together with the Undergraduate Assembly to make significant and positive changes to that process. As a result, new students are now assigned a random four digit number as their PAC. To find out your assigned PAC or to change your PAC, go to Change My PennCard Access Code under My Housing in Campus Express.
Q: How do I change my PAC?
A: Students can change their PAC numbers by going to Change My PennCard Access Code under My Housing in Campus Express.
Q: Should I change my PAC?
A: All students are advised to change their code to something that is both secure and easy to remember.
The access code was developed to protect the safety and well-being of Penn students. When choosing your PAC numbers, you should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Pick a four digit number that you can easily remember.
- Do NOT choose a number that is used for other important functions or that is easily guessed. For instance, you should NOT use your bank number or PIN, your date of birth, or any part of your Social Security Number or Penn ID number.
- Do NOT share your PennCard Access Code with others.
Q: How do I activate my PennCash account?
A: PennCash is a declining balance account that is a built-in feature of your PennCard. Load value onto your PennCash account, and you're immediately ready to start using PennCash around campus.
The easiest and fastest way to load PennCash is to go to My PennCard, and use a Visa, Mastercard or transfer from your Student Financial Services line of credit. Your family members may also add value to your account by visiting us at PennCash Value Transfer Station locations or at the PennCard office.
Q: Who can use PennCash?
A: Anyone who has a valid PennCard may use PennCash.
Q: Why should I use PennCash instead of some other form of payment?
A: PennCash is an easy, fast and smart way to make "cash free" purchases on campus. You can easily add value to your card, and those funds are immediately available. PennCash is accepted in places where other forms of payment, such as credit cards, are not (library copiers, print labs, etc.).
Q: What's the difference between PennCash and the SFS line of credit (Bursar)?
A: PennCash is a declining balance account that is intended for flexible spending around campus. You control the amount of PennCash you add to your account and how much you spend. Unused PennCash may be refunded to you when you leave the University, or you may also choose to donate your unused PennCash to the Penn Fund.
The Student Financial Services line of credit (also known as the SFS credit account or Bursar) is a line of credit that is extended by Student Financial Services to those students who are in good financial standing with the University. Any purchases made to your SFS line of credit are added to your student bill and are due on a monthly basis. SFS is intended to be used for educational purposes, such as textbooks or computers. For more information about SFS credit, please visit the SFS website.
Q: If I have a meal plan or Dining Dollar$, may I still use PennCash?
A: Absolutely! PennCash, meal plans and Dining Dollar$ are separate accounts that are all linked to your PennCard. If a campus location accepts more than one payment method, just let the cashier know if you prefer to use PennCash.
Q: How safe is my PennCash?
A: The value in your PennCash account is not stored on your card. If you lose your PennCard, your PennCash account is frozen when you notify the PennCard office at 215-417-CARD or Public Safety at 215-573-3333.
Q: Does my PennCash transfer from year to year?
A: Yes! Your PennCash transfers from year to year.
Q: How do I get a refund or donate my remaining PennCash?
A: You may choose to receive a refund of your remaining PennCash or donate it to the Penn Fund. Please contact the PennCard Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-417-CARD for more information.
Q: Can I change my room assignment?
A: Room changes are made only during scheduled periods throughout the year. Information and specific dates are provided on the Residential Services website and on posted announcements. If you feel you need a change for a special reason at a time other than the room change period, you should discuss the matter with your House Dean.
Q: Am I guaranteed a room?
A: Freshmen whose applications are received by the May 1 deadline will receive housing on campus. Those applying after the deadline will be assigned a room if space is available. Upperclassmen and graduate students are not guaranteed housing.
Q: What if I decide not to come to Penn?
A: If you decide not to attend Penn and have applied for housing, you must cancel on the confirm/cancel page of Campus Express or write to the Housing Assignments Office (email@example.com). Per the terms of the occupancy agreement you signed, you will be charged a cancellation fee based on the date your cancellation is received.
Q: Why am I charged a housing cancellation fee if I am not attending Penn?
A: Penn's Residential Services does not require a housing deposit like many other schools. Only those who cancel after they are assigned a room are charged. If you are unsure you are attending Penn, you can wait to apply until you are sure or cancel as soon as you are aware that you are not attending. Cancellation fees escalate as time passes. Please be aware that notifying Admissions will not cancel your housing assignment. You must cancel your housing by writing the Housing Assignments Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Campus Express.
Q: Why didn't I get one of my room choices?
A: Freshmen are assigned to one of their requests if available. If none are available, freshmen are placed in any available room in order to ensure that housing is provided. Upperclass and graduate students will only be assigned to a room if one of their requests is available.
Q: Can I cancel my housing assignment?
A: Prior to occupancy, you may cancel your room assignment, but you will be charged a cancellation fee which escalates throughout the summer. The charge is based on the date that a written notice of cancellation is received by the Housing Assignments Office. Once a resident takes occupancy or picks up keys, the agreement cannot be canceled.
Q: Can I see my room in advance?
A: Due to summer conferences and scheduled maintenance, you cannot see your room in advance. The Admissions Office does offer campus tours during the summer. Graduate students interested in seeing a sample room/apartment in Sansom Place should contact the Housing Assignments Office to make a reservation. Sansom Place tours will be available mid-June through the beginning of August. For exact dates and times, call the Housing Assignments Office at 215-898-8271 or e-mail email@example.com.
Q: What are the dimensions of my room?
A: Most floor plans are available on Campus Express. You can see them by going to View My Assignment. Diagrams may not be exact and are only meant as a general guide.
Q: Are any rooms co-ed?
A: Unless otherwise requested, all rooms are designated as single-sex. However, students 18 years of age or older may apply for and be assigned to gender neutral housing. Gender Neutral room assignments will be made without regard to gender. Please refer to the Gender Neutral policy for details.
Q: Are all bathrooms co-ed?
A: No. The gender of the bathroom (male/female/co-ed) is either pre-designated or designated by the students on their floors at the beginning of the fall semester.
Q: Must I have the same room assignment for all four years?
A: No. In early spring semester, room selection begins for the following year.
Q: What does my room look like?
A: To view your room layout, click "See My Room Layout" under My Housing. These diagrams are meant to give you a general idea of your room dimensions and layout.
Q: When will I get a rent bill?
A: Rent will be posted on your SFS bill. For the fall semester, the first bill is sent by early July. For the spring semester, the bill is sent in December.
Q: How do I gain access to my residence?
A: You will need your PennCard (the University identification card) to access your residential building. All campus residences have a card-reader-controlled access system that validates PennCard holders before permitting entrance through a turnstile or portal. The turnstiles in all residences, except Class of '25, require you to also enter your PennCard Access Code (PAC) in addition to the card swipe.
Incoming students are assigned a random four digit number as their PAC. All students are encouraged to change this number to something that is both secure and easy to remember. To find out your assigned PAC or to change your PAC, go to Get My PAC under My Housing in Campus Express.
Q: Where can I find information about Move-In?
A: Full details on Move-In can be found at www.upenn.edu/housing, along with information about your residence, student rooms, and the amenities and services we provide all year. If your question is not answered on our website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: I'm a first-year student. Am I required to have a Dining Plan?
A: Freshman - Freshman are required to sign-up for one of the three First-Year Dining Plans. Students have until June 18 to select a plan, if you have not signed-up by that date we will automatically assign freshmen to the Best Food Fit dining plan, our most popular plan. Students wishing to change their dining plan after June 18 may do so during the Fall Change Period.
Transfer - First year transfer students are required to sign-up for a dining plan choosing from any of the first-year or upperclass plans. If students do not select a plan by mid-August, they will automatically be enrolled in the Best Food Fit dining plan prior to move-in.
Exchange - Exchange students are required to sign-up for a dining plan choosing from any of the first-year or upperclass plans. If students do not select a plan by mid-August, they will automatically be enrolled in the Best Food Fit dining plan prior to move-in.
Q: How can I confirm my online dining plan selection?
A: You will receive a confirmation email after you sign up online. You can also view your dining plan under the My Dining tab on Campus Express Online. If you do not receive the email or do not see your purchase in Campus Express, please contact the Penn Dining office at email@example.com.
Q: What if I want to make changes to my dining plan?
A: Dining plan changes are allowed once per semester during the official switch periods. Changes will be accepted August 26 through September 16 for the Fall 2015 term and January 13 through January 31 for the Spring 2016 term. You may change your dining plan once during the switch period via Campus Express and we encourage students to wait at least a week after classes begin before deciding to change plans. If you would like to add visits or Dining Dollar$ to your current plan, you may do so at any time.
Q: What are Dining Dollar$ and where can I use them?
A: Dining Dollar$ are part of a dining plan. They are funds on your PennCard used to purchase items at any dining location. With each purchase made, the amount is deducted electronically from your Dining Dollar$ account balance. Undergraduate and graduate students with dining plans may add Dining Dollar$ to their PennCard at any time via Campus Express. You can use Dining Dollar$ to purchase a-la-carte items at our retail operations, including:
- Houston Market - Houston Hall
- Tortas Frontera and the ARCH - 3601 Locust Walk
- Starbucks at 1920 Commons - 38th and Locust Walk
- 1920 Commons Retail including Gourmet Grocer, Fresh on the Walk, Pi, and Global Fusion - 38th & Locust Walk
- Mark's Café - Van Pelt Library, Lower level
- Accenture Cyber Café - Towne Building
- McClelland Express - in the Quadrangle
- Joe's Café - Steinberg Hall- Dietrich Hall
- Bridge and Plaza Café - Huntsman Hall
- Farmers' Market - University Square, 36th and Walnut St., Wednesdays, September through early November
Please note: Dining Dollar$ can be used in place of visits at our all-you-care-to-eat locations as well.
Q: How does my dining plan work?
A: All dining plans provide a specific quantity of visits to the all-you-care-to-eat dining cafes for the semester. These can be used at any time. All plans also include Dining Dollar$ for use at any of our dining locations. Students have the option to add visits or Dining Dollar$ to their plan at any time throughout the academic year by visiting Campus Express.
Please note: Visits and Dining Dollar$ are split by semester, you will receive one-half of the allotted amount of visits and Dining Dollar$ in the fall, and the other half in the spring. Any remaining visits at the end of the fall semester will not be added to the visits you receive for the spring. Dining Dollar$ will roll over from the fall semester to the spring, but expire on Commencement day.
Q: How do I use my visits and Dining Dollar$?
A: Your dining plan is encoded on your University ID (PennCard). When you present this card to the cashier at a dining location, your visits or Dining Dollar$ will be deducted from your account. Due to certain University closures during the year, the dining locations are closed as well and therefore neither visits nor Dining Dollar$ can be used. Please regularly visit our website (www.upenn.edu/dining) for the most up-to-date information regarding hours of operation.
Q: Can I take food out of the dining café?
A: Our dining plans were designed to provide maximum flexibility for students to enjoy our cafés. In addition to offering a variety of dining options, our all-you-care-to-eat facilities help foster a sense of campus community by allowing students to dine together. However, should you need to, there is a take-out option in the dining halls. Visit www.upenn.edu/dining/green2go for more information.
Q: What is Meal Equivalency?
A: Meal equivalency allows students to use to purchase a bundle of items (entreé, side, snack, beverage, dessert) from select retail locations. Meal equivalency is available at Gourmet Grocer, the Café at McClelland, Hill Express, Falk Dining Commons.
Q: Can I have a dining plan that is only Dining Dollar$?
A: An all Dining Dollar$ plan is available to upperclass and graduate students. Visit www.upenn.edu/dining for more information.
Q: Can I get a refund for visits I don't use?
A: No, visits to the all-you-care-to-eat dining cafés are non-refundable and we do not offer reimbursement. If you find that you are not using your visits and if you are eligible to do so, you have the option of changing your dining plan during our plan change periods (see details and related policy information).
NEW! Convert unused swipes to Dining Dollar$. Toward the end of each semester students will be able to convert 10-50 swipes to Dining Dollar$ at a value of $4.75 per swipe. These Dining Dollar$ will carry-over from the Fall to Spring semester and can be used through the end of the academic year.
Q: What happens to my visits and Dining Dollar$ if I change during the mid-year switch period?
A: If you switch to a different dining plan during the dining-switch period, the number of visits/Dining Dollar$ you have used will be subtracted from your new plan. For example, if you originally have the Balanced Eating Naturally (BEN) Plan, which has 185 visits and $212.50 Dining Dollar$ per semester, and use 10 visits and $20 Dining Dollar$ before you switch, 10 visits and $20 Dining Dollar$ will be subtracted from your new plan.
Please note: Regardless of what dining plan you have and whether or not you change you dining plan, all Dining Dollar$ carry over from the Fall semester to the Spring semester and expire on Commencement Day. All visits expire at the end of the Fall semester and on the last day of finals in the Spring semester.
Q: How can I find out how many visits or Dining Dollar$ I have left, and what can I do if I run out?
A: Every time your card is swiped to use a visit or Dining Dollar$, the remaining balance will come up on the card reader screen. You can also check your current balance of Dining Dollar$ and visits when you log-in to Campus Express and click on My Dining. Please note that the balance shown is updated in real time. Students may purchase Dining Dollar$ online in any amount via Campus Express or by visiting the Penn Dining office. Students may also purchase additional visit blocks of 25 online or in the office at any time. Online requests will be processed in real time.
Q: Can I use my dining plan visits for other people?
A: Every dining plan participant receives 10 extra guest meals (5 per semester) with his or her dining plan. These guest meals can be used at any time during the academic year to swipe in friends or family members. Please note that additional guest meals cannot be purchased. Once the guest meals are exhausted, guests must pay the door price rate or be swiped in with Dining Dollar$.
Q: What if I want to cancel my dining plan?
A: Cancellations are not permitted unless you are leaving the University for one of the following reasons, Leave of Absence, Withdrawal, Study Abroad, Graduation, or Fall Exchange Students (cancellation for spring semester only). If you are leaving the University and need to cancel your dining contract, you MUST complete a cancellation form.
Dining plan cancellations will only be granted when the student officially withdraws from the University. Please review the Terms & Conditions for more information regarding cancellations, including cancellations for medical reasons.
Q: What if I have special dietary or nutritional needs?
A: We encourage students to email our registered dietician at firstname.lastname@example.org for general nutritional information, or to speak directly with our chefs in the dining cafes. Students with other special dietary needs or concerns should contact our dining office to discuss how we can best accommodate their needs. Every dining location offers vegan, vegetarian, and "made without gluten containing ingredients" options as well as making provisions for those who are lactose intolerant.
Q: What if I keep kosher?
A: Then we have just the thing to meet your needs! Penn Dining has the premiere dining facility in the Philadelphia area, Falk Dining Commons located in Steinhardt Hall. For Shabbat dinner on Friday night and for Cholent lunch on Saturday, fixed price family style and boxed dinners will be available, reservations are encouraged. Students can use Swipes, Dining Dollar$, PennCash, SFS or cash. For freshmen who wish to keep kosher on a regular basis, Penn Dining will work with you individually on a plan that best supports your needs. Upperclass students should consider our ATM Plan which is Dining Dollar$ only.
For additional information regarding kosher dining at Penn, please contact the Penn Dining office at 215-898-3547 or email@example.com.
Q: What if I want to eat in the dining cafés and I don't have a dining plan?
A: If you do not want to purchase a dining plan but would still like to eat at a dining location, you can pay as you go. Methods of payment accepted include PennCash, SFS credit, Visa, MasterCard, and cash. Dining plans do offer savings, however, and paying with Dining Dollar$ will also enable you to dine in an all-you-care-to-eat facility.
Q: What if I Lose my PennCard?
A: You must visit the PennCard Center, located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore (36th & Walnut), to obtain a new ID card immediately (replacement fees apply). Without a PennCard, you are not guaranteed entrance to any secure campus building without some form of ID. Students who have lost or misplaced their PennCard may enter the dining halls by first completing a Lost Card Voucher obtained from the cashier. The visits will be deducted from your dining plan and a processing charge of $2.00 will be billed to your SFS account for each voucher used. The voucher is valid only for visits covered under your dining plan. Additional visits will be billed to your SFS account.
Q: Who can I contact if I have a comment or suggestion?
A: We welcome customer feedback! Our office is located in Stouffer Commons at 3702 Spruce Street, and our office hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Also, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 215-898-3547.
My New Computer
Q: I've heard that Microsoft Office is now free for students - how does that work?
A: Starting in mid-summer, students currently enrolled at Penn can download and install Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus free of charge. Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote for both Mac and PC (additionally, Access and Publisher for PC are included).
We encourage you to check back here in mid-July at the “My New Computer” section of Campus Express Online at http://campusexpress.upenn.edu for details about how download your free copy!
Please call our Back-To-School Hotline at 215-573-2850 with any questions.
Q: What kind of computer will I need when I get to campus?
A: Penn is a computing-intensive and networked environment. Most components of coursework are handled electronically. Email and Blackboard are the preferred methods for communications on campus. To take advantage of all that is available, it is critical to own or have access to a computer capable of communicating with the campus-wide network, AirPennNet, that links Penn faculty, staff and students to one another and the internet.
In the context of academic life at Penn, a number of qualities are important to consider for a computer that can be expected to serve a student through several years of exams, papers and travel - whether down the street or around the world:
The computer systems offered in the Back-To-School Sale by the University's Penn Computer Connection meet and, in many cases, exceed the recommendations of the various Schools of the University.
- A powerful processor, capable of running today's software and more advanced software available in the future. Penn recommends laptops that include Core i5 or Core i7 processors, with Core i3 processors as a value-priced alternative.
- Ample memory for complex tasks and multitasking. 8GB to 16GB of RAM is strongly recommended.
- Lots of storage for your files, including music, photos and videos. A 500GB hard drive or a solid state drive of up to 512GB is recommended.
- High-quality display and graphics that make work and entertainment enjoyable to view. Intel Integrated HD Graphics or a discrete graphics chipset from AMD or NVIDIA are recommended.
- Manufacturer's warranty and service coverage that enable you to minimize downtime and maximize productivity. Three years of manufacturer warranty coverage is recommended.
- A recent operating system, such as Windows 7 Professional, or Windows 8.1 Pro; or Mac OS 10.10 Yosemite.
Students do have access to a number of computer labs (see http://www.upenn.edu/computing/view/labs/), in both academic buildings and residence halls, which are equipped with current hardware, software and network connections. Computer labs tend to be crowded at peak times. However, many students prefer to work alone or when most labs are closed. Practically all students find it worthwhile to own a computer.
Q: Can you ship my computer order to me at home?
A: Yes, we can! Get familiar with your computer over the summer by choosing to have your computer shipped directly to you via UPS Ground service.
Some conditions apply:
* Important note for Wharton MBA students, School of Design students, and early-arriving Law students: please place your order by July 10 to help ensure your computer reaches you prior to your arrival in Philadelphia.
- Your order must be placed between June 1 and July 31.
- The address must be in the 48 continental United States.
- UPS cannot deliver to post office boxes, APO boxes, etc., as a signature is required for the delivery of your items.
The University's Penn Computer Connection anticipates beginning to ship most computer orders in the mid-June time frame, pending manufacturer availability. You will receive an email from UPS when your order is shipped to you. Please allow up to 5 business days from the time of shipment for your order to reach you.
- When ordering, you will have the option to choose whether you would prefer to have orders for printers and monitors shipped to you at home or held at Penn for pick-up at the time of your arrival on campus. Printers and monitors may be subject to additional shipping fees. If you choose to have your printer or monitor held for pickup at the store, please place a separate order that only includes items to be picked up on campus.
Q: What if I see a similar computer for less?
A: You may find there are significant differences between seemingly similar systems upon closer inspection.
For example, computers that may seem identical can have significant differences that matter in the short and the long run. Frequently, even leading manufacturers have many variations in their own products lines that are difficult to tell apart. Included warranties are often one year or less with little or no telephone support available. Notebooks may also be loaded with Windows 8.1 "Core", making them incompatible with essential on-campus resources.
The Back-To-School Sale computers are different, because they've been configured with high-quality components and operating systems fully compatible with Penn's networked environment.
Several of the Dell and Lenovo notebooks we offer on Campus Express include three years of accidental damage protection, saving you unexpected and expensive repair charges that may not be covered under warranties from other manufacturers.
Apple MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro laptops include the option to purchase AppleCare, extending your warranty coverage to a full three years, which is strongly recommended. Safeware Accidental Damage Warranties are also available to cover Apple systems against accidental damage.
And finally, the Computer Connection also serves as a convenient location if you schedule service for your PC notebook. After you've called Dell or Lenovo with three years of on-site repair coverage for service, just drop your machine off at our store on your way to class and pick it up on the way home. It couldn't be easier!
Be mindful of the limitations of many "bargain priced" computers. This sale offers the best value for top-quality technology at a significant savings.
Q: What important dates should I keep in mind?
A: Please keep these dates in mind when planning your purchase:
- June 1: Back-To-School Sale begins
- July 10: Recommended Ship-To-Home order deadline for Wharton MBA Students and early-arriving Law School students; recommended order deadline for Wharton MBA pickup orders and all School of Design orders
- July 31: Deadline for Free Shipping of laptop orders along with software and accessories to your home
Q: What kind of savings can I expect?
A: Many computer hardware and software manufacturers offer special academic pricing on their products, such as Apple, Dell, Lenovo, and Adobe. As a Penn student, you can purchase these items at a substantial savings off the standard retail price in the My New Computer section of Campus Express and at the University's own computer store - the Penn Computer Connection. For example: Adobe Creative Cloud for Students, which has a retail price of $359.99, is available for purchase to faculty, staff and students for only $239.88 - a 33% savings.
The amount you save purchasing from the Back-To-School Sale, as opposed to other outlets, is shown for each item offered in the My New Computer section. These comparisons are generally made against the manufacturers' suggested retail price as gathered from their web sites or otherwise provided by the manufacturers in May 2015.
Q: I'm going to pick up my computer on campus. Where and when can I get it?
A: When you order your computer, we'll ask you for the approximate date you plan to arrive on campus. That will help ensure that your order is ready when you get to Penn, prior to the start of the semester.
Your computer can be picked up in the Penn Computer Connection showroom. The store is located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore, at 36th & Walnut Streets - right in the heart of campus:
- Graduate students: pick-up available starting the week prior to the beginning of your program.
- Undergraduate students: pick-up available during Move-In Week beginning Thursday, August 20, 2015.
Penn Computer Connection
2nd Floor, Penn Bookstore
3601 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3298
Q: Special offers from the Computer Connection and from other manufacturers
A: Enjoy these special opportunities to save by purchasing your new computer during the Computer Connection's Back-To-School Sale!
- Discounts on Apple Notebooks Penn students enjoy a special discount of $50 off of any MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. Savings apply for purchases made through June 26, 2015
- Free Shipping! Have your new computer shipped to you at home to use during the summer. Order by July 31 to take advantage of Free Shipping!
Also, be on the lookout for an Apple BTS promotion starting in early July.
Q: Who is eligible to purchase from the Back-To-School Sale?
A: Certain vendor agreements and other policies limit the sale of certain items to eligible purchasers. In general, an eligible purchaser is University of Pennsylvania faculty member, full-time staff, or student enrolled in a degree or certificate program. Also employees of affiliated hospitals and institutions are eligible to make purchases at Computer Connection. Eligibility must be verifiable; other policies may apply. Eligibility to purchase is subject to management approval.
Hardware and software are available to University of Pennsylvania students enrolled in a course of study leading to degree or certificate, and students who have graduated from high school, accepted and signed a letter of intent to enroll. and submitted a non-refundable deposit. Also eligible are faculty and full-time staff of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), Hospital of the University (HUP), Presbyterian Hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
Faculty, staff and students purchasing Apple computer products with personal funds will be allowed to purchase the following quantities of product per academic school year (August 1 through the following July 31):
Eligible faculty, students, staff and Alumni may purchase one desktop and one notebook per model for their personal use during their affiliation with U of PA, UPHS and CHOP.
- Desktop: Three(3) may be purchased per academic year
- Mac mini: Three (3) may be purchased per academic year
- Notebook: Three (3) may be purchased per academic year
- Display: A maximum of two (2) may be purchased per academic year
- iPad: A maximum of three (3) may be purchased per academic year
Eligible faculty, students, staff and Alumni may purchase one notebook computer, one desktop computer and one display per academic year (August 1-July 31).
Products may not be purchased for further resale. Other policies may apply.
Q: Will I be charged sales tax on my purchase?
A: The University of Pennsylvania is obliged to collect local and state sales taxes, totaling 8%, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on orders picked up on campus.
The University must also collect local and state sales taxes for orders shipped to addresses in the following states:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
This list may be updated at any time without notice.
Note for international students: The United States does not have a uniform system of taxation on purchases, such as VAT. Individual states, counties and municipalities set their own rate of tax for purchases made in or shipped to their territory. The amount of tax can vary from 0% (Delaware) to approaching 10% (certain areas of California) of the cost of the purchase. Campus Express Online prices will reflect appropriate sales tax information when you choose whether you wish to receive your purchase on campus or have it shipped within the United States.
Note on shipping within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: The tax law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania specifies that, for purchases shipped within the Commonwealth, the local sales tax of the shipper (in this case, the University) is the tax that is collected.
Q: A number of states have sales tax holidays for computer purchases over the first weekend of August - Campus Express orders will qualify!
A: Several states have sales tax holidays during August. If your state is one of these, while sales tax will show on your order when you place it during the specified dates for your state, you'll see the correct sales tax amount on your invoice when your order is processed for shipment by the Computer Connection. (Note that orders placed for "Pickup" when you arrive on campus are charged Philadelphia sales tax).
Watch this space for specific information about tax free sales periods in states later this summer.
Q: What software will I need on my computer?
A: The computer you use on campus should be ready to meet the demands of Penn's computing-intensive education environment, which is reliant on the Internet as a collaborative and information-gathering tool. Information Systems and Computing, the University's central computing agency, has made these applications available to help students work together with each other and their instructors at Penn:
These applications can be downloaded by clicking the links above (requires your PennKey and Password).
Microsoft Office is the recommended and supported productivity software suite of the University of Pennsylvania. It is strongly recommended that you use the most recent version of Office (Office 365, which includes applications for both Mac and Windows). New this year, all students are able to download Microsoft Office 365 Pro Plus for Free. Check back for details on how to get your free download later this summer!
Q: Which computer should I buy?
A: Penn's Information Systems and Computing (ISC) staff have been advising students, faculty and staff with their computer purchases for more than two decades. Here is a summary of their advice:
Q: How does the My New Computer store on Campus Express work?
- First, decide on a platform - Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS. All schools at the University support both platforms. Some software used in specific graduate-level programs may require one platform or another. If unsure, ask us or check with your school's IT department for details.
- Because of their portability, laptop computers are the clear choice among Penn students. Each of the laptops offered in the Back-To-School Sale is equipped with built-in WiFi and Ethernet, allowing you to connect throughout campus so that you can check email or retrieve information online. Desktop computers or tablets are often a good complement to a notebook computer as they can offer additional storage space and a larger display (desktops) or even greater portability (tablets). On-campus residences, academic buildings and most public spaces are covered by a campus-wide WiFi network, AirPennNet. For off-campus internet access, an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is required.
- Each of the systems offered in the Back-To-School Sale meets or exceeds ISC's recommendations. You should feel comfortable choosing any of the models offered. The more powerful models have the processing power to take advantage of software advances. If you can afford it, buy for the long term.
- Many Schools and programs within the University make specific recommendations for new computer purchases. Check with your School or department for their advice or look for their information that accompanies the Back-to-School brochure mailing that students receive in June.
A: The Campus Express My New Computer area is an online shopping web site similar to many ecommerce sites, but with the additional feature of being able to charge your purchase to your Student Financial Services account (see below). Simply add to your shopping cart (a) the computer that meets your needs, (b) software such as Adobe Creative Suite or Endnote and (c) any other important items, such as computer locks, external hard drives or protective carry cases. When you are finished, you can check out.
There are several payment methods that you can use to make your purchase:
- Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards are accepted.
- Charge to your Student Financial Services account. See notes below for details.
Notes on using your Student Financial Services account:
Q: How Can I Finance My Purchase?
- Please note: Your SFS account is NOT an arrangement for financing or extended payments, and the entire balance of your order is payable upon receipt of your monthly University account statement. All purchases charged through SFS are subject to the University's standard terms and conditions regarding payment of your student account (visit http://www.sfs.upenn.edu for
- If you have used the Student Financial Services account to buy a computer at Campus Express previously, and would like to do so again, please contact us if you have trouble completing your purchase.
A: If you want to learn about financing available for your new computer purchase, there are several options to consider:
Q: What is your return policy?
- Call Student Financial Services directly at 215-898-1988 to discuss options.
- Call the Student Federal Credit Union at the University of Pennsylvania at 215-222-2604, or visit www.upennsfcu.org for more information.
- Call the University of Pennsylvania Federal Credit Union for faculty and staff at 215-898-8539, or visit www.uofpfcu.com for financing options.
A: Computer software, supplies and accessories may be returned within 10 business days of purchase if in the original sealed package (unopened) and with original store receipt. (Products must be of the current version or model). Opened products are not returnable. Defective products will be handled in accordance with the manufacturer's warranty. Products inoperable upon first use have specific policies that vary with each manufacturer or distributor. Depending on the product, the item is either eligible for repair under warranty or may be exchanged for the same item. Requests for all returns must occur within 10 days of purchase. All returns are subject to approval by Computer Connection management staff. Depending on the particular product, other policies may apply. Call 215-898-3282 for more information.
Q: What type of computer support is available once I get to campus?
A: IT support centers at Penn are oriented around where a student lives and which School of the University they attend. IT Support can assist with questions like how to get your computer and other devices on the AirPennNet wireless network. The use of antivirus software, which is distributed free of charge by the University, and having a backup plan in place and using it, are strongly recommended by campus IT support organizations.
Students living in the College Houses receive computing support from Information Technology Advisers (ITA's, who are specially-trained fellow students living in College Houses). Information about the ITA program, including work study opportunities, is available on the web at wwww.rescomp.upenn.edu and by phone at 215-573-4052.
Support for students living off campus, in Sansom East and Sansom West, and in the Greek houses receive their computing support through the following services:
Support is also available from Schools. Each School at the University has an IT support department for its students.
- Email Support: email@example.com (M-F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
- Walk-in Support at the Computing Resource Center, located in Suite 202, Sansom Place West, 3650 Chestnut St (M-F, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.)
- Phone support: First Call Hotline 215-573-4778 (M-F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
The two most important things students can do to protect their data from loss and theft are to keep their antivirus software up to date (on Macs, too!) and to use a regular backup. On Macs, Time Machine is included on every computer during the Back-to-School sale. It will backup the contents of the computer's internal hard drive to a connected external hard drive. For PCs with Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Professional, Windows Backup and Restore can be used to create a backup schedule.
The Weigle Information Commons at Van Pelt Library, located in the heart of campus, offers many services designed to assist students, faculty and staff use technology to enhance the learning process. Some of the offerings at WIC include online tutorials, workshops, group learning spaces and audio/visual equipment loans.
Q: Who can register their property in this program?
A: This program is only offered to Penn students, faculty and staff.
Q: Is there a cost associated with registration?
A: There is no charge for this service. It is sponsored by the Division of Public Safety and the Division of Business Services.
Q: Do I really need a lock for my property?
A: Your first defense against theft is purchasing a recommended lock and using it whenever you leave your property unattended. This will go a long way to help to keep your property safe and secure.
Penn students can purchase either a lock for their bike or laptop computer using Campus Express.
Q: What are the advantages to purchasing a lock using Campus Express Online?
A: The advantages to purchasing a lock through Campus Express Online are:
Q: What if I already have a lock?
- The lock you are purchasing for either your bike or your laptop on Campus Express has been recommended by the Division of Public Safety.
- You can purchase a lock using your Student Financial Services account.
A: If you already have a cable lock for your bicycle, they have been shown not to be as effective as other types of bicycle locks. Therefore, they should be used as a secondary security device or to lock up accessories when securing your bike.
If you already have a chain lock for your bicycle, they do provide a decent level of security. However, they are more effective when complemented with a U-lock.
If you already have a U-lock for your bicycle, they have been shown to be more secure than cable or chain locks. Division of Public Safety recommends purchasing a U-lock to help ensure protection and security.
If you already have a lock for your laptop computer, make sure your lock is designed to fit the security slot found on almost every notebook.
Q: What if I sell my property?
A: If you sell your property, it is your responsibility to cancel your registration. You can cancel your registration by logging on to Campus Express Online. It is then the responsibility of the buyer (if a Penn student) to register the item(s) under their own name using Campus Express Online.
Q: What if my property is expensive and I don't want to put a sticker on it?
A: The sticker you will be given is intended not to be removed as part of the security process. If your property is expensive, you should want to do all that you can to protect it or improve your chances of recovering it if it is lost or stolen.
Q: What should I do if my property is lost or stolen?
A: Call Penn Police immediately at (215) 573-3333.
My Transportation - Penn Transit Services
Q: What services does Penn Transit offer?
A: Penn Transit offers bus, shuttle and Penn Accessible Transit services FREE of charge to Penn students. You must present your valid PennCard to the driver of any Penn Transit vehicle upon entry of that vehicle.
Q: What is Penn Bus?
A: Penn Bus is an evening bus service that operates on fixed schedules along established routes. You can access the Penn Bus by waiting at designated stopping points.
Q: Where does the Penn Bus go?
A: Penn Bus offers two routes. The Penn Bus West Route services transit stops on campus and dropping off passengers along a designated route in West Philadelphia. The Penn Bus East Route services transit stops on campus and dropping off passengers along a designated route in Center City Philadelphia.
Q: When does Penn Bus operate?
A: Penn Bus West operates from 5 p.m. until 12 a.m. Penn Bus East operates from 5 p.m. until 12 a.m. Both services operate Monday - Friday, year-round, except on holidays observed by the University.
Q: How do I use Penn Bus?
A: Wait at any transit stop on campus for the buses. If you are off campus, you may wait at any controlled corner (traffic light or stop sign) along the bus route. You will need to signal the driver that you would like to be picked up. Upon returning to campus, the driver will drop you off at their last stop.
The buses run on a set schedule during operating times.
Q: What is the Penn GPS?
A: In order to better serve its patrons, Penn Transit has installed new GPS tracking in all of its Penn Buses and Shuttles. For Penn Buses and Shuttles, the GPS allows riders to get real-time information about locations and expected arrival times of Penn Transit vehicles. The site will also feature traffic alerts, such as emergency route or schedule changes. GPS information can be accessed via computer, cell phone or PDA at: Penn Rides.
Q: What is Penn Shuttle?
A: Penn Shuttle offers to-door transportation to and from campus to West Philadelphia, Center City and Powelton Village within Penn Transit's service area every day of the week between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. You can access Penn Shuttle by calling 215-898-RIDE.
Q: How long will I have to wait for a Shuttle after calling 215-898-RIDE?
A: Your Penn Shuttle should arrive 5 to 20 minutes after your call. Sometimes bad traffic, inclement weather, University events or other circumstances out of our control can slow us down.
Q: Is there any transit service during the day?
A: No, Penn Bus and Penn Shuttle services only operate in the evening hours.
Q: What is Penn Accessible Transportation?
A: Penn Accessible Transportation is a ride service offered on weekdays for the sick and disabled.
Q: How do I get accepted for Penn Accessible Transportation (PAT)?
A: Penn students should call Student Disabilities at 215-573-9235. They will ask questions about your health situation and request a doctor's confirmation. They will then call the Penn Accessible Transportation dispatcher and put you on the PAT list. In most cases, they will include an end date for use of the service. After that date, if you still need the service, you will need to call back to renew.
Q: How do I get a ride on Penn Accessible Transportation?
A: Once on the PAT list, simply call, give your last name, your location (please be specific as to address) and your destination. After that, watch for the van.
Q: How many rides can I take each day?
A: You are allowed 4 rides during the day and 2 rides at night.
Q: Can you get an Penn Accessible Transit ride during the evening?
A: From 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., the Shuttle Service will send Penn Accessible Transit to people on the PAT list.
Q: Are there options other than Penn Accessible Transportation?
A: SEPTA offers the Customized Community Transportation (CCT) Connect Service. This operates within the five-county SEPTA region. For information and to register, call 215-580-7145.
Q: Can I use the Drexel Bus Service?
A: Penn students are permitted unlimited use of the Drexel bus service at no charge with a valid PennCard. Drexel University provides transportation across its three campuses - University City Main Campus, Center City Hahnemann Campus and the Queen Lane Medical Campus. The bus service includes three fixed routes (Blue & Gold, Dragon and Queen Lane) and operates Monday through Friday.
My Transportation - Parking at Penn
Q: Do I need a car at Penn?
A: Penn is accessible by foot or bike as well as by SEPTA, the Philadelphia public transportation system of rails, buses, subways and trolleys, making it easy to navigate to and from campus even without your own vehicle. In addition, Penn has a partnership with Enterprise CarShare and ZipCar, offering the largest University car sharing program in the nation.
However, for students who still wish to have a vehicle on campus, you may purchase a parking permit through Penn Parking for a fee.
Q: Where can I find information regarding Penn student parking?
A: All student parking information, including prices and valid dates, is available on Campus Express. Penn Parking offers academic year/9-month (Sept-May), annual/12-month(Sept-Aug) and summer (Session I, II or full-summer) parking. Academic and annual parking applications are available on Campus Express starting June 1. Summer parking applications are available on Campus Express starting April 1.
Q: Where can I apply for student parking?
A: Students can apply for student parking year-round through Campus Express Online. Students cannot apply for parking in the office.
Q: How much will a permit cost for the 2015-2016 year?
A: The following rates are effective for the 2015-2016 Parking Year for ALL Permit holders:
Academic Year Rate = Effective 9/1/15- 5/31/16
Annual Rate = Effective 9/1/15 - 8/31/16
Summer Sessions I Rate = Effective 5/26/15 - 7/1/15
Summer Session II Rate = Effective 7/2/15 - 8/7/15
Full Summer Session Rate = Effective 5/26/15 - 8/31/15
Q: What types of permits are there?
- Daily/Commuter Parking
Academic Year: $1,568.00
Summer Sessions I and II: $220.00
Full Summer Session: $592.00
- Evening Parking
Academic Year: $783.00
Summer Sessions I and II: $110.00
Full Summer Session: $296.00
- 24-Hour Parking
Academic Year: $1,941.00
Summer Sessions I and II: $272.00
Full Summer Session: $733.00
- Motorcycle Parking
Academic Year: $521.00
Summer Sessions I and II: $73.00
Full Summer Session: $197.00
Academic Year: $626.00
Summer Sessions I and II: $88.00
Full Summer Session: $236.00
A: Various types of parking permits are available for University parking facilities. Parking permits are issued on an annual basis valid from September 1 through August 31; on an academic year basis valid from September 1 through May 31; and for Summer Sessions I and II, plus the full Summer. Parking permits are not transferable.
Q: When can I purchase a parking pass?
- Daily/Commuter Parking Permits are issued for parking during normal business hours in assigned University parking facilities. These permits are also honored in any surface parking lot 5:00 p.m.-Midnight, Monday to Friday; and 6:00 a.m.-Midnight, Saturday and Sunday, provided space is available, vehicles are parked in legitimate, striped parking spaces and the the hangtag is prominently displayed on the rear view mirror.
- Evening Parking Permits are available for purchase for the academic year or annually. They are valid after 4:00 p.m. on weekdays until 11:00 p.m. and all day on weekends. These permits are honored in any of our surface parking lots, provided space is available, vehicles are parked in legitimate, striped parking spaces and the vehicle shows a hangtag on the rear view mirror.
- 24-Hr Parking Permits are issued for round-the-clock parking, including holidays.
- Motorcycle Parking Permits are issued for either daily/commuter access or 24-hour access. Different rates apply.
- Evening/Weekend Parking for Penn Permit Holders Only. On weekday evenings (Monday-Friday) and weekends (Saturday and Sunday) many of Penn's surface parking lots are available for parking to anyone with a current and valid University issued parking permit hangtag. All valid and current parking permit hangtags are honored in these lots on a first-come, first-served basis provided space is available, vehicles are parked in legitimate, striped parking spaces and the vehicle shows a hangtag on the rear view mirror. During special events, some of these lots may be operated as cash lots, at which time parking permits may not be honored. Permit holders who work late or stay for evening classes are encouraged to move their vehicles to any of our surface parking lots after 5:00 p.m.
A: Academic and annual parking applications are available starting June 1. However, you can purchase a parking pass at any time during the year. Parking rates will be prorated to accurately reflect the time remaining on the parking pass. Summer Sessions parking applications are available starting April 1.
Q: Where can I park?
A: Appropriate parking lots for students are determined based on where the student lives (24-hour students) or where the student's classes are located (commuting students). Student parking is limited to the following locations:
Q: How often must I apply for parking?
- Commuting students: Law Lot; Walnut 32 Garage; and Walnut 40 Garage
- 24-Hour students: Walnut 32 Garage and Walnut 40 Garage.
- Evening students: Law Lot
- Nursing School and Vet School students: Spruce 38 Garage
A: A new application must be completed by the student for each parking period. For example, academic year parkers will have to re-apply for a summer parking permit via Campus Express.
Q: How many vehicles can I register?
A: Students cannot have more than one vehicle on their account.
Q: How can I purchase a student parking permit?
A: Students are usually billed through their Student Financial account. However, Penn Parking also accepts credit cards as an alternative form of payment.
Q: How many parking access cards can I purchase?
A: Students can only have one access card (if necessary) per paid account. Credit cards or billing through the student's financial account are acceptable forms of payment. A $30 fee will be assessed on lost access cards or hangtags payable via credit card at Penn Parking.
Q: What other rules govern parking?
A: All parking permit holders are required to follow the Rules and Regulations. See the Rules and Regulations for details regarding permit cancellation, permit display, security, fees and assignments, and more.
My Transportation - PennPass
Q: What is a PennPass?
A: The PennPass is a semester-based transpass for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the mass transit system for the Philadelphia region.
Q: How should I know if I should buy a PennPass?
A: A PennPass offers unlimited discounted travel within specific zones. If you plan to explore the Philadelphia region via public transportation or, if you plan to commute to campus regularly using SEPTA, then the PennPass would be more convenient and economical then purchasing single trips. For students who only plan to use public transportation occasionally, using tokens could be a better option. Tokens are sold at several locations on campus.
Q: How much does a PennPass cost?
A: If you commute to campus or have other reasons to use SEPTA frequently, a PennPass can save you money. The PennPass is only offered for the fall and spring semesters.
Cost 2015 Fall Semester:
City Pass - $327.60
Zone 1 Pass - $363.60 (Required for the following Regional Rail Stations: Allegheny, Angora, Chelten Avenue, East Falls, Fern Rock, Germantown, Olney, Queen Lane, Wayne Junction, Wistar, Wynnefield, 49th Street)
Zone 2 Pass - $486.00
Zone 3 Pass - $586.80
Anywhere Pass - $687.60
Q: Where can I go with the PennPass?
A: You may travel on any of SEPTA's buses, subways or trolleys within the city during the week, and you may travel the entire mass transit system on weekends with the City Pass. Other zones will allow you to travel further on SEPTA's systems.
Q: When may I use the PennPass?
A: Usage dates for the Fall 2015 semester will be available by July 1, 2015.
Q: May I return my PennPass if I don't use it or have it replaced if it's lost or stolen?
A: No, PennPasses are non-refundable and non-transferable. Should you lose your Penn Pass or if it is stolen, Penn Parking or SEPTA cannot provide a replacement at no cost.
Q: How do I buy a PennPass?
A: To buy a PennPass, simply fill out the online application on Campus Express. Your Student Financial Services account will be charged automatically.
Q: Where do I go for more SEPTA information?
A: For SEPTA routes and other services, go to www.septa.org or call (215) 580-7800.
Q: Where can I pick up my PennPass?
A: Your PennPass will be available for pick up at the Penn Parking Services Office, 3401 Walnut Street, Suite 447A. The Penn Parking Services Office is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 A.M. - 4:45 P.M. Bring your PennCard with you.
My Transportation - NJ Transit
Q: Where can I go for more information on the New Jersey Transit discount?
A: For information regarding the discount option, contact NJ Transit Quik-Tik customer service at (866) 784-5845. To apply for the discount, go to My Transportation.
My Transportation - Other Transportation Questions
Q: How do I request a walking escort?
You can request a walking escort by completing one of the following:
Q: When can I request a walking escort?
- Ask any Public Safety Officer on patrol or inside a building
- Call 215-898-WALK (9255) or 511 (from campus phone)
- Use one of the many building and blue-light telephones located on and off Penn's Campus
A: Walking escorts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Additional escorts are also available from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m. between 30th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue via the University's partnership with the University District Ambassador Program.
Q: What is the walking escort service area?
A: Walking escorts operate between 30th to 43rd Sts. and Market St. to Baltimore Ave.
Additional escorts are also available from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m. between 30th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue via the University's partnership with the University District Ambassador Program.
Q: Does it cost me anything to request a walking escort?
A: Absolutely not! Walking escort is a service offered free-of-charge to all members of the Penn community. To learn about other services provided by the University's Division of Public Safety, click here
My Textbooks - General Textbook FAQs
Q: How often is the course information and book information updated?
A: The Bookstore updates course and textbook information on a daily basis. All of the changes are reflected the following day.
Q: What if there is no textbook information for my course?
A: Although you can begin ordering your textbooks now, you may notice on the site that some of your course materials are not listed. Our textbook list is a dynamic process with professors adding titles and making decisions about course materials throughout the summer. Your course list may not be complete. Your course materials may also not be listed because they are not available through the Penn Bookstore.
Q: Are all my course materials available at the Penn Bookstore?
A: Not necessarily. There are particular course materials that are not available at the Bookstore. Your course materials may not be listed because they are being offered through other venues. They may be included in one of the University's online class management systems (such as Blackboard); some materials, in particular course packs, may be available through other outlets (such as Wharton Reprographics) or your professor may have decided to provide your course materials through other off-campus vendors.
Q: What should I do if my textbooks and/or course materials are unavailable through the Penn Bookstore?
A: Students should consult their syllabi to determine other venues that carry their course materials. Your syllabi may be found on the Penn InTouch site or will be provided to you on your first day of class.
Q: In addition to textbooks, what other course materials are required for my classes?
A: Many classes require course packs - custom packages of articles, case studies and other readings selected individually by your instructor. Course packs are offered at the Penn Bookstore and Wharton Reprographics as well as other off-campus venues. As with textbooks, course pack information is updated throughout the summer, so you should check back regularly. If textbooks and additional course material are unavailable through the Bookstore, students should contact their professors to determine other venues that carry their materials.
Q: I have noticed that some of my classes have titles listed as "PKG" and other titles listed as a "Value" option. What is the difference?
A: "PKG" stands for package. A textbook package usually contains the textbook and other added components, such as study guides and solution manuals. The "Value" option offers you the opportunity to purchase the textbook alone, usually at a significantly lower price.
Q: I see an ISB Number with each of my texts? What is an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) and why do they matter?
A: ISBN's are unique identifiers for each book. Without an ISBN, it is difficult to identify the correct version or edition of a particular textbook.
Q: Why is an ISBN number important for me as a student?
A: With the ISBN for all your course materials, you can more easily compare prices for specific texts among all vendors. Without an ISBN, it is difficult to identify the correct edition or version of a particular textbook.
Q: How can I find the ISBN number for my books?
A: Go to the My Textbook section of Campus Express and click on the "Buy Textbook" link. You will be directed to a page that lists all your courses, the course materials for each of your courses and the ISBN for each of these materials.
My Textbooks - Purchasing FAQs
Q: What are the options to purchase books and supplemental course materials?
A: Depending upon the class and time of the purchase, students can choose between new, used, digital or rental versions. Course packs are also available in digital or printed versions.
Q: How do I know what is the right textbook option (new, used, digital or rental) for me?
A: With the range of options for purchasing your textbooks that the Penn Bookstore offers, you can manage your textbook purchases in a way that best fits your academic needs and your budget. Under "Frequently Asked Questions" in the My Textbook section of Campus Express, click on the option in which you are interested for specific details. You can also contact our service-friendly booksellers in our textbook department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or reach them directly at 215-898-4500.
Q: Are there any advantages to purchasing my textbooks before coming to campus?
A: Yes. You can choose to have your books delivered to you in order to avoid the new semester rush and the longer than usual lines. If you reserve your books for pick-up, your order will be waiting for you in the textbook department, packed with a register receipt for quick pick-up. Also, used textbooks are in high demand. By purchasing earlier, you will greatly increase your chances of finding used textbooks for your courses. The difference between a new textbook price and a used textbook price is about 25%.
Q: What does it mean to pre-order my books?
A: You have the option to pre-order your course materials for courses that may not have book information at the time of your order. If you choose to pre-order materials for a particular course, we will process your order as soon as textbook information is received. However, there may be reasons as to why your class does not list any course material. (See FAQs). If this is the case, your pre-order will not be processed.
Q: What are my payment options?
A: The Bookstore accepts Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover and Barnes and Noble Gift Cards. You can also charge your textbook purchase directly to your Student Financial Services account (SFS) or your PennCash account by providing the Bookstore with your PennCard number. All payment information will pass through a secured server.
Q: What is the Bookstore's return policy for textbook purchases made online?
A: Whether your books are mailed to you or reserved at the Bookstore, a Penn Bookstore receipt will be included in your package. Be sure to retain your receipt. A full refund will be given in your original form of payment if the textbooks are returned within the first two weeks of classes with original receipt. With proof of schedule change and original receipt, a full refund will be given in your original form of payment during the first 30 days of classes. Beyond 30 days, the Bookstore will work with students on a case-by-case basis. Contact a Bookstore manager for assistance.
Q: If I am selecting the option to purchase textbooks and have them reserved for in store pick-up, where exactly do I pick up my books?
A: All textbook reservations will be distributed from the Textbook department located on the second level of the Bookstore.
Q: What if I have questions about my order or need to cancel a course or my entire order?
A: Once you have completed your purchase, you will receive an email confirmation. Retain your confirmation and refer to your confirmation number when making inquiries. You can contact our service-friendly booksellers in our textbook department by emailing email@example.com or reach them directly at 215-898-4500.
Q: Am I required to buy my books from the Penn Bookstore?
A: Students are free to purchase their books from any source.
Q: If I purchase from another source, how will I know I am getting the right edition of the book?
A: In addition to listing your required course materials, the Penn Bookstore website also provides students with the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for each textbook that we sell. ISBNs are unique identifiers for each book. With an ISBN, it is easy to identify the correct edition or version of a particular textbook, no matter where you decide to buy the book.
Q: Are there advantages to purchasing through the Penn Bookstore?
A: Yes. The Bookstore accepts Visa Card, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card and Barnes and Noble Gift Cards and you can also charge your textbook purchase directly to your Student Financial Services (SFS) account or Penn Cash account by providing the Bookstore with your PennCard number. The Bookstore also has an easy return policy if you change classes. Whether your books are mailed to you or reserved at the Penn Bookstore, a receipt will be included in your package. Be sure to retain your receipt. With the original receipt, a full refund will be given in your original form of payment during the first 30 days of classes. Beyond 30 days, the Bookstore will work with students on a case by case basis. Contact a Bookstore manager for assistance.
My Textbooks - Rental Textbook FAQs
Q: Why is the Penn Bookstore offering a textbook rental program?
A: Penn and Barnes and Noble, manager of the Penn Bookstore, are sensitive to the helping students manage the cost of textbooks through a variety of activities. As the student community demands more options (both in pricing and in format), we continue to explore ways to respond and providing a textbook rental program is one of the options we can now offer students.
Q: How will I know which books are available for rental?
A: If you use the Bookstore's online system, the listing will tell you if rental versions are available, as well as if you can purchase used or digital versions of the textbook.
Q: How many textbooks are available for rental?
A: While we can't predict exactly, we estimate that 85% of the textbook titles offered at the Penn Bookstore are available for rental.
Q: Why aren't all books available for rental?
A: There are a number of criteria used to determine whether a book is suitable for inclusion in the rental program. These include:
Q: What are the benefits of renting a textbook? Is it the cheapest option?
- Edition status - is the textbook scheduled for an update
- Reuse rate - is the textbook for a particular course used for concurrent semesters
- Components - does the textbook come with some type of customized workbooks, study guides or solutions manuals
A: Renting textbooks save you on average 50% when compared to a new printed textbook. However, while rentals have the lowest up-front cost, a used textbook is still generally the least expensive option providing it is being re-adopted next term and can be sold back to the Bookstore for 50%.
Q: It seems complicated, how can I know if it is more economical in the long run to rent or purchase?
A: If you have questions about the most affordable option for purchasing a specific textbook, you should talk to a representative from the Penn Bookstore textbook department. They can be contacted by calling the textbook department at 215-898-8500.
Q: What if I decide to buy my book?
A: You may decide to convert your rental to a purchase through the second week of classes without any additional charge. To do this, you must contact your bookstore. We will credit you the rental charge and charge you for the book. If you return your book by the Return Due Date, you can decide to purchase the book at the used book price.
Q: Can I highlight and write notes in my rental book?
A: Yes, you can highlight areas and write notes in the margins and not be charged for damages. However, if you return the book in unusable condition (rip off the cover, tear out pages, spill coffee, etc.) you will be charged for the full shelf price of the book.
Q: What if I drop a class?
A: The Bookstore's return policy on rented books is the same as for purchased books. Return the book to the Bookstore within the first 30 days of classes with the original receipt and you can receive a full refund. Beyond 30 days, the Bookstore will work with students on a case-by-case basis. Contact a Bookstore manager for assistance.
Q: How long is the rental period?
A: The rental period begins the day you pay for the Textbook Rental and continues until the the last day of Finals, as shown on your Order Confirmation. All rented textbooks must be returned to the bookstore, in good condition, by the Rental Return Due Date. Textbook Rentals returned via mail must be postmarked by the Rental Return Due Date.
Q: How do I pay for my textbook rental?
A: All forms of payment currently used at the Bookstore are accepted as payment for a rental (SFS account, credit card, cash). However, you will be required to keep a credit card number on file in case the textbook is not returned or is damaged. The credit card will be used to pay for a replacement book and for the processing fee.
Q: What if I lose my book?
A: You will be charged the replacement cost plus the processing fee for any book not returned to the bookstore, regardless of the reason. These fees are in addition to the rental fee.
Q: What if I don't return my rental textbook by the due date?
A: You will be charged the replacement cost plus the processing fee. These fees are in addition to the rental fee. However, as a courtesy, the Penn Bookstore will send you a reminder notice via email about the due date.
Q: Can I return my rented textbooks by mail?
A: Yes. Return shipping labels are available online and can be used once. All rented textbooks must be returned to the Bookstore in good condition and postmarked by the return due date.
My Textbooks - Digital Textbook FAQs
Q: Do I need to purchase additional software in order to buy a digital textbook?
A: No. You can download your digital textbook straight to your computer providing you have Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista or Mac OSX10.3, high speed Internet connection.
Q: Why is the Penn Bookstore offering a digital textbook program?
A: Penn and Barnes and Noble are sensitive to the helping students manage the cost of textbooks through a variety of activities. As the student community embraces the digital-age, we continue to explore ways to meet their needs and save them money. Providing a digital textbook program is one of the options we can now offer students.
Q: How will I know which books are available for digital viewing?
A: If you use the Bookstore's online system, the listing will tell you if digital versions are available, as well as if you can purchase used or rented versions of the textbook.
Q: Why aren't all books available for digital reading?
A: Not all content can be converted into a digital format. Copyright restrictions and limitations in displaying color and graphic images have, for now, narrowed the availability of digital textbooks.
Q: What are the benefits of a digital textbook?
A: Purchasing a digital textbook saves you more than 40% over the cost of purchasing a new book. A digital textbook eliminates the need to carry hard copy textbooks around campus.
Q: What if I drop a class? Can I return a digital textbook?
A: Once the digital textbook is active, the sale is final. No refund or exchange will be permitted.
Q: How do I pay for a digital textbook?
A: All forms of payment currently used at the Bookstore are accepted as payment for a digital textbook (SFS account, credit card, cash).
My Textbooks - Textbook Affordability
Q: How is the price of textbooks determined?
A: The Bookstore is committed to keeping textbook prices low and providing the right course materials at the most competitive prices possible in one convenient location. A lot goes into the production of a new textbook. For more information on how the cost is allocated Click here
Q: If I want to compare prices, how can I be sure I am getting the right book?
A: Go to the My Textbook section of Campus Express and click on the "Buy Textbook" link. You will be directed to a page that lists all your courses, the course materials for each of your courses and the International Standard Book Number for each textbook. With the ISBN for all your course materials, you can more easily compare prices for specific texts among all vendors. Without an ISBN, it is difficult to identify the correct edition or version of a particular textbook.
Q: Is renting a textbook the cheapest option?
A: Renting a textbook saves you on average 50% over the cost of purchasing a book. However, while rentals have the lowest up-front cost, a used textbook is still generally the least expensive option providing it is being re-adopted next term and can be sold back to the bookstore for 50%.
Q: What are the benefits of purchasing a used textbook?
A: The difference between a new textbook price and a used textbook price is about 25%. By purchasing earlier, you will greatly increase your chances of finding used textbooks for your courses.
Q: What are the benefits of purchasing a digital textbook?
A: Purchasing a digital textbook saves you more than 40% over the cost of purchasing a new book. In addition, using the e-reader software for digital textbooks offers plenty of other great benefits. Your e-reader allows for easier portability by providing you with a large storage capacity, eliminating the need to carry hard copy textbooks around campus. E-reader software allows you to highlight, take notes and order books instantaneously.
Q: Is it possible to sell my books back at the end of the semester?
A: Yes, you can receive cash for your books up to 50% of the purchase price. The Bookstore will pay for any textbook that has resale value, even ones that were purchased from other retailers. However, if a book is not typically sold at the Bookstore, it is likely that it will not be ordered through the Bookstore for the following semester. We will still buy these books if they have value, but you may get less than 50% of what you paid. In addition, certain texts, including old editions or those that are out of print, may not have resale value.
Q: What textbooks will the Bookstore accept and pay cash back for?
A: No matter where the textbook was originally purchased, the Bookstore will buy any textbook from you as long as it has a resale value. Certain texts, including old editions or those that are out of print, may not have resale value.
Q: Do you only accept textbooks that were purchased at the Bookstore?
A: No, we can accept textbooks that were purchased from other retailers. However, if a book is not typically sold at the Bookstore, it is likely that it will not be ordered through the Bookstore for the following semester. We will still buy these books if they have value, but you may get less than 50% of what you paid.
Q: Do I get cash back for my books or a Bookstore credit?
A: You will receive cash for your books.
Q: I studied a lot, and my books really look used. Will the Bookstore still accept them?
A: The Bookstore will accept your books as long as they are in a resellable condition and have resale value.
Q: Where do I go if I have questions or need additional information about PNC Student Bank Accounts?
A: Visit http://www.pnc.com/penn, call PNC Bank at (215) 573-5146 or visit the PNC Bank Customer Service Center in the PennCard Office.
Second Floor of Penn Bookstore
3601 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3895
Q: Where are PNC Bank ATM machines located?
A: There are more than 30 PNC Bank ATMs on and around campus. For additional PNC Bank branches or ATMs located closest to the University of Pennsylvania, please visit: https://www.pnc.com/MapQuest/mqlocator/MapQuestSearchInit.
Q: Where can I access the Student Federal Credit Union (SFCU) on campus?
A: The SFCU is conveniently located at the address below or you can visit http://www.upennsfcu.org.
Q: Where are SFCU ATM machines located?
3401 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 222-2604
Fax: (215) 222-2607
A: The Student Federal Credit Union at the University of Pennsylvania has teamed up with the Allpoint Network and PNC Bank to bring members access to the largest surcharge-free ATM network in the nation. With over 55,000 ATMs on the AllPoint network, 7 PNC ATMs on campus, and 3 SFCU ATMs on campus, you should have no difficulties accessing your money when you need to. For locations, please type in your zip code at https://www.upennsfcu.org/atmcoverage.php.
Q: How does my PennCard work with my bank account?
A: If you have a bank account with either PNC Bank or SFCU, you may choose to link your PennCard to that bank account, so that your PennCard can work as an ATM card or pin-based bank debit card. Check with a representative at your bank of choice for the procedures to assign a banking pin to your PennCard to enable your PennCard to have this functionality. This banking pin is unique and is not connected to any other passwords or pins you may be using at Penn.
Q: How do bank debit card transactions work?
A: You can use your linked PennCard to buy things by debiting the money from your bank account at places that allow pin-based transactions. If a business only allows bank cards or credit cards to be swiped with a signed receipt, your linked PennCard won't work. If they allow you to swipe a bank card and enter a pin to pay for the transaction, your linked PennCard should work.
Q: Do my bank account automatically connect to my PennCash or Dining Dollars or SFS line of credit if I have a linked PennCard?
A: No. You have lots of options on how to use your PennCard to pay for things, but they all work independently and funds don't automatically transfer from one account to another. Usually, if you're using your PennCard to buy something on campus, it will be PennCash, Dining Dollar$ or your SFS account - make sure you tell the cashier which account you'd like to use. Typically, you'd use your linked PennCard as a pin-based, bank debit card off campus, if the business accepts pin-based bank debit cards for payment.
Q: What if I decide to change banks from PNC to SFCU or from SFCU to PNC?
A: You'll need to visit the PennCard Center and have a new card printed. There is no charges for printing a new card if you switch banks, as long as your return your original PennCard. Once you have your new PennCard, make sure you talk to you bank about linking the new card.
Q: What if I need to get a new PennCard for some other reason, like I lost or damaged my card. Will the bank linking still work?
A: You can re-link, but it doesn't happen automatically. You should contact your bank anytime you replace your PennCard to re-establish the linking functionality.