Access Accounts

A Penn State Access Account is a digital identity for students, faculty, staff, and designated affiliates of the University. The electronic profile grants permissions to users for protected online University resources and services. Access Accounts provide usability to the University community at all points of the day, while maintaining a high level of security.

Each person with an Access Account is assigned a unique username, comprised of three letters coupled with a series of digits - ex. xyz5002. A user ID is associated with only one individual and is never recycled. User ID's are used as a representation of an individual when logging in.

A password then is used as a key to insuring that the correct individual is logging in under the entered user ID. Coupled with a user ID, a password helps to complete the authentication process when accessing a service.

A number of different systems and procedures are utilized for authenticating an identity as well as determining the level of authorization an individual has in regard to the specific service.

For more information on these processes, please see the Authentication and Authorization pages.

Services that require an Access Account include University-based e-mail services, eLion, Angel, ITS computer labs, and other Penn State-affiliated resources.

The type of account determines the amount of services available to the user.

Two types of Access Accounts are available to the Penn State community, Full and Slim. A Full Access Account permits the most amount of access, while a Slim Access Account is design for someone who will only need the least number of resources.

Full Access Accounts grant:

  • User ID
  • E-mail Services
  • 500 MB of electronic storage space (PASS) - *Limit may be increased
  • Printing privileges -*Page limits apply
  • Personal web space
  • Listing in Penn State Directory Services

Slim Access Accounts provide:

  • User ID
  • Listing in Penn State Directory Services

For more information on Penn State Directory Services, go to

All students, faculty, and staff automatically qualify for a Full Access Account. World Campus students have a separate standard in qualifying for an Access Account.

A Slim Access Account may be selected if a user does not require the other services.

Short-term Access Accounts (STAA) are accounts that have a life-span of no more than 45 days and is sponsored by a University department or program. The STAA may be obtained in both Full and Slim formats.

Sponsored Accounts are accounts sponsored by a department to any designated individual. A Full or Slim version is available for users receiving the access to services. The account may be active for up to one year, at which point they may be renewed. There is no limit to the amount of times an account can be renewed.

Fees vary for each type of account.

Current rates can be found on the Service Rates page.

Non-affiliated members of the University applying to Penn State may obtain a Friends of Penn State (FPS) account by going to The account allows users to utilize necessary application processes and resources. There is no expiration for an FPS account.

Additional questions about Access Accounts can be answered through