UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — It’s no secret that Penn State includes a network of campuses throughout the state of Pennsylvania, but incoming students may not be fully aware of all the financial benefits attending a campus other than University Park may afford.
Location, location, location
Location is a selling point often used when talking about real estate, but the vicinity of a campus to a student’s home also can be a major benefit when it comes time to choose where to enroll for college. With the combined costs of housing and meal plans ranging from almost $10,000 to more than $15,000 a year, commuting to a nearby campus can mean big savings off the overall cost associated with a college education.
Choosing a Penn State campus near home to begin college gives students the option of finishing a degree at that campus or using Penn State’s 2+2 plan to finish their degree at University Park or another campus.
"Penn State does an amazing job of providing access by allowing students to start at a local campus at a reduced rate of tuition. That student can then move within the University to pursue their passion to finish at whichever campus location they desire which meets their needs via our 2+2 Plan."
— Clark V. Brigger, executive director for undergraduate admissions at Penn State
In addition to saving money on housing by living at home, students who attend a Penn State undergraduate campus other than University Park receive a discounted rate on tuition. This lower rate allows students to reap that savings for the number of years they remain at that campus, whether it is one, two or three years, or through graduation. Students will need to research what degrees are offered at each campus to make a determination on whether a degree can be finished at their initial campus or whether a transfer is necessary for the chosen curriculum.
"Penn State does an amazing job of providing access by allowing students to start at a local campus at a reduced rate of tuition,” said Clark V. Brigger, executive director for undergraduate admissions at Penn State. “That student can then move within the University to pursue their passion to finish at whichever campus location they desire which meets their needs via our 2+2 Plan."
In 2016, Penn State continued its ongoing efforts to maintain access and affordability and did not increase tuition costs for resident students at eight of the 19 undergraduate Commonwealth Campuses, including Beaver, DuBois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Shenango and Wilkes-Barre.
One program under Penn State President Eric Barron’s initiative to promote an affordable and accessible education is the Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program, which allows selected students at many campuses the opportunity to get a head start on their first or second years of college by taking summer classes. PaSSS, an important element in Barron’s program known as Plan4, provided up to $3,000 in scholarship money and an additional $400 book stipend to those students in 2016.
The nine campuses that offered PaSSS in 2016 were: Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Brandywine, Fayette, Hazleton, Schuylkill, Shenango and York.
In addition to University-wide initiatives, each Penn State campus has different scholarships and programs designed to help students afford college.
Below are examples of programs and scholarships at specific campuses:
For more information on applying to any Penn State campus or additional information on financial aid, go online to http://admissions.psu.edu/pennstate/campuses/ to select a preferred location.
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-- “Financing College: Where’s the Money?” (introduction)