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A GUIDE FOR

2011

Students Offered Admission to Penn State University Park


Contents 1 Welcome 2 Accepting the Offer of Admission Housing Health Services Disability Services Consulting and Advising for First-Year Students

3 Your Academic Area Student Aid As Classes Draw Near Adding Credits to Your Penn State Record

4 Starting in the Summer Conditions of Our Offer of Admission

5 If You Decide to Cancel Penn State Academic Calendar

Back page Contact Information


It is a pleasure to invite you to join the Penn State community. Penn State has a proud tradition of excellence in teaching and learning as well as service and research. We have grown and changed in many ways since our founding in 1855. Our first class of sixty-nine students was taught by a faculty of four. Today, more than 80,000 Penn State students study with a faculty of more than 5,000 at campuses throughout Pennsylvania. For undergraduate students, we offer more than 160 baccalaureate degree programs, associate degree programs, and hundreds of different options and minors. We also offer extensive graduate and professional programs in agricultural sciences, the arts, business, education, the humanities, engineering, medicine, and the sciences. You will find a wealth of opportunities from which to choose, all linked by a common commitment to the pursuit of excellence. Penn State offers many ways to grow educationally, socially, and culturally. Your challenge is to explore your options and take advantage of the possibilities.

This guide will help you understand all the steps leading to your first day as a Penn State student. First, we will tell you how to accept the offer of admission. If you want to visit the campus before making your decision, please contact the Admissions Office at 814-865-5471 or go to our Web site at admissions. psu.edu. Next, we will tell you about the events that will happen after you have accepted the offer of admission: housing assignments, placement testing, academic advising, and more. You will also find reference information including a calendar, useful Web sites, and important phone numbers. As a new member of the Penn State community, you will find that we are all ready to help you in any way we can. Please feel free to call on us at any time. Welcome to the Penn State Family!

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A Guide for Students Offered Admission to Penn State University Park

2011

Accepting the Offer of Admission Please take this step after careful consideration. Accepting our offer of admission reserves a spot for you in our next class. To accept the offer of admission, either access your MyPennState account (click on Accept your offer of admission), or return the following items in the preaddressed envelope provided. BE SURE TO COPY THE ACCEPTANCE NOTIFICATION FORM FOR YOUR RECORDS.

Please return: 1. The signed Acceptance Notification enclosed in this packet. 2. A check or money order (drawn on U.S. funds) made payable to The Pennsylvania State University for the total amount listed on the Acceptance Notification. Please include your Penn State ID number on your check. Please note the specific reply date on the Acceptance Notification; replying after that date may void this offer of admission. In addition, the sooner you send in your acceptance, the sooner Penn State can begin preparing for your arrival.

Housing As a first-year student at Penn State University Park, you are guaranteed housing and required to live on campus. A housing deposit is included in the fees required with your acceptance. If you are over 21 years of age, married, a veteran, or a resident of Centre County, you are exempt from the housing requirement. Married students requesting an exemption must contact the Assignment Office for 2

Campus Residencies regardless of how they accept their offer of admission. You will be notified in late July when room assignments are posted on the eLiving Web site. Your room number, building, roommate(s), and roommate(s) contact information will be displayed. Please note: If you accept your offer of admission to Penn State close to or after the May 1 deadline, you may be assigned to supplemental housing. Supplemental housing accommodates four to eight students and offers the same amenities as regular double rooms, including furniture, cable television service, and Internet service. Students assigned to supplemental housing receive a reduced room rate. Learn more about supplemental housing at www.supplemental.psu.edu.

Online If you accept the offer of admission online and pay your $300 acceptance fees, you may then complete the Housing Contract online. You will be invited to log in to www.eLiving.psu.edu to indicate your housing preferences such as roommates, building location, meal plan level, and special living options. If you are eligible for a housing exemption, it will be indicated at that time.

On Paper If you accept the offer of admission on paper, the Housing Contract will be activated once the University receives your $300 fees. You will need to log in to eLiving (www.eLiving.psu.edu) with your Friends of Penn State account and accept

the Housing Contract. If you meet one of the housing exemption criteria, contact the Assignment Office at 814-865-7501 for further instructions.

Health Services If you have any health problems (physical or emotional) that limit your activity, please notify University Health Services of your situation and anticipated needs as soon as possible. For additional information about health services for students, visit our Web site at www.sa.psu.edu/uhs.

Disability Services For information about services for students with disabilities at University Park, contact the Office for Disability Services at 814863-1807 (voice or TTY/TDD) or visit our Web site at www.equity.psu.edu/ods.

Consulting and Advising for First-Year Students After you accept the offer of admission, you will be scheduled to take part in Penn State’s First-Year Testing, Consulting, and Advising Program (FTCAP), designed to help you learn more about the curriculum and programs of study and select appropriate courses from the very start. FTCAP has two major components: testing and consulting/advising. First-year testing involves a series of placement tests in English, math, and chemistry. When: Placement testing begins early in the calendar year and continues on a rolling basis through the summer.


Where: These placement tests are completed online. You will be sent information on how and when to access your tests after you accept your offer of admission. The second portion of FTCAP is a daylong informative program for you and your family. During this program, you will receive a Profile of Academic Abilities based on your placement test results, high school record, and SAT/ ACT scores. You will meet with academic advisers who will talk with you about your educational plans, help you select and register for your first-semester courses, and discuss the educational opportunities within your area of enrollment. You and your family may also attend sessions concerning student life, housing, meals, roommates, and campus activities. When: A specific date is confirmed after you have completed FTCAP testing. Where: University Park campus For more information, visit the FTCAP Web site at www.psu.edu/ftcap.

Your Academic Area With a few exceptions, first-year students are admitted to an academic college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies rather than to a specific major. Unless you have been admitted to one of the majors that are exceptions to this rule†, you will be asked to declare a major at the end of your sophomore year. At that time, you must meet entrance-to-major requirements, which may include the achievement of a specific Penn State grade-point average and completion of prerequisite courses with specified minimum grades. Although most majors require a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 (C), certain majors may have more competitive requirements. You may wish to discuss your intended major with an academic adviser during FTCAP. Architecture; Art; Golf Management option of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management; Graphic Design; Landscape Architecture; Music/Musical Theatre; Nursing; Theatre; Workforce Education and Development; the Accelerated Premedical-Medical Program; and the Accelerated Bachelor of Science/ Doctor of Physical Therapy †

Student Aid

Arrival Week

How to Apply

New first-year students arrive on campus about four days before classes begin. A number of events are planned for Arrival Week.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your Offer of Admission packet includes an Applying for Student Financial Aid brochure. Please access the Office of Student Aid Web site (www.psu.edu/studentaid) for more information on the aid application process. When to Apply Pay close attention to the recommended completion dates outlined in the Applying for Student Financial Aid brochure. Missing a recommended date may mean that some aid programs will not be available to you. We encourage you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on the Web at fafsa.gov as soon after January 1 as possible. Most student aid programs are available throughout the year, but we strongly recommend that you submit the FAFSA on the Web by February 15 for maximum consideration. When to Expect a Decision Penn State will begin making student aid awards to first-year students in mid- to late March. Have Questions about Student Aid? Access the Office of Student Aid Web site, www.psu.edu/studentaid, or contact the Office of Student Aid or the student aid representative at the Penn State campus nearest you (see the contact information on the back of this brochure).

As Classes Draw Near About six weeks before classes begin, watch your e-mail for your tuition bill and other important information. Your housing assignment and roommate’s name will be sent to you about four weeks before the start of classes. Preface Magazine Shortly before arrival day, a copy of Preface magazine will be mailed to your home. In Preface you will find helpful information about the campus, important tips on how to smooth the transition to campus life, and the complete schedule of events for new students.

Your college meeting, along with academic information, social activities, and recreational programs, will help round out what most new students find to be a very exciting and event-filled week. But no matter how busy things get, save time for a trip to the Creamery for a leisurely ice cream cone.

Adding Credits to Your Penn State Record Credit by Examination* To receive credit consideration for the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) exams or College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams, you must have official score reports sent directly from the College Board to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at University Park. The code for Penn State is 2660. To receive credit consideration for higherlevel examinations in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, you must have official transcripts of grades sent directly from the IB office to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at University Park. Advanced work completed in some foreign secondary education systems can also be reviewed for credit. You must have official or certified copies of score reports or certificates forwarded directly from the examining authority to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at University Park. Academic records must be in the original language and accompanied by certified English-language translations. A syllabus for each subject should also be sent. Credits Earned at Other Regionally Accredited Colleges and Universities High school students who take college courses while still in high school should have an official college transcript sent to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at University Park once all course work is completed. We will review the transcript to determine whether course credit may be added to your Penn State record.

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Credits Earned at Other Colleges and Universities That Are Not Regionally Accredited*

comparable to those offered during the rest of the academic year.

Courses completed with grades of C (2.0) or above at institutions that award associate degrees or higher but are not members of a regional accrediting association may be validated by the Penn State academic department offering comparable courses. If you are interested in having courses validated, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for instructions on the validation process.

What’s So Special about Summer at Penn State University Park?

Credit for U.S. Armed Services and Noncollege Training Programs* If you completed formal training courses in the U.S. armed services or courses sponsored by select businesses, industries, or government agencies, you may ask to have them reviewed for credit. Submit an official record of successful completion of the programs or courses to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at University Park. Credit by Portfolio Assessment* Some academic departments will consider awarding credit by portfolio assessment for specific courses offered by that unit. An undergraduate student interested in receiving credit for college-level learning obtained in noncollegiate settings may develop a portfolio that reflects areas of knowledge mastered, request assessment of the portfolio, and be awarded credit. For more information, contact an academic adviser in the college or major of admission. *After you enroll, you may request a review of credits in these categories.

Starting in the Summer Each year more than a thousand new students begin their Penn State education during the summer. Review your offer letter to determine whether your offer is for summer or fall. The summer session for new students begins in late June or early July and lasts six weeks, with classes concluding in August. (See the calendar on page 5 for details.) While the summer session at Penn State is a concentrated period of study, the courses offered are standard Penn State courses, with requirements and demands 4

—A head start on your education —A number of special academic programs offered for new students who begin in the summer. The Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) allows you to take your first Penn State courses in a teamlearning environment. Other programs focus on special interests like intensive language study. —A lighter course load that makes it easier to adjust to the demands of college study —A special learning environment Approximately 12,000 students are enrolled at University Park during the summer, compared to 40,000 in the fall. This means you will experience a somewhat quieter environment in which to learn your way around campus and discover the capabilities of computer labs, the vast resources of the libraries, and other aspects of college life. Oh, and By the Way—Summer at University Park is Also Fun! Outdoor concerts and movies, art exhibits, theatre, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation allow you to relax and socialize. And, for five days in July, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts brings hundreds of artists and performers to University Park and downtown State College. If you were offered admission for the fall semester but would like to change to summer, it’s not too late. Just contact the Admissions Office at 814-865-5471 or e-mail us at admissions@psu.edu. Additional Information for Students Beginning in Summer Session To begin at Penn State in summer session, there are some special points you need to know. Student Aid for Summer Sessions If you are interested in receiving student aid during the summer session, you should complete a 2010–11 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), on the Web

at fafsa.gov, by June 30. This application determines your eligibility for summer 2011 only. You should also complete a 2011–12 FAFSA on the Web by February 15, for consideration for aid during fall and spring 2011–12. You must file both the 2010–11 and 2011–12 FAFSA if you wish to be considered for aid during summer 2011 as well as fall and spring 2011–12. Housing Contracts Students interested in living on campus during summer will have a separate contract for summer and for the academic year, and must accept both contracts. Housing Contract information is available through eLiving (www.eLiving.psu.edu). Students living on campus during the summer will be assigned to the residential area that is in operation. Most likely, the fall room assignment will be different from the summer assignment. However, you will receive the full range of Penn State Housing and Food Services and Residence Life offerings. What about High School Graduation? Some students who begin in the summer will return home for graduation ceremonies during the first few weeks of classes. While absence from class for graduation does not remove responsibility for completing required course work, your professors will try to accommodate your graduation day plans. If you will be arriving on campus after Arrival Day, please notify the University of your plans.

Conditions of Our Offer of Admission Completion of High School Our offer of admission to Penn State is conditional upon your completion of all entrance requirements, including graduation from high school. We will ask your counselor to forward official verification of your graduation. GED or High School Equivalency Diplomas Applicants may present satisfactory scores from the General Educational Development (GED) test or a high school equivalency diploma in place of a high school diploma. Please forward a copy of your


high school equivalency diploma, and have your former high school forward an official copy of your high school transcript showing your work from ninth grade until the time you withdrew from high school. Foreign/Second Language Entrance Requirements Two units of the same foreign language from high school are recommended for all baccalaureate programs. Students who graduated from high school in 2001 or later who have not completed the recommended two high school foreign language units will need to schedule the appropriate foreign language course work at Penn State within the first two years of study. This requirement may be met by taking one three- or four-semester credit course in a foreign/second language at the college level at either Penn State or another regionally accredited institution. Credits taken to meet the foreign/second lan-

guage requirement cannot be counted toward graduation from a baccalaureate program at Penn State, although they will be counted as part of a student’s academic course schedule. The requirement will not apply to students who can demonstrate fluency in a foreign/second language. Courses Taken at Other Colleges and Universities If you are attending a college or university after high school graduation, our offer of admission to Penn State is conditional until we receive your official college transcript(s). The transcript(s) must verify that you have earned at least a 2.0 (C) cumulative grade-point average as computed for Penn State students, attempted fewer than 18 semester credits, and did not leave the college on probation. Transcripts should be sent directly to the Undergraduate Admissions Office at Uni-

versity Park campus by the registrar of the institution(s) you have attended. Full Disclosure The offer of admission may become invalid if information on your admission application or about your credentials or educational history is omitted or misrepresented. Statement of Academic Integrity Penn State students and faculty are committed to scholarly principles that respect and acknowledge individual achievement. At Penn State, certain behaviors are viewed as unacceptable, including cheating, plagiarism, falsifying or fabricating information, and aiding and abetting academic dishonesty. Students who violate these principles are subject to penalties, including course failure and dismissal from Penn State. By accepting the offer of admission, you agree to observe all the rules and regulations of The Pennsylvania State University.

Penn State Academic Calendar SPRING SEMESTER 2011

FALL SEMESTER 2011

Arrival Day*—January 8

Arrival Day*—August 19–20

Classes Begin*­—January 10

Classes Begin*—August 22

Martin Luther King Day Holiday—January 17

Labor Day Holiday—September 5

Spring Break—March 7–11

Thanksgiving Holiday—November 21–27

Classes End—April 29

Classes End—December 9

Final Exams—May 2–6

Final Exams—December 12–16

SUMMER SESSION 2011 Arrival Day*—June 26 Classes Begin—June 28 Independence Day Holiday—July 4 Classes End—August 10

*New international students will arrive several days prior to this date. All dates are subject to change.

Final Exams—August 12

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If You Decide to Cancel

Questions? Give us a call.

If at any time you decide not to attend Penn State, please e-mail us about your plans at admissions@psu.edu. If you decide not to attend after accepting this offer of admission, your accep­tance fees will not be refundable.

Academic Areas Agricultural Sciences .................................................. 814-865-7521 Arts and Architecture . ................................................ 814-865-9523 Smeal College of Business ......................................... 814-863-1947 Communications . ....................................................... 814-865-1591 Earth and Mineral Sciences ........................................ 814-863-2751 Education . .................................................................. 814-865-0488 Engineering ................................................................ 814-863-3064 Health and Human Development . ............................. 814-865-2156 Schreyer Honors College . .......................................... 814-865-2060 Information Sciences and Technology . ......... 877-690-1266 (in U.S.) Liberal Arts ................................................................. 814-865-2545 School of Nursing ....................................................... 814-863-0245 Eberly College of Science .......................................... 814-863-0284 Division of Undergraduate Studies . ........................... 814-865-7576 Admissions Voice ........................................................................... 814-865-5471 TTY/TDD* ................................................................... 814-863-9419 Fax .............................................................................. 814-863-7590 Bursar (bills and fees) ....................................................... 814-865-6528 Career Services . ............................................................... 814-865-2377 Center for Adult Learner Services .................................... 814-863-3887 Child Care Program Services . .......................................... 814-865-5886 Disability Services Voice/TTY/TDD* ......................................................... 814-863-1807 First-Year Testing, Consulting, and Advising .................... 814-865-2578 Health Services.................................................................. 814-865-6556 Housing and Food Services Assignment Office for Campus Residences ............... 814-865-7501 International Student Services . ........................................ 814-865-7681 Parents and Families Day ................................................. 814-865-6516 Parking Office . ................................................................. 814-865-1436 Penn State Blue Band . ..................................................... 814-865-3982 Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Air Force ROTC .......................................................... 814-865-5453 Army ROTC ................................................................ 814-863-0368 Naval and Marine Corps ROTC .................................. 814-865-6289 Residence Life .................................................................. 814-863-1710 Sports Varsity Coaching Staff ................................................. 814-863-0237 Varsity Tickets ............................................................. 814-863-1000 Student Aid Office . .......................................................... 814-865-6301 University Safety ............................................................... 814-863-1111 Veterans’ Support ............................................................. 814-863-1798

*TTY/TDD numbers are for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Penn State encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office at 814-865-5471 (voice) or 814-863-9419 (TTY/TDD) in advance of your participation or visit. This publication is available in alternative media on request. The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state or federal authorities. It is the policy of the University to maintain an academic and work environment free of discrimination, including harassment. The Pennsylvania State University prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty, staff, or students will not be tolerated at The Pennsylvania State University. Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802-5901; Tel 814-865-4700/V, 814-863-1150/TTY. Produced by the Penn State Department of University Publications U.Ed. EMA 11-20E

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University Park Guide