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Attending Sporting Events at University Park: PSU Football and (Much) More

By Nancy Monarch, Parents Council Member

Penn State football team entering Beaver Stadium Field

No parent of a PSU student should let their student graduate without attending at least one home football game at Beaver Stadium.  Whether you are a fan of the gridiron, or not, the pageantry, solidarity and pride evident in Happy Valley on game day is a joyous and rollicking experience that should not be missed.

So, how do parents who are not alums or locals get tickets?  Go to the Athletic Office Website:

This page provides access to information about season tickets and single game tickets for individuals and for groups in Beaver Stadium.  Also included is a link to Ticketmaster, where you can buy tickets to away games.  Tickets for single games go on sale in July!  Tickets for “big” rivalry games, like Michigan and Ohio State are more difficult to obtain, while match-ups against less prominent adversaries are somewhat easier to find.  In any event, look early, and check the ticket exchange on the website often for sales by season ticket holders.

Be advised that football is certainly not the only exciting “game” in town.  Penn State teams dominate the league in several other sports that welcome spectators throughout the academic year.  Check out this link to view the Penn State Big Ten Championships since 1992:

Among those listed are multiple championships in wrestling, men’s soccer, women’s volleyball and women’s basketball.

The following links provide guidance for parents seeking tickets to some of the more popular indoor sporting events, some of which sell out.

For ice hockey:

The Pegula Ice Arena is gorgeous, and every seat is terrific.  However single game tickets can be difficult to get for Penn State’s new team, so get online early to secure a seat for next season.  Go PSU Sports also has ticket information about women’s ice hockey at Pegula.

The Penn State Hockey team on the ice at Pegula

For wrestling:

The wrestling team is awesome, and Rec Hall is a great venue to get up close and personal with the stars.

For basketball (men and women):

Penn State Lady Lions on the court

Both teams play in the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC).  The Lady Lions are outstanding.  Tickets for both teams are usually available at the BJC on game day.

Games are at beautiful Medlar Field behind Beaver Stadium.

The PSU Athletic Office has a terrific customer relations center, operated by administrative personnel and student interns.  See below for contact information:

For other information about PSU athletic events, including team schedules, venues, parking, merchandise and policies, access the link below:

Whenever you visit your student, there is likely to be a Penn State sporting event happening on campus.  Check Go PSU Sports before you travel, and find your game.  Attending is easy, relatively inexpensive and inspiring.  Support PSU athletics and show some spirit!

What To Do When Your Student Has Been Accepted

By Bill Baker, Parents Council Member

Okay, so Penn State has accepted your child’s application.  Congratulations! Now what?

If your child bleeds blue and white and Penn State is his or her top choice, great! Pay the deposit and relax.

But what if they are not so sure?  Maybe they’re choosing among several schools.  What does Penn State do to help your child decide if the home of the Nittany Lions is the place?

The blog author's son with the lion statue

My son with at the lion shrine

Here’s where the rolling admissions process benefits you.  If your child

How?  Well, in the case of my out-of-state son, those months allowed the idea of studying at Penn State to grow on him while he waited to hear from other colleges.

During February and March, many PSU alumni and friends raved to him about the school’s academic prestige, school spirit, and future job prospects. If there are Penn Staters near you — and they come out of the woodwork — give them a chance to talk to your child.  

Although such comments are valuable, Penn State offers events for accepted applicants that are even more important.

First, try to attend an “accepted students” reception in your area, if there is one.  We found the event in our area very helpful.  Knowledgeable representatives from Admissions, Financial Aid, and the Alumni Association provided us lots of information not only for University Park, but for all of the Commonwealth campuses as well.  You might even meet a member of the Parents Council to get another parent’s perspective.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, if your child has applied to a college that hosts an on-campus event for accepted students (as did, in our case, the College of Engineering), try to go.  (Yes, travel to the campus costs money, but it is a small investment considering what’s at stake.)  That was, for us, the most valuable experience.  The presentations featured current students, were of high quality, and  unlike the general admissions presentations you probably attended last year, were tailored to accepted students.  

Third, take a moment to check out the Penn State Student Affairs page for new students  that may answer some of your more practical questions.

Best of all, these events get your child on the campus while students are around.  Because we live 200 miles away, we drove up the night before and strolled around the snow-covered campus.  That’s when I realized that, in your child’s eyes, there is a big difference between “I could see myself here, so I’ll apply” and “I can actually go here if I want.”  Being on the campus as an accepted student, knowing that the decision is now in his hands, can make all the difference.

Health Insurance and Encouraging Your Student To Use It

By Carol Ido, Parents Council Member

Student Health Services sign that is featured outside of the building

Sending our kids off to college gives us a lot to worry about, including their health and healthcare. Before she went off to college, my own daughter had never made an appointment, filled out intake forms, or presented her insurance card at a doctor’s office or hospital, because I always took care of it. Once she did go off to college, it would be up to her to determine whether she needed to see a healthcare provider, schedule appointments, fill prescriptions, and take care of the paperwork.

To prepare, we went to the website for the University Health Services,, which has a lot of great resources and information. 

My daughter is an out-of-state student, and after careful analysis, we determined that it made sense for us to keep our daughter on our family insurance plan and pay out-of-network costs rather than purchase the student health insurance plan for her. But it’s important to reevaluate every year, as our family’s insurance plan and the student health insurance plan change benefits, and more options become available as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Just a few weeks after starting at Penn State, our daughter came down with mono, but didn’t seek treatment until she was home for a family visit. She had been extremely fatigued, but chalked it up to working hard and having fun. And she hesitated to use the UPenn State Health Services Pharmacyniversity Health Services, because she wasn’t sure how to set up a visit or how much it might cost. Our daughter would have felt better sooner if at the first sign of symptoms she had called the advice nurse or made an appointment at the Student Health Center (she did get excellent follow-up care there). After THON that first year, she also went to the emergency room suffering from exhaustion. Of course we were all relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious, but it was a pricey life lesson. 

Here are a few tips drawn from our family’s experience:

  • Have the link to University Health Services ready to share with your student when they tell you they have health concerns
  • Remind your student about the advice nurse (814-863-4463)
  • Make an appointment if necessary (
  • Ask your student to take pictures of their healthcare receipts and share those images with you
  • When working with your student on their budget for college, set aside funds to cover routine and unexpected healthcare expenses

Our children learn so much when they go off to college, part of which is how to take care of their health and manage their healthcare.

Welcome to the Parent to Parent Blog

Penn State Parents Council

Parent to Parent Blog
Welcoming. Sharing. Connecting.

The Parent to Parent Blog is run by members of the Penn State Parents Council that are dedicated to enhancing parent to parent communication. This blog is a partnership with the Penn State Parents Program.  We will strive to use the individual expertise of our parent and family volunteers to educate you about various topics, as well as the resources and services available from the university.