Fall is a great time to visit Penn State — the leaves are changing, the weather is cooler, and activities are in full swing. We asked Lynn Koehler from the campus visit team here at University Park, to give us an overview of the visit experience:
College visits give you the best idea of whether or not a college is right for you. They’re better than a brochure, better than a website, better than Twitter and Instagram. You may never have set foot on a college campus before, or maybe you followed an older sibling around to thirty different schools … either way, now it’s your turn to visit. How do you really know if Penn State is the right fit for you?
The first step is to decide which campus you want to visit. For students interested in visiting University Park, we offer about a hundred visit opportunities every semester, and we would love to see you and your family. At this time of year, high school students come to our “Prospective Student Visits,” though we also offer tours for Transfer and Change-of-Campus students – tours for those students taking advantage of the 2+2 plan and who plan to transition to University Park from their current campus.
But, we encourage you to visit any of our 20 campuses that interest you! With campuses throughout the state of Pennsylvania, we are sure you can find a campus that is a perfect fit for you. And, we have a great incentive for you to visit campuses other than University Park: if you visit one of our Commonwealth Campuses, you can receive an application fee waiver to apply to that campus or any other campus. So, check out our campus options to determine where you might want to visit this fall.
After you decide on your campus(es), you basically just have to pick a day. Naturally, there are some days that are more popular than others – like Fridays or Saturdays at University Park – so those sessions tend to fill up fast. Start planning now and you will still have plenty of opportunities.
When scheduling your visit, you might notice that there are some periods of time, particularly at University Park, when we don’t offer visits – that’s because our student tour guides are not available. So it is probably best not to visit one of our campuses during the week of Thanksgiving: no class means no students, which means you won’t get the true feel of campus.
The standard University Park visit consists of an information session and a campus tour. The info session is given by one of our Admissions Counselors and shows you all of the doors that can be opened when you have a Penn State education. We also talk you through the admissions process, how we evaluate applications, the timeline you should focus on for your senior year, and all that good stuff. But then comes the best thing …
The campus tour!
University Park is a big campus, no doubt. And we’ll show you as much as we possibly can… but please be prepared. WE’RE WALKING. For 90 minutes. So wear your comfy shoes, bring a water bottle, and check the weather to see if you need an umbrella because classes don’t cancel for rain, and neither do our tours. Our tour guides are all current students who volunteer their time to show you around campus. They are members of different tour organizations (Lion Scouts, SMART, or Lion Ambassadors), and they are from all different majors and all different hometowns. They want to share their Penn State Pride with you, and they would love to answer your questions about what life is like for a Penn State student. They really are livin’ the dream.
Once the tour is over, you’re free to explore on your own. Make sure you snap a photo at the Lion Shrine and tag #psuvisits – add that photo to one taken on graduation day in a few years and then another when you come back for Homecoming when you’re 40 years old … that would make a fun album on Facebook. Pop into Old Main and admire the Land-Grant Frescoes. Take in amazing artwork in the Palmer Museum of Art. Stop by the Berkey Creamery for a cone … and maybe take home a couple half-gallons of the most awesome ice cream ever made. On the way to your car, drop into the All-Sports Museum to check out Penn State’s legendary athletes. But don’t just get into the car and go home! We invite you to explore the lovely town of State College, too. We are a community and that extends right across the street into our lovely downtown, ranked one of the best college towns in the country.
So head on over to that visit calendar and sign up for an event. We look forward to welcoming you to Penn State!