Preparing for College

Conversations to Have With Your Student

After the excitement of high school graduation settles down and the reality of your student starting college becomes the focus, we'd like to encourage you to sit down with your student, perhaps even planning regularly scheduled times, to discuss expectations about the next step.

By arranging these conversations at regular intervals, you can avoid the frantic preparation and heightened emotions that seem to come once August begins. Regularly scheduled summer "talk times" can be a way to send your student off knowing you have discussed your expectations with them and they have shared their expectations and concerns about this next step with you.


Welcome Weekend
As summer begins at Penn College, we are gearing up to welcome new students and their guests to campus for Connections and Welcome Weekend. Both events are designed to assist students in their adjustment to college life and provide resources to be successful in the first year. We encourage parents and families to join us for these events in order to partner with the College in creating opportunities for students to be successful.


Connections is specifically designed to assist new students in their transition to college. All students are required to attend. Special sessions are offered for nontraditional and transfer students. Students who attend Connections and take the First Year Experience course their first semester are significantly more likely to persist to the second year of their college career. Connections provides students and parents with essential tools for success in the first year of college and beyond. Students who have not yet registered can do so through the Student Information System.

Welcome Weekend

Welcome Weekend is our opportunity to welcome new students to Penn College. College offices are open to allow students to complete last-minute preparations for the first day of classes. After students say goodbye to parents and families, they will want to make sure to attend the official kick-off of the year at Convocation on Saturday evening, which concludes with a hypnotist show and fireworks. Special sessions on Sunday allow students to find their classrooms, learn about important campus resources, and meet other students before classes begin.

Meet the Links

Get Fit

The Links are current Penn College students who spend their summer assisting new students with their transition to college through the Connections program. The Links are excited to welcome you to campus soon! They are:

Mitch Berninger from Williamsport
Web & Interactive Media

Kyle Bomboy from Unityville
Physician Assistant

Trevor Brandt from Gettysburg
Web & Interactive Media

Kyeesha Howard from Philadelphia Paralegal Studies

Cavan Irvine from York
Physician Assistant

Morgan Keyser from Dillsburg, PA
Graphic Design

Kyani Lawrence from NewRochelle, NY - Nursing

Gabby Leister from Mifflintown
Occupational Therapy Assistant

Emma Sutterlin from State College
Occupational Therapy Assistant

Morgan Tannery from Millersburg
Pre-occupational Therapy

April Tucker from Uniontown
Human Services

Jess Wiegand from Montoursville

Financial Aid News

Check out the Financial Aid News for Parents for the following:

  • Awarding of fall aid
  • Tips for contacting the Financial Aid Office
  • FAFSA & Federal Verification
  • Loan information
  • Scholarship award notification & application information
  • PHEAA Grant eligibility & Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Financial aid information on SIS

Getting Ahead of the Class

Did you know Penn College offers free access to over hundreds of thousands of video tutorials on an extensive variety of topics? helps students achieve higher scores on assignments by lowering the learning curve on programs they are going to be required to use. Often when a professor reviews the syllabus or assignment schedule for a course, they may indicate students will be using PowerPoint or will be writing a research or essay paper at a later date in the semester. With, students can get online training, whether it's on beginning PowerPoint or on choosing a good research topic, at any time before the assignment is due. Tutorials are available at all levels and on an extensive variety of topics.

Whether a student is a novice or just looking for "tips & tricks," Lynda tutorials provide short tutorials, often with exercise materials to help practice using the skills imparted by the expert authors. Students can get writing tutorials, interview tips, and basic training in many of the Microsoft programs, like Word and PowerPoint. They can even get familiar with the basics of the online learning system Penn College uses, P.L.A.T.O.

Lynda tutorials can be viewed and completed on a student's desktop computer, laptop or on their smartphone or mobile device. The learning goes with them, whenever and wherever they have time. They can bookmark specific content to pick it up again at a later time, or to refer to it again.

If you have any suggestions or questions regarding, feel free to contact the Madigan Library.

Getting Off on the Right Foot

The First Year Experience course (FYE 101) is intended to offer a positive first semester experience for students who are new to Penn College by facilitating engagement in the academic and social cultures of the college. By easing the transition to college life and expectations, the course is designed to enhance the likelihood of student persistence and ultimate academic and social success.

Benefits of FYE 101 include the following:

  • Provides a common and positive first semester experience for students who are new to Penn College helping them develop membership in and commitment to the community
  • Encourages student engagement – a primary component of student success and retention
  • Helps students understand and navigate life at Penn College helping them make informed and constructive decisions and avoid behavioral or procedural missteps, ultimately saving them time and money while pursuing their degrees
  • Provides information and tools for students to become proactive learners and take responsibility for their educational experience
  • Introduces and develops skills such as study skills, financial management skills, relationship skills, etc., that transferable to program coursework and careers.
  • Provides a support network and ready access to campus resources

FYE is a graduation requirement for all Penn College certificate, associate, and bachelor degree programs (except "true" distance programs or completion degrees). It is a great way for students to get connected to their peers and college resources!

NCAA Update

There's big news from the Penn College Athletics Department! The program is pleased to announce it has been accepted as a provisional member of NCAA Division III. Provisional membership is a four-year process that allows the Wildcats to compete as an NCAA member but prohibits the teams from competing for NCAA Championships. During that time, the NCAA will conduct on-campus visits and require periodical reporting to monitor progress towards compliance with division rules and full membership. Penn College's intercollegiate teams will begin competing in the NCAA Division III North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) this fall.

Want to keep up on all the latest news from Athletics?
Visit us at OR

Meal Plans

"I moved off campus for the academic year and I did not think I would need any sort of board meal plan, but now that the year started, I wish I would have gotten one."- Lauren P.

We hear this often, after a few weeks of living "on their own" students realize that planning, cooking, and cleaning up after their meals isn't always what they expected.

Dining Services offers a wide variety of dining options that include all-you-care-to-eat buffets, home-made entrees and soups, hand-stretched pizzas, made-to-order sandwiches, and crisp salads, to name a few. The best part is that all of this can be purchased as part of a meal plan.

A meal plan not only guarantees that your student has access to meals throughout the day, but it is also a great way to help your student adjust to a new life away from family and friends. Our dining halls are natural gathering places for students. Having a meal plan allows your student to join in the social htmect of college life by meeting friends for meals and special events, or to meet other classmates to study and work on projects.

Dining Services recommends that students take advantage of our meal plans and what our 10 dining units have to offer. To help make decide which plan is right for your student, we recommend the following:

Commuter / Off-Campus Students

  • All commuter and off-campus students should invest in a meal plan. We recommend starting with the 5-meal board plan. This will ensure that your student is getting at least one nutritious, home-style meal each weekday. They also will have "flex dollars" that can be used to purchase retail items such as milk, bread or a box of cereal.
  • Declining Balance meal plans are another great option. Declining balances work like a debit card and can be used to buy full meals or grocery items found in our dining units.

Resident Students

  • All resident students must select a board plan as outlined in their housing contract.

Learn more about meal plans.

The College Store at Penn College

Fall semester textbooks are available for sale in store or online. Shop early for the best selection of lower priced used books.

Program tool kits can also be ordered online and held in the store for pick up in August.