You are now part of the Penn State Family
So, you may wonder, why is it that nothing seems to be happening right now?
Don’t let this momentary silence fool you. It’s just the pause before your Penn State story begins, and a great deal is going on to make sure everything goes just the way it should.
Right now, a number of people are setting things up for you—people who work on advising, placement, academic planning, faculty schedules, course materials, campus activities, athletics, financial aid, orientation, and registration. And before long, you’ll be hearing from some of them.
In the meantime, we thought you might appreciate a look at what to expect over the next few months. We’re just as excited as you to get your story started.
Schedule Your Orientation Date
Beginning in March, Penn State will email invitations to participate in New Student Orientation. The invitation will include a link to your Pre-Orientation Task List that will tell you the steps you need to complete before participating in orientation. At the top of the list is registering for an in-person orientation date in June or July. You can easily schedule your date online (and even reschedule online if your plans change).
At New Student Orientation, you will meet with counselors and advisors, schedule your classes, meet other students, and explore Penn State. At the end of orientation, you’ll know what classes you’ll be taking. Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate, too. Call 724-430-4119 if you have any questions, or visit orientation.psu.edu for more information.
Testing … One, Two
All first-year students who have not taken calculus in high school are required to take the ALEKS math placement test. This helps you and your adviser decide which math course suits you best. Here’s how it goes:
ONE: Beginning in March, check your Pre-Orientation Task List to see if you need to complete ALEKS. Even if it’s not required, you can still take it to confirm your readiness.
TWO: If you need to complete ALEKS, you’ll take the assessment online by following the instructions in your Pre-Orientation Task List. Be sure to complete ALEKS as soon as you can, but no later than a week before your orientation date.
Test results have no bearing on your Penn State admission, and if you don’t like the results you receive, you’ll have the opportunity to complete a review module and take it again. Learn more about ALEKS at orientation.psu.edu/testing.
What About Books?
The on-campus Penn State Bookstore recommends that you purchase your textbooks a week prior to the start of the semester, though you can reserve your books online as soon as you get your schedule.
For many courses, you even have the option of renting your textbooks instead of buying them, thereby further reducing the cost of books.
How do you know which books to buy? It’s easy. Just take your class schedule to the bookstore, and they’ll know which books are required. Or, go to your student schedule on LionPath (lionpath.psu.edu) and click on “View Books.”
When Do Classes Start?
Remember to mark your calendar, because the first day of classes will be here before you know it! This fall’s classes begin on Monday, August 21. Plan to arrive about five minutes before each class is scheduled to begin. Bring a pen or pencil, notebook, and your textbook.
What about welcome week?
Welcome Week starts the Thursday before classes begin and continues through the first week of classes. We’ll kick off the semester with Convocation on Thursday, August 17, a formal ceremony that serves as the official induction into the Penn State community. This is a business-formal event, and up to two guests may attend with the student. Call 724-430-4271 for additional information.
What About Housing?
Since Penn State Fayette is a commuter campus, the Office of Student Affairs can provide assistance to students seeking privately owned off-campus housing. Many students choose to live in the nearby University Commons apartments, or other local housing options provided by third-party vendors.
Off-campus housing move-in will be the week before the start of classes, and off-campus housing orientation is Wednesday, August 16. For more information call 724-430-4271 or visit fayette.psu.edu/offcampushousing.
Where Do We Eat?
Café 65 is located in the Community Center and provides a variety of meal options each weekday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students can use LionCash+ as a debit account to pay for purchases in Café 65 or pay with a credit card. (Cash is not accepted.) More information about LionCash+ is available at idcard.psu.edu/lioncash.
How good is the food?
We may not be able to cook some dishes like your family, but we get pretty close! We offer a variety of menu options, including vegetarian and low-fat entrées. The Café 65 offers a deli bar, grilled specialties, pizza, entrée station, fresh salads, grab-and-go, and many other items.
When Do I Pay?
Did you have to bring that up? Yes, it’s inevitable. Penn State no longer sends paper bills. Bill notices are sent to your Penn State email address on the first of each month beginning in August and are due on the 22nd of that month. Payment options are explained online, and any financial aid awards received are shown as a credit.
Bottom line: A minimum 25% payment on your balance will be due three weeks after the billing date.
You’re Not in This Alone
Here at Penn State Fayette, there’s help for any problem, question, or confusion you may have. Once you’re on campus, you’ll become familiar with all the resources available to you. In the meantime, it’s our job to help you make a smooth transition to Penn State. If you have a question or concern that doesn’t fit the resources listed here, call us in the Admissions Office at 724-430-4130. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll know where to find it. You can also search our website at fayette.psu.edu.
See you on campus!