Pennsylvania State University (PSU) began as a small school that taught liberal arts, classical languages and mathematics in 1855. It remained of modest size until 1862, with the introduction of the Morrill Land-Grant Act. The Morrill Land-Grant Act permitted states to sell federal land and invest the proceeds. The monies resulting from the sale would then be used as income to support colleges. The Morrill Land-Grant Act wanted to ensure that the schools who benefitted from the grant maintained a focus on instruction in agriculture, industrial arts, and mechanical engineering and other forms of practical education. The school experienced a name change to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania; and at that time, was the only college in the state that took advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act passed by Congress. Today, PSU is a state wide system of schools and colleges which offer an even wider variety of educational opportunities, for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to students within the country and around the world. Pennsylvania State University encompasses 19 campuses, 12 colleges and 4 schools.
Pennsylvania State Altoona (PSA) is a four-year, full service university offering 8 associate degree programs, 20 baccalaureate degree programs, and certificate programs. Degrees can be acquired in the following areas: arts and humanities, business and engineering, education, human resources and the social sciences, mathematics and the natural sciences. In addition, PSA offers the first two years of course work in majors that can be completed at other Penn State campuses. Penn State Altoona began as a university in 1939. The campus is just 2 miles from downtown Altoona and has a full time faculty of nearly 200. The part time staff numbers approximately 150.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Paying for post secondary education in the United States has been and is currently a challenge for a number of students and their families. According to the PSA website, more than 85 percent of all those who apply to the school require some form of financial assistance in order to be able to enroll. Approximately 3,400 out of every 4,000 of the college’s student body are recipients of federal student loans; and even though federal funding is available to all, students’ still find themselves in need of additional assistance to cover the cost of their education.
The Penn State Alumni Association raises money and has scholarships available for students to make application for. The awards range in amounts from $50 to $3,000, and last for up to 1 or 2 semesters. Each student is required to apply for federal aid by filling out a FAFSA online. In addition, PSA offers scholarships, awards, and grants, students can apply for. Some of the awards include the PSA Majors; Chancellor; and the Academic/Student Life Award. Athletic scholarships are exclusive to the University Park campus. All students are advised to contact the Office of Student Aid where he or she can receive counseling and information about all the financial aid options offered within and outside the Penn State University system.
Student Financial Aid Details
PSA students have many choices and opportunities to interact and socialize on and off campus. There are clubs and organizations, occasions for community service, fraternities and sororities as well as intramural sports teams to be a part of. There are over 100 clubs and groups which function within the school and are run by departments and students alike. The two male fraternities are Phi Sigma Kappa and Sigma Pi. The female sororities are Alpha Sigma Tau and Gamma Phi Beta. All these organizations promote friendship, scholarship and a sense of belonging. The office of student life at PSA has worked with other community-based organizations to create and foster community involvement and care through service. Some of those partnerships are with the following organizations: Girls Scouts of America, YMCA, March of Dimes and the Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The PSA teams’ name is the Nittany Lions. The men and women varsity teams have the following components: Basketball, cross country, golf, swimming and diving, soccer and tennis. There are additional male teams in baseball. Exclusive women’s teams are in bowling, softball, and volleyball. The PSA Nittany Lions are NCAA division III members. The Division III experience focuses not only on athletics, but academic success as well. PSA Lions are also members of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) and Eastern Association of Athletic Colleges (ECAC). The facilities are state of the art and include the Steven Adler Athletic Complex; which serves as the home to 15 intercollegiate varsity athletic programs, the Kinesiology Department, the Army ROTC, and the offices for staff of the athletic department. The complex boasts a fitness loft, weight room, multi-purpose room, racquetball courts, indoor swimming pool, and a large gymnasium. The Lions are proud of their state of the art facility, and all PSA students are welcome to take advantage of the amenities the Steven Adler Athletic Center has to offer.
With more than 160,000 dues paying members, the Penn State Alumni Association is regarded as one of the largest alumni associations in the world. The members of the Penn State Alumni Association (PSAA) give generously, volunteer, and mentor new and current students.
Each year during the PSAA’s annual Ivyside Society event, the PSAA honors some of these individuals with 4 alumni awards; which are the Alumni Achievement Award, the Distinguished Service Award, the Honorary Alumni Award, and Outstanding Alumni Award. Penn State Altoona attributes a great deal of its success as a university to the Ivyside Society and the alumni association. The Ivyside Society at PSA recognizes and honors donations from $1,000 to $50,000 from alumni, community leaders, and individuals. These donations allow the PSAA to assist students with financial need in order to meet their academic goals at the university.
- Penn State University – Altoona. Information 2011. 20 May 2011.
- Penn State University – Altoona. College and Campuses 2006. Accessed 20 May 2011.
- Penn State University – Altoona. Academics 2011. 20 May 2011.
- Penn State University – Altoona. Scholarships 2011. 20 May 2011.
- Penn State University – Altoona. Financial Aid 2011. 20 May 2011.
- Penn State University – Altoona. Sports Facilities 2011. 20 May 2011.
- NCAA Division III. About us. 20 May 2011.