Penn State preparing to welcome 17,000 new students

Penn State saw an all-time high number of applications, and expects more than 17,000 new students to start their academic careers at Penn State this summer and fall, the Board of Trustees Committee on Academic Affairs and Student Life learned on July 10.

Robert Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education, said the University has received 124,000 applications to date, which is 20,000 more than five years ago. That figure includes an increase of 17,000 undergraduates and 3,000 graduate students. "This represents an increased interest from prospective students at all levels," he said.

Pangborn said that of the 17,383 paid accepts – those students who have accepted their offers of admission and paid their deposits – 8,615 have enrolled at campuses other than University Park. This is an increase of about 800 students over 2012.

About 8,700 students will begin their studies at University Park. Of those, 2,200 first-year students have started this summer. "This is by design," Pangborn said, "It allows us to use our infrastructure, which otherwise would sit idle over the summer, and it increases our capacity in some of the more popular majors."

Pangborn said underrepresented students make up roughly a quarter of the incoming class.

Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, also had some good news to report to the committee. In May, the committee learned of challenges faced by the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), including a large wait time for students to get appointments.

Sims reported that the University has committed $300,000 to hire new CAPS staff. "As of Monday, will identify a space to house them," Sims said. He said the University is renting space off-campus, with a two-year lease. "That will help us reach our off-campus students as well," Sims said. Roughly two-thirds of students at University Park live off-campus.

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Last Updated July 16, 2014