Downtown military discounts to support Penn State Student Military Fund

November 08, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In conjunction with Penn State’s military appreciation events this month, more than 50 businesses in downtown State College will offer discounts and free parking validations to individuals with military IDs between Nov. 8 and 16. The shopping event helps support the Penn State Military Student Fund, which offers financial assistance to military-affiliated students as a needs-based scholarship.

Downtown State College Military Appreciation Week is in collaboration with the University’s eighth annual Military Appreciation Week, which officially kicks off on Nov. 8 with a weeklong series of festivities and culminates on Nov. 16. Each of the participating downtown businesses will donate a portion of the week’s proceeds to the fund.

Established in 2014, the Student Military Fund has raised more than $112,000 for 41 scholarships. The fund is a nonendowed scholarship, with 100% of the proceeds distributed each year to military-affiliated students at any Penn State location.  

“Our goal is to do what we can to help our military students be successful, whether it’s offering peer mentoring, career counseling, assistance navigating the GI Bill or financial support,” said Eugene McFeely, Penn State’s senior director for veterans affairs and services and chair of Penn State’s Military Appreciation Committee. “We’re very thankful for this partnership with the Downtown Improvement District and to all of the local businesses and shoppers helping to support this important effort.”

The fund provides a minimum of four scholarships a year for military-students throughout the University, including active service members, veterans, dependents and ROTC cadets, helping defray the costs of education.

According to McFeely, the scholarship could support, for example, veterans who have used their GI Bill benefits before finishing their degrees or ROTC students with financial need.

One of the students benefiting from the scholarship is Shawn Jacobs, a full-time military member and student majoring in global and international studies. A 12-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Jacobs now works as a squadron level training manager and an analyst in State College and spends his free time helping with local veteran-related events.

“I always wanted the traditional college experience and so far, my experience at Penn State has been amazing,” Jacobs said. “Support from the Military Student Fund has made all the difference in easing some of the stressors that come along with being a full-time adult student.”

Today, more than 5,600 Penn State students use the GI Bill as either an active-duty service member, a reservist, veteran or military dependent, across all of the University’s campuses, including Penn State World Campus.

Downtown State College will provide free parking validations to all military service members and veterans who stop by during normal business hours, or at the participating businesses. Validations are good at any of the three downtown garages. More information about Downtown State College Military Appreciation Week is available at

To learn more about the University’s longstanding and proud tradition of serving the men and women of the military through education benefits, resources, support and more, visit

  • List of businesses offering discounts

    Businesses in downtown State College will offer military discounts and specials from Nov. 8 to 16. 

    IMAGE: Courtesy of the Downtown Improvement District
Last Updated November 08, 2019