Students who remain home in fall will have opportunities to keep learning

June 18, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As the University prepares to welcome students back to its campuses in August, Penn State has also developed plans to enable students who must remain home to move forward uninterrupted with their Penn State education. For these students, the University will offer a robust portfolio of remote learning options and student experiences through Penn State Start at Home and Continue at Home so that they can begin or continue to make progress toward their degrees.

Students facing travel restrictions or dealing with medical conditions may wish to utilize these options. The University is committed to maintaining the utmost flexibility to help students to keep learning despite current circumstances. 

“Through Start at Home and Continue at Home, the University aims to maintain the high standards of teaching and learning that students and families expect of Penn State while providing flexibility as our students and the entire University community navigate this global pandemic together,” said Yvonne Gaudelius, associate vice president and senior associate dean for Undergraduate Education. “Even as we face the ongoing pandemic, students do not have to delay lifetime plans to pursue degrees at one of the best universities in the world.”

Start at Home and Continue at Home will enable students to take advantage of flexible, remote learning options taught by the same faculty who will teach in-person courses on Penn State’s campuses.

Start at Home is available to first-year students whose circumstances make it impossible for them to begin their Penn State education on campus. Through Start at Home, students will be able to begin their Penn State education remotely in synchronous or asynchronous modes that will accommodate students’ different time zones and locations in the U.S. and around the world. Start at Home will connect first-year students who need to begin their studies at a distance with fellow students, faculty, advisers and the larger Penn State community at their campus. Start at Home, which will include a dedicated first-semester experience provided by students’ campus or academic college, is intended to help students have a strong academic start, build relationships with other first-year students, learn about the opportunities and resources available at Penn State, and engage with staff and faculty until they are able to be on campus.

Continue at Home is a set of offerings for returning and transfer students who are unable to come to their campus in the fall. Current students who participate in Continue at Home will have access to virtual engagement opportunities with other students, shared tools and technology, and support resources focused on student success.

The University is committed to welcoming students from across the globe into the Penn State community, even if current circumstances prevent residential study. Start at Home and Continue at Home may be particularly appealing options for international students who are unable to travel to a Penn State campus this fall as a result of travel restrictions, delays in the visa process or other circumstances related to COVID-19. For these students, asynchronous remote learning options will be available to accommodate their learning from time zones outside the U.S. International students are encouraged to visit or to contact the Office of Global Programs at 814-865-7681 for more information.

In the coming days, more detailed information about the Start at Home and Continue at Home options will be available at Students are encouraged to check the website often to learn more about these programs. Critical information and key resources related to the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are also available at, and this site will continue to be updated throughout the summer.

First-year and transfer students and families who have questions about Start at Home or Continue at Home should contact the Admissions Office at the campus that they are attending. Continuing students who have questions about Continue at Home should contact their adviser for more information.

Last Updated June 19, 2020