Penn State welcomes thousands of students virtually for Spend a Summer Day

August 06, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Although Penn State is used to welcoming families to its 20 undergraduate campuses all summer long for Spend a Summer Day events, COVID-19 interrupted this summer’s plans. In spite of the inability to host prospective students on campus, the Undergraduate Admissions Office worked with academic colleges, Commonwealth Campuses and other units to host the first-ever, University-wide, virtual Spend a Summer Day.

On July 28 and 30, Undergraduate Admissions virtually welcomed almost 6,000 prospective students for full-day, online programs that highlighted the academic opportunities available to undergraduates at Penn State. Students could choose from over 150 different sessions available throughout the day, which also included the opportunity to take a virtual walking tour of the University Park campus.

Since Penn State hasn’t been able to provide campus visits since mid-March, Spend a Summer Day was an important event to showcase to future students the outstanding academics, unique campuses and exceptional community that make Penn State special, particularly as the application for admission opened for the Class of 2025 on Aug. 1. Although prospective students were not physically on campus, Spend a Summer Day offered them the next-best experience as they weigh their future college options, as one attendee shared: “The COVID-19 situation has made it such a challenge for students like me, looking to get as much information as I can before applying. This virtual event was as close to an actual ‘being there’ event as possible!”

Planning for an on-campus Spend a Summer Day was well underway when the pandemic forced plans to change, which Kate Kishbaugh, the associate director of recruitment for visits to the University Park campus, and the rest of her team took in stride as they transitioned to this online event.

“Pulling off this signature event happened because of an entire team effort!” Kisbhaugh said. “Our amazing staff and students rose to the challenge, and our outstanding Commonwealth Campus and academic college partners showcased their expertise to create a truly University-wide event that made a major impact.”

While it is uncertain when prospective students will be able to visit campus again in-person, Spend a Summer Day provides prospective students with a valuable experience from afar to help them determine if Penn State is right for them. Prospective students who missed Spend a Summer Day and want to learn more about the University and its admissions process can visit

The Undergraduate Admissions Office is part of the Penn State Office of Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Last Updated August 06, 2020