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Articles / Applying to College / Changing Penn State Campus Choice Post-Admission

Dec. 10, 2007

Changing Penn State Campus Choice Post-Admission

Question: My son was accepted at Penn State Berks. (This was his second choice; his first was University Park.) Unfortunately, there is no longer any on-campus housing available at Berks. We've searched the Penn State Web site trying to find out if he can now apply to Penn State Altoona (which was his third choice), where there is still on-campus housing available, but we cannot find any information. Do you have any thoughts or information that can help us?

I empathize with your frustration. I, too, have spent many hours combing countless Web sites in search of very basic information. Often I eventually end up doing what I should have done in the first place ... taking a more old-fashioned approach and simply picking up the phone.


In THIS case, that's what you should do, too. Call the Penn State Altoona admissions office (814-949-5466 or 800-848-9843). Tell the admission folks the same thing that you told us. In fact, I already called on your behalf and learned that it's likely that your son can make this switch, but they need specific information that I could not provide (i.e, his name, his choice of major, and his academic profile).

So call them ASAP. Don't delay since you don't want to lose out on housing in Altoona, as well. And, in the future, don't hesitate to call admission offices if the information you find on the Web is confusing ... or if you find that you can't find it at all. :-)

Good luck!

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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