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Mont Alto campus hosts seniors

July 14, 2007|By DON AINES

MONT ALTO, PA.-A group of upcoming seniors got a look at life after high school Friday, spending a summer day at the Penn State Mont Alto campus.

The "Spend a Summer Day" event at Mont Alto was designed to introduce prospective 2008 students to the small campus, as well as provide broader information about the 20-campus Penn State University system.

This was new for most of the students, but some of the parents are veterans.

"It's still as exciting with number five as it is with number one," said Sue Shetter of Waynesboro, Pa., who has gone through the process with four other children and stepchildren. The difference is experience in dealing with applications, financial assistance forms, deadlines and other paperwork of getting a child into college.

"This is where I've wanted to go for a long time, the Penn State system," said her daughter, Margaret, who will be a senior a Waynesboro Area Senior High School this fall. She has yet to decide which campus she wants to attend.

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Many students choose the "2+2" option, said Kate Murphy, an admissions counselor. Under the option, students can attend one of the smaller Penn State campuses their first two years before going to a larger school, such as the main campus at University Park in State College, Pa.

"If a student may not be ready to dive into University Park," the smaller campuses are a good way to make the transition to college life, Murphy said.

The Mont Alto campus is among the smallest in the system with about 1,100 students enrolled this fall, Murphy said. There is housing for 460, but that already is filled up and there is a waiting list, she said.

The campus is working with local landlords to provide housing options for those who did not get into one of the three dormitories, she said.

The small size of the school suits Jacob Weaver of Snow Shoe, Pa., which is pretty close to State College, but a three-hour drive from Mont Alto.

"This college has forestry and it's small, too," Weaver said. "I don't like those big-city ones."

"I'm very impressed with it," said his mother, Debbie Weaver. "This is the kind of place we live in. I think he'll be very comfortable here."

"I've just always wanted to come to Penn State," said Nicole Hauver of Smithsburg.

"There's a lot of family tradition for Penn State. Her dad, an uncle, I have a nephew," she said of family members who have been part of the Penn State family. "I love all the trees and the scenery. It's so beautiful."

The campus will host a similar event, "Spend a Summer Evening," on Wednesday, Aug. 8, Murphy said. Students can register by calling 717-749-6130 or online at ma.psu.edu.

Individual tours also can be scheduled, Murphy said.

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