First-year students unpack their bags at Penn State Mont Alto

August 25, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

MONT ALTO, Pa. - Penn State Mont Alto welcomed its first-year class on Friday, as 249 students wheeled and carried their belongings on to campus for move-in day.

Although this year's first-year class of 461 is smaller than last year's class of 505, an increase in returning students and students who do not live within commuting distance caused the campus to search for more off-campus housing, said Holly Cieri, public relations manager for the campus.

"Second- and third-year classes are bigger than what they've been," Cieri said. "More and more students are choosing to stay here. That's something we're pretty proud of."

The housing waiting list, which had 95 students on it in May, now has dwindled to 15. Karen Kreager, director of Housing and Food Services at the school, believes those on the waiting list will have housing by the spring at the latest.


Cieri said 459 students will live on campus this year, although the college only has space for 438 students.

That means 21 students will be living in supplemental housing, in which rooms that typically hold one person now will hold two and rooms that hold two people now will hold three. However, students will be moved out of those rooms as other ones become available, Kreager said.

Mont Alto's total enrollment is 1,250, which is an increase of 170 from last year, Cieri said.

The class of 2011 comes from 15 states from California to Delaware, Cieri said. Twenty-seven percent of the class comes from outside of Pennsylvania.

Jamie Haney is one of the out-of-state students. Haney comes to Mont Alto from Baltimore, and hopes to get to know new people and start fresh.

"They have a good educational system," Haney said as to why she chose to attend Mont Alto.

"I'm excited," she said. "Now Monday, that'll be a different story."

Haney's father, Charles, said he was surprised at how many people were helping move in the first-year students.

Stacy Reever of Biglerville, Pa., chose Mont Alto because it was close to home and offered her major, which is hotel, restaurant and institutional management.

"It's a small campus," Reever said. "I didn't want anything really big (and) it was the closest (campus) to home that had my major."

Kristen Leonard of Crofton, Md., also moved in Friday.

When Leonard first turned in her application to Mont Alto, she said she was on a waiting list for housing. However, that has been worked out, she said.

Leonard's parents still are getting used to the idea of their daughter moving away to college.

"It's kind of strange because she's an only child," Claire Leonard said.

"When I went to college, it was close to home," John Leonard said. "But it's a nice, small campus."

Amanda Yost, who lives near Philadelphia, chose the school because both of her parents are Mont Alto alumni.

"I wanted to go to Penn State, and I chose this campus because my parents went here," Yost said. "I'm probably the most familiar with this campus."

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