As a senior in high school, I originally applied to Penn State University Park (Main Campus) and was ecstatic. I was readily prepared to take on the ‘Penn State’ college experience that includes tailgating at football games and attending THON. As National Decision Day loomed over my head, I decided to tour a Penn State Satellite Campus just in case and I fell in love. Here are ten reasons why I decided to attend a Penn State Satellite Campus over Main Campus:
1. Cheaper Tuition
Compared to Undergraduate students at University Park, I am saving roughly $10,000 more each year. Though the tuition varies per year, satellite campuses are always a cheaper option for those who want less of a financial burden. Some select students could also be given a discount in tuition if they change their starting campus from University Park to a satellite, so keep that in mind.
2. Small Campus Setting
Let’s face it, satellite campuses are smaller in size and student population. For me, a true introvert who finds comfort in smaller settings like my high school, this factor was a major plus in my decision making. The small campus size means less time walking in between classes and not worrying about missing your bus to get across campus in time. Believe it or not, you also don’t know everyone on campus.
3. Division III Sports
An unexpected factor in my decision making was the ability to keep playing my beloved sport at the college level. Penn State satellite campuses have Division III sports, meaning it is more relaxed than Division II and I am still able to focus on my academics.
4. Class Size Matters
At University Park, a friend told me she has a lecture hall with 300 people in it, which is wildly different than high school settings. I was more comfortable knowing my biggest class size would top off at 60 students. In the smaller class setting, I am closer to my professors and am confident asking/participating in the classroom.
5. 2 + 2 Program
Choosing a satellite campus also came with a major reassurance, what if I don’t truly love this campus experience? Well, there is always the 2 + 2 Program for students. This program allows students to choose a starting campus for two years and than transfer to Main Campus after a certain amount of credits is earned. For a lot of students, this is their game plan.
6. You Aren’t Left Out at Main Campus
Students at satellite campuses are still offered to attend all the exciting events that Main Campus has to offer. This includes football games, tailgating, THON, and more! You can still experience the intense fun without being there 24/7.
7. Ice Cream from the Creamery
This is a fun one – Penn State Main Campus is known for its amazing creamery and satellite campuses aren’t left out. Satellite campuses are sent various flavors throughout the year for students to purchase, yum!
8. Location, Location, Location
This one is different for everyone, but Main Campus was 3+ hours away from my home, whereas the satellite campus I chose is only an hour and a half away. This is the case for a lot of Penn State students, satellite campuses are convenient for those who are interested in commuting or are similar to me and do not want to travel too far for college.
9. Greek Life
Surprisingly, satellite campuses do have a sliver of Greek Life. Though it isn’t as big in variety as Main Campus, for someone who is interested in Greek, you can still join. Greek Life runs a lot of activities on campus, which is a great resume builder.
10. In the End, Still a PSU Degree
Lastly, no matter where you attend, satellite campuses still give you a Penn State Degree. So, don’t feel pressured to attend Main Campus.