Comprehensive Studies Programs (CSP)

Entering college for the first time anywhere can be quite a shock. At Penn State's University Park campus, the sheer size of the student body, in addition to one’s first experience with campus culture, can be a little overwhelming.

To help students adjust, learn to successfully navigate the college experience, and earn their degrees, the Comprehensive Studies Program provides a variety of individualized services for its students.

As part of its land-grant University mission, Penn State is committed to providing access and retention to Pennsylvania students displaying high academic potential through the Comprehensive Studies Program.  


CSP can provide admission opportunities to highly motivated freshman students who meet the following criteria:

  • Pennsylvania resident
  • Meets certain academic and economic criteria
  • May be the first family member to attend college


In addition to providing an offer of enrollment to University Park, the program provides:

  • Specialized testing for optimum course placement
  • Orientation and course scheduling specifically for CSP students
  • Opportunities to take advantage of basic skills enrichment courses
  • Personalized academic planning advice and monitoring
  • Assistance understanding and resolving financial aid issues
  • Access to tutoring through graduation
  • ·Personal counselors to turn to for help of any kind
  • Academic and personal success workshops
  • Advocacy/collaboration with other University units on behalf of students (mentoring, advising, financial aid, housing, etc.)
  • Student leadership development opportunities
  • Referrals and recommendations

How to Apply

If you wish to apply for admission to Penn State and be considered for CSP at University Park, you must:

  1. Complete an application for admission to Penn State.  If you cannot afford to pay the application fee, ask your principal or guidance counselor to request a fee waiver.
  2. Complete the CSP Financial Information Form (FIF).  If you do not have an FIF, you may obtain one from any Penn State campus or Penn State Community Recruitment Center.
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before February 15 to be considered for the maximum amount of financial assistance.

Contact Information

To participate or have questions about the program, please contact:

Olivia Harper
Phone: (814) 865-1773