First-year student requests for on-campus housing annually exceed the spaces available. When on-campus housing is filled, students may have an interest in the housing waitlist. Waitlist students are not required to live on campus if housing becomes available later. We understand that some first-year students prefer to live on campus. However, off-campus housing is the alternative for many students who would like to attend Penn State Altoona.
Information regarding off-campus housing, some within walking distance to campus, is available through a private provider Web page (listed below). Students on the housing waitlist may want to consider off-campus housing as a supplemental housing plan through the Cooperative Agreement lease option offered by several landlords. For additional information, visit Altoona Student Housing and click on Student Housing Co-op Lease Providers.
Off-campus living reminders:
- Paying for Off-campus Living Expenses
For financial aid purposes, the estimated cost of education for all students who are not commuting from home includes a room and board allowance equal to the on-campus room and board charges. Financial aid exceeding direct Penn State charges, such as tuition and fees, is deposited directly into a student's checking or savings account. These funds can be applied to off-campus living expenses such as rent, utilities, food, etc. Financial aid programs do not require documentation of off-campus living expenses payments. Details regarding the refunding of financial aid exceeding direct charges are available on the Office of the Bursar website.
Students living off-campus may also choose to use the flexibility of LionCash+ with their Penn State id+ card as an alternative to or in conjunction with the Campus Meal Plan. LionCash+ can be used at the on-campus locations noted below and also at those Altoona locations found on the LionCash+ Web site, as well as at University Park and State College locations.
- Campus Meal Plan
Students living off-campus may purchase a Campus Meal Plan through the Housing and Food Service Office. A meal plan can be used to eat in any of the three Food Service locations on the Ivyside campus (Port-Sky Café, Common Grounds in the Slep Student Center, or Coasters in the Hawthorn Building), at the Dining Car downtown located in the Aaron Building at our downtown campus, as well as any foodservice facility operated by Penn State Housing and Food Services at any Penn State campus.
- Campus Facilities/Support Services
Students living off-campus have full access to all campus facilities and support services such as Adler Athletic Complex, Sheetz Family Health and Wellness Center, Eiche Library, the computer center, all student activities, and organizations, etc.
- Public Transportation
Public transportation for the Altoona area is provided through Amtran.
- Student Vehicles on Campus
All Penn State Altoona students, including First-year students, are permitted to have vehicles on campus, per Penn State Altoona parking policies.
When Penn State Altoona's first-year student housing spaces fill, historically on-campus housing is still available at some Penn State campuses.
Please phone 814-949-5466, Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. to speak with an admission counselor about your housing and admission options in the Penn State system.
Please note that campus availability may change daily, depending on student requests.