Schreyer Honors College (SHC)at Penn State

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The questions and answers listed below were submitted by parents and answered by our Schreyer Parents Council. If a topic you are interested in is not addressed below, please submit your question to the Schreyer Parents Council. Answers will be posted as soon as possible after submission (typically within 24 hours).

Questions & Answers

Are admissions interviews required?
No, admissions interviews are optional, and are conducted by Schreyer alumni around the world.
When will we hear about admissions decisions?
The honors college usually announces admissions decisions in the spring, by mid-March. Penn State admissions decisions are announced first and all applicants to the Schreyer Honors College must have an admissions offer to Penn State
Should a high school student wait to be admitted to Penn State before applying to the honors college?
No, prospective students should apply simultaneously to Penn State and the Schreyer Honors College, preferably by November 30th of each year. The honors college application final deadline is January 15th
Can Scholars study abroad?
Yes! In addition to the many study abroad options available to all University students, Scholars can participate in study abroad opportunities that are exclusive to the SHC. Opportunities are almost limitless!
How do I obtain a travel grant?  Do you get credit for "research abroad" or only if you take classes while you travel?
Travel grants from the Honors College are provided on a short application basis through the SHC's student portal. The Honors College has a set schedule for grant money based on time and location traveled abroad, though that schedule normally represents the minimum offered. Many other departments and colleges across campus offer their own stipends as well. Honors advisors and SHC staff can be excellent resources. Research abroad can be incredibly rewarding and valuable. Many students even include their abroad research in their honors thesis. Earning credits for research abroad is likely up to department approval, rather than Honors College approval.
Will my Scholar take only Honors courses?
No, unlike high school, the SHC does not recommend that scholars enroll in numerous honors courses each semester. Scholars are required to take a minimum of 35 Honors credit hours to graduate. This is spread out over four years. Most Scholars take 1-2 Honors classes (3-6 credit hours) per semester. Other courses, both general and within the chosen major field of study are not Honors classes.
How do AP credits help SHC Scholars?
Many AP classes are accepted for credit by the University. These credits may apply as general credit, may count as credit for a particular course and/or requirement, or may allow a Scholar to advance to the next in a series of courses.
Is it possible for my Scholar to live in Scholar Housing with a roommate who is not in the SHC?
Yes. While Scholars have priority for housing, as long as they remain in the housing system and complete paperwork each year, they are able to name a non-Scholar as a roommate of choice subject to the roommate having a housing contract and space being available in either Atherton or Simmons Halls. It is important that both students preference each other on the housing contract.
What is the best time to "apply" for a travel grant, that is, how much lead-time does a SHC student need prior to travel?
Different travel grants will have a variety of application deadlines and requirements. The Honors College publishes their deadlines, typically 1-2 months before the semester of travel; however, they are rolling deadlines and students can potentially receive money after those times if funds are still available. Other funding sources will also publish deadlines, again normally in a 1-2 month range before travel.
What is the optimal year to travel abroad? optimal semester Spring or Fall?
There's no bad time to travel; it really depends on the student's preference. Traveling in the Fall means missing football or in the Spring means missing THON Weekend. Generally, though, travel earlier in a student's career may be easier than later. By the time junior and senior year rolls around, most students will need to be taking core classes that are difficult to substitute at a partner university. There are also plenty of courses offered at Penn State that include short travel components during summer and winter breaks.
How does my scholar acquire Honors credits?
Scholars may obtain honors credits in several ways: * take an honors class * honors "option" a non-honors class: work with the instructor to establish additional expectations for homework and assignments * enroll in a 400 level class as a freshman or sophomore * enroll in a graduate level class as a junior or senior * study abroad
Are there advantages to living in the "GLOBE"?
First – living in the Globe offers a social forum – an outcome of the lounge and the ongoing meetings. In addition, the Globe has a kitchen – so your scholar can make themselves (and their friends) their favorite foods and many meetings are planned around the food of different cultures. The GLOBE offers an international community for students especially interested in discussing global issues..
Does SHC assist scholars with laying out a proposed course of study?
Yes, each scholar's honors advisor, as well as SHC staff, can offer invaluable assistance. Scholars are required to complete academic plans as part of the honors college expectations and they should be proactive in seeking assistance
Does my scholar have access to Honors Housing for all four years?
Yes. But ensure that your scholar enrolls for on-campus and Honors housing in a timely manner.Housing contracts are renewed each year and the deadlines for submitting those contracts is strictly enforced. If a scholar leaves honors housing at any time, either for another campus housing option or to move off campus, the privilege of honors housing is lost
Will my scholar fully participate in the Penn State experience?
Absolutely.  A key advantage of the Schreyer Honors College is that you get the benefit of the large school experience (ie activities, sporting events, Thon, etc) while being part of a much smaller group of like-minded students
Can a Scholar have a car on campus?
Scholars are no different than any other Penn STate students when it comes to having cars on campus. Only students who have completed 28 credits may apply for on campus parking. If the student resides off-campus, there are two options depending upon whether the student will be using the car to commute to campus or not. If the student resides on campus, there are six different parking options. Student parking permits sell out fast so sign up as soon as you know one will be needed.
Can a Scholar serve as a Resident Assistant?
Yes. A Scholar can serve as an RA by undergoing the screening process and taking a three credit course. The candidate for an RA must have completed 12 credit hours, be in good academic standing with at least a 2.40 cumulative GPA, and be in good conduct standing with the University.
How much money should I put on my student's LionCash account?
This is a question that needs to be determined between you and your student.  Many merchants on- and off-campus accept (or require) LionCash and you'll need to decide what you can afford and listen to what your student thinks that s/he needs.Please remember that LionCash is used for the laundry machines in the residence halls!
How can my student learn about off-campus options?
The Office of Off-Campus Living sponsors two Housing Fairs each year, one in the fall and one in the spring, at which many apartment owners and other landlords are represented.  Students are also free to meet with the staff of the Office of Off-Campus Living.  Students should also speak with other students about their experiences.  Students should consider cost, the number of roommates, the terms of the lease (joint or individual),  what is included in the rent payment (utilities, cable, etc...), proximity to campus, furnishings (if any), safety, and much more before signing a lease.
Why is it beneficial to live in Schreyer Housing as a freshman versus the freshman halls in East?
Honors housing creates an immediate community for Schreyer scholars where they can live and learn together. The Schreyer Student Council sponsors programs in the residence halls, which makes it very convenient for scholars to attend. Most importantly, if students live in honors housing as a freshman, they will automatically receive a contract to renew their housing for the sophomore year; this will not happen in other residence halls across campus
Does Schreyer offer scholarships for study abroad programs?
Schreyer encourages its scholars to participate in study abroad programs. One way in which they do this is by offering scholarships to their students to help offset the cost.
Is there special housing for Schreyer Scholars?
SHC students are offered special housing in Atherton and Simmons Halls. It is centrally located near classes and town, as well as the Schreyer offices. Students may also apply to live in The Globe which is a special floor in SHC housing. There is newly renovated rooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and study rooms. Students are encouraged to participate in floor meetings to discuss international issues.
Is it hard for my child to get his/her classes scheduled?
Schreyer scholars are given preferential scheduling privileges. They schedule their classes before the rest of the student body, virtually guaranteeing getting the classes that are needed.

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