More than 3,000 students call Penn State Altoona home. With its 23 degrees, over 60 student clubs, NCAA athletics, and two campus locations, Penn State Altoona is an exciting living and learning community.
Whether you make Penn State Altoona your home for two or four years, you’ll be part of a supportive community where you can excel in the classroom, build relationships with faculty, and meet some of your best friends.
Penn State Altoona accepts students transferring from all Penn State campuses, community colleges, and other accredited colleges and universities.
Where to Live
Learn more about living with us!
Where to Eat
Learn more about dining with us!
Find out eligibility guidelines and more details about summer housing.
Incoming first-year and transfer students, we can't wait to welcome you to Penn State.
Current students, explore your options and sign up for space next year.
News & Announcements
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Working on your goals this summer? Live on campus and enjoy the flexibility of custom arrival and departure dates at rates you can afford.
Choose Your Room
Online Room Selection has begun for current students with a fall 2021-spring 2022 HFS contract.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a space and accept the HFS Contract?
If you receive an invitation, log on to www.eLiving.psu.edu and select “View Invitation” under My Contracts. There, select your invitation to view all housing options. Not all options may be available based on when you are invited into the process. Select the housing option you desire and click ‘Continue’. Add a friend’s Penn State Access ID who you want to receive a HFS Contract offer and click ‘Continue’. Not all housing options allow for a roommate. Review your selections and click ‘Create Contract’ to be offered the HFS Contract for your selected housing option. If a roommate was listed, this student will also be offered the HFS Contract. To accept the HFS Contract offer, select the Shopping Cart icon and view the offer. Click the ‘Begin Acceptance Process’ button to view and read the HFS Contract and Terms, Conditions, and Regulations (TCRs). Check mark the box to indicate that you have read and agree to abide by the TCRs. Type your name to electronically sign the HFS Contract. Click the ‘Accept Contract’ button. All done!
What is Online Room Selection?
Online Room Selection (or self-assigning) is an option for current students and select first-year groups to log on to eLiving and choose the specific room in which they'd like to live. This option may not be offered to all groups or at every campus; students who are not able to participate in Online Room Selection enter contract preferences and are assigned by staff.
Timelines for Online Room Selection vary but usually occur in mid-spring for the fall semester. A second selection period may be offered in early summer if additional housing options become available.
Students who are able to participate in Online Room Selection will receive an email reminder with more detailed instructions before their selection period begins. Selection periods are also found in the Contract Summary in eLiving and posted online.
What is an Invitation?
An invitation allows current first-year or upperclass students to view available on-campus housing spaces. A student must have Requested Housing to receive an invitation.
Receiving an invitation does not obligate the student to on-campus housing
Log on to eLiving to see if you've received an invitation. Your login screen will display the message "Congratulations! You have been invited to #LiveOn! Click here to view the invitations." Follow the link to begin the invitation process
- Select a housing option from those available and click "Continue". If a housing option doesn't appear or is grayed out, it's not currently available.
- Add a friend who you'd like to receive the same housing option, whether or not you plan to be roommates. Not all housing options offer this opportunity. Click "Continue".
- Review your selections and click "Create Contract" to be offered an HFS Contract for your selected housing option. If you listed a friend, they will also be offered the HFS Contract.
Once you create your contract, you'll automatically begin the contract acceptance process. If you exit without accepting and return later before your contract expiration date, click on your Shopping Cart to return to the contract acceptance process.
Are incoming first-year students eligible to Request Housing in eLiving?
No, the Request Housing process in eLiving is specific to current first-year and upperclass students. Incoming first-year and transfer students can choose on-campus housing, if available, when they accept their offer of admission through MyPennState or can add their name to the Waitlist afterward. Find out more information about the incoming first-year process.
I accepted an HFS Contract, but I want to live in another housing option. What can I do?
You can add your name to one Waitlist when they open. Adding your name to a Waitlist does not guarantee that you’ll be reassigned to that housing option. Waitlists may not be available for all housing options.
What is a Waitlist?
There are two types of Waitlists:
- one for students who did not participate in the Request Process and want to live on campus
- one for students who have an HFS Contract but want a different housing option.
When you log on to eLiving and choose Waitlist from the Contracts menu, you will see the appropriate Waitlists based on your Contract status.
Students who have an accepted HFS Contract are eligible to enter only one housing option Waitlist. As staff processes cancellations and vacancies occur, we will move students from the Waitlist into that specific housing option.
For example: I have an accepted double room, traditional residence hall HFS Contract. I’m interested in a suite, so I add my name to the Suites Waitlist. When a suite is available for me, staff will move me to a suite option. If online room selection is available to me, I'll be able to choose a suite instead of a traditional residence hall.
You can remove your name from a Waitlist at any time by unchecking the box of the Waitlist you'd previously selected.
What should students and families know about dining during COVID-19?
- Although in-person dining will be available, it will be limited, with tables physically distanced and chairs removed to promote a safer eating environment for diners and workers in accordance with federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines. Campus Dining has put in place enhanced protocols including — but not limited to — the use of masks by all guests and staff; increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms using an EPA-approved disinfectant; additional hand sanitizer stations; installation of Plexiglas in key areas; and self-swipe card payments.
- New for fall 2020, students can access a mobile ordering and pickup option at select locations.
Food Allergies / Special Diets
Are there vegetarian/vegan options available?
Yes, Meatless and Vegan options are served daily in all five of the dining commons. Each all-you-care-to-eat area offers a vegan entree, soup, and varying side dishes for each meal. Salad bars also offer vegan protiens such as tofu, beans, and quinoa. For more information, please visit the Vegetarianism page.
Are gluten free options available on campus?
Yes, numerous gluten-free options are available at each of the five dining commons locations. The online menu is a great resource for determining whether menu items align with a gluten-free diet. Allergens found in menu items are indicated on the online menu as well as on entree cards at the point of service. The top eight allergens, which includes gluten, are represented by individual icons on entree cards if found within a menu item.
Additionally, each dining commons offers a variety of supplemental, gluten-free items such as breads, pastas, cereals, snacks, and pizza. For more information, please visit the Gluten Free page and contact the Registered Dietitians Office through email@example.com.
How do I request housing?
For incoming first-year students, the Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract is included in the offer of admission to Penn State. Students at Behrend and University Park are guaranteed an on-campus housing space and required to live on campus, whereas students at other Penn State locations have the option to accept an HFS Contract as they go through the admissions process. Both the Offer of Admission and HFS Contract are accepted by accessing MyPennState, following the prompts, and paying the non-refundable admission fees and housing deposit.
Do upperclass students also live on campus?
Yes. All residential campuses welcome students to live on campus beyond their first-year. Many find the greatest convenience is saving time – to and from classes, activities, events, clubs/organizations, recreation and study, meetings, common and green spaces, dining, bookstore, project collaboration, faculty offices, and so much more! We do have space for you to live on, and special living options at some campuses are especially for you!
When can I request housing?
For the 2021-2022 academic year, students can Request Housing beginning October 15 through at least January 31. The Request Period will be extended if upperclass space is still available.
Can incoming first-year students request a specific housing area?
After a first-year student accepts the offer of admission and Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract, you will have the option to indicate housing preferences such as location, roommate, and Special Living Option (SLO) in the eLiving system. The availability of specific housing preferences varies by campus: at University Park, students can indicate their preference by housing area; at all other campuses, students can indicate their preference by building.
What meal plan options are available?
We offer three different meal plan options: Campus Meal Plan, Commuter Meal Plan, or LionCash+ funds. Review our meal plan comparison to choose the plan that best suits your needs.
How does my meal plan work?
The Campus Meal Plan provides easy purchasing and savings for students who regularly eat meals on campus.
The Campus Meal Plan account is accessed via your Penn State id+ Card. Each time you visit a dining facility operated by Penn State Housing and Food Services, simply present your id+ card to the cashier, who will swipe the card through a reader. The reader will access your account, deduct the proper purchase amount, and display your new account balance.
What are the different meal plan discounts?
Students have access to the greatest discounts when they use their Campus Meal Plan:
- 65 percent at Buffet to Go and All-You-Care-to-Eat locations
- 65 percent on prepared items* at food courts
- 10 percent on prepared items* at specialty fast casual operations such as Soup & Garden, Grate Chee, and Blue Burrito in the HUB, Bruno's at Behrend, The Outpost at Harrisburg, and coffee shops at campus locations
The Commuter Meal Plan and LionCash offer a 10 percent discount on the items and locations listed above. Additional LionCash discounts may be available at off-campus participating locations.
*prepared items are meals, snacks, and beverages that are made by Campus Dining staff. This excludes menu items at nationally branded restaurants and cafes.
Can I cancel my meal plan?
Campus Meal Plans are required for students living on campus who are not assigned to apartments with a full kitchen. Required meal plans cannot be canceled.
Students assigned to apartments with a full kitchen and off-campus students who have purchased a meal plan may change their meal plan level until the Friday of finals week. Meal plans once purchased are binding, and balances are not refundable.
Students who withdraw or end their relationship with the University mid-semester may receive their remaining dining dollars and a prorated refund of the base cost. Any refund will be credited to the student account or to the credit card used to purchase the meal plan.
A meal plan cannot be transferred or assigned to another individual.
Where can I use my meal plan?
Campus Meal Plan dining dollars can be used at all Campus Dining locations across the commonwealth*, as well as at popular destinations such as Beaver Stadium, Bryce Jordan Center, Rec Hall, and Berkey Creamery.
Commuter Meal Plans can be used at all Campus Dining locations across the commonwealth*.
LionCash+ can be used at hundreds of merchants, both on and off campus. Visit https://idcard.psu.edu/merchants for a full list.
*Campuses offering Campus Dining locations: Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Behrend, Brandywine, Dubois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Scranton, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, and York
How do I check my meal plan balance?
What happens to my leftover meal plan funds?
Remaining Campus Meal Plan funds at the end of the summer or fall semester will carry over to the next semester so long as the student has purchased any level of Campus Meal Plan for the next semester.
Commuter Meal Plan funds carry over from fall to spring regardless of whether a spring commuter meal plan has been purchased.
If you have too many dining dollars, you can lower your campus meal plan level at any time until noon on the last Friday of the semester.
If your dining dollar balance is low, funds will automatically be pulled from your LionCash+ (provided there are funds available in LionCash+) at the same discounted rate provided by your meal plan.
All remaining Campus and Commuter Meal Plan funds at the end of spring semester are forfeited. LionCash+ never expires.