New / Prospective Students
Students are admitted to the program for the fall semester. Applications for the 2024/25 academic year will be accepted and reviewed beginning November 1, 2023. Applicants are encouraged to tour the campus and participate in an open house or information session prior to submitting an application. Applications will continue to be reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. Career Studies Program Staff will acknowledge receipt of the initial application.
Upon receipt of a completed application (including application, letters of recommendation, most recent IEP and evaluation report), an interview will be scheduled. Admission to the program follows the interview. The IEP and reevaluation report must document the Intellectual Disability or developmental delay that is a requirement for admission. Application deadline for the 2024/25 academic year is March 31, 2024.
For prospective students seeking to enroll in the 2024/25 Academic Year, please address the following:
- The Career Studies program is an approved Comprehensive Transition program (CTP). Students are required to complete and submit the FASFA in order to access waiver funds and/or other sources of financial assistance. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) serves as the single application for all types of student financial aid — federal, state, and Penn State programs. You may file the FAFSA online at FAFSA. Penn State's federal school code is 003329.
- The Penn State FASFA deadline is May 1, prior to the semester of enrollment - at the latest. Early application is recommended. You must reapply for the FASFA every academic year you are in the program. There are three types of federal financial aid available to students with intellectual disabilities attending a CTP.
- Federal Pell Grants. Unlike student loans, do not have to be repaid. Amounts can change yearly and are dependent upon student financial need.
- Federal Work-Study program allows students to earn money working in part-time jobs on campus. However, it is important to know that students need to apply for the jobs, which can be limited, so even students who are eligible for work-study funds may not be able to find a job that allows them to earn those funds.
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are awarded based on financial need. Students who will receive Federal Pell Grants and have the most financial need will receive FSEOGs first. The FSEOG does not need to be repaid. The FSEOG program is administered directly by the financial aid office at each participating school and is therefore called "campus-based" aid.
- If you are "waiver eligible" through your Pennsylvania county of residence, please meet with your supports coordinator and make application to your County Office of Intellectual Disability (ID) to activate the waiver, identify an employment goal for the Individual Service Plan (ISP), and request support for enrollment in the Career Studies Program no later than May 1 prior to the semester in which you will enroll. Recently published waiver guidelines by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) provide detailed information on using your waiver to support the cost of the Career Studies Program. To review the specific language of ODP's Guidelines for the , use the following link and go to pages 72 - 73.
- Contact the appropriate district office of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (the office that serves your residence) with a request to open a file no later than May.
- Note that it may be necessary for these offices to contact each other regarding their support of the costs for this program.
Proof of FAFSA application is required for waiver funding. To complete the FAFSA requirement for the Educational Support services, the applicant must obtain the Student Aid Report (SAR) from FAFSA. Please check with your supports coordinator for additional information.
- We list possible scholarship opportunities on our website, you are strongly encouraged to apply to any scholarships that may support this program. At this time, we are aware that the following agencies have issued scholarships to individuals with intellectual disabilities and other developmental disabilities:
- An interview will be scheduled after the Career Studies program receives the completed application or a request to reactivate the application – see below.
- Individuals who already have an application on file, should submit written confirmation to reactivate the application. Send request to Dr. Linda Rhen, Penn State Harrisburg, 777 W. Harrisburg Pike, Middletown, PA 17057; [email protected].
- If an interview has been conducted previously, it may not be necessary to participate in another interview. In that case, a meeting will be scheduled to confirm acceptance and provide information on the program prior to the beginning of the semester.
- All prospective students must take a campus tour prior to being offered admission. Campus tours are given by the Office of Admissions, contact that office at 717-948-6250 to schedule a tour.
If you have any questions or need assistance in completing this application, please contact the Career Studies Program office via email at [email protected]. Application materials are available in an alternate format upon request. Please submit all required application materials as listed on or before the deadline. You may submit your application and supporting documents online or by U.S. Mail.