IT perks for Penn Staters

In addition to the travel, entertainment, automotive and other types of discounts available to students, employees, retirees and alumni through the Penn State Discounts program, there are also many information technology (IT) discounts and benefits that come with a Penn State affiliation.

Below are just a few of the IT discounts and benefits available to Penn Staters.

Discounted cellular services

Discounted cellular plans allow students, faculty and staff members to save on personal voice and data service and equipment through such cellular vendors as AT&T Wireless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Free disk space, storage and sharing

Box at Penn State is a secure, cloud-based, commercial file storage, sharing and collaboration service that allows content to be stored online so it can be accessed, managed and shared from anywhere. All students, faculty and staff members have an unlimited amount of storage space available to them in Box. Users can also access Box on their mobile devices or seamlessly sync files to their laptop or desktop computer.

Yammer at Penn State — a private social network for Penn State — allows students, faculty and staff members to create online discussion groups, collaborate on files and organize around projects, helping them stay on top of the most recent work and conversations.

Free technology training and help desk support offers free access to thousands of high-quality video tutorials 24/7 for self-paced learning. These tutorials are created by industry leaders and cover topics suitable for beginners and experts alike.

Tech Tutors offers free, personalized, peer-to-peer training for students on just about any technology required for a course assignment. Available online via screen-sharing, Tech Tutors gives students one-on-one, face-to-face help even if the student wants to stay in their residence hall. Tech Tutors can help with such software as Access, Photoshop, Excel, Visio, Word, Acrobat, InDesign, Sites at Penn State, WikiSpaces, Prezi and more.

Technology Learning Assistants help Penn State faculty members use technology in and for their classes by providing free consultations throughout the semester on such computer skills as PowerPoint, electronic grade book, file management, email, creating web pages, and other technologies used for teaching. The assistants are also available to demonstrate how to use such Penn State services as Canvas, podcasting and iTunes U, Adobe Connect, and Sites at Penn State, as well to help plan the best ways to integrate technology into courses.

The IT Service Desk offers free support to Penn Staters who have questions about technology and IT tools. The online Help Request Portal enables Penn State community members to troubleshoot or submit help requests, browse available services, and check the status of help requests all in one place and at any time.

The Knowledge Commons Service Desk is a free, one-stop computer repair center for students, faculty, staff and retirees, providing them with convenient and free hands-on IT help with personal computers and mobile devices. No appointments are necessary, and help is available in person in Room W130A, Pattee Library at the University Park campus.

LabChat — a free online chat service that connects customers with experienced lab consultants — provides instant support on a wide range of IT topics regarding campus computer labs and technology classrooms.

Free and discounted software

Software at Penn State offers a wide variety of software titles to students, faculty and staff members. Students can download the latest versions of Microsoft Office and Windows for free as well as find such popular programs as Adobe Creative Cloud, Mathematica and more at specially discounted prices.  

ITS Downloads enables those with a Penn State Access Account to download a variety of utilities, clients and open-source software for Windows, Mac and UNIX/Linux operating systems at no additional cost.

WebApps provides access to free software applications including Microsoft Office, Minitab, MATLAB and more.

Other resources for free student software from such vendors as AutoDesk, Microsoft DreamSpark and VectorWorks are also available to students.

Free use of computer labs

Information Technology Services (ITS) Computer Labs come equipped with Windows, Macintosh and/or Linux computers, as well as a variety of popular software and additional equipment and resources, and are available all over campus for students, faculty and staff members with a Penn State Access Account to use at no charge.    

Discounted computer hardware and accessories

The Premier Dell Personal Purchase discount program provides personal discounts on Dell laptops, desktops, electronics and accessories to students, faculty and staff members.

Apple Education pricing is available to students, parents buying for students, instructors and staff members. Users can find a range of content at the Apple Store that covers every subject, from great collections of apps to countless free learning resources.

Free on-campus wireless network access

Free Penn State wireless service provides Penn State users with a fast and easy way to connect wirelessly to the internet while on campus. Visitors to Penn State's campuses may also access free AT&T wireless internet service at all campuses, where available.

Free web and media services

Sites at Penn State gives students, faculty and staff members the ability to create and publish websites, blogs and portfolios at no cost.

Personal Penn State web space is provided to students, faculty and staff members with a Penn State Access Account for no charge.

The Media Commons provides students, faculty and staff members with support for academic multimedia projects at no charge. Media Commons labs exist at every Penn State campus, providing technical and pedagogical support for video and audio projects.

The One Button Studio lets students, faculty and staff members easily create video productions for free.

The Maker Commons lets students, faculty and staff members submit and create 3-D prints from a variety of free pattern options. The service is available at no additional cost and requires no previous experience with 3-D printing. The Maker Commons also houses the Invention Studio, a space where Penn Staters can rapidly prototype devices using littleBits — electronic building blocks that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of innovations.   

Free repository service

ScholarSphere enables Penn State researchers — students, faculty and staff members alike — to have free access to store, share and retrieve their scholarly work on a worldwide scale and be assured of its long-term preservation.

Last Updated September 27, 2016