Funding available for programs supporting second-year students

Applications to be reviewed on rolling basis

Grants of up to $7,500 will be awarded for programs that support the transition of second-year students. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State is providing grants to units, colleges and campuses for programs that will support the transition of second-year students to a full on-campus experience.

Students who started at Penn State in fall 2020 and spring 2021 did so under extraordinary circumstances due to the pandemic and may have even spent the entirety of their first two semesters studying remotely. The University started the First to Second Year Task Force in spring 2021 to identify the implications the pandemic had on students. 

The First to Second Year Task Force was charged by the Office of the Provost, Undergraduate Education, the Commonwealth Campuses and Student Affairs as an important extension of the University’s efforts to minimize the impact of the pandemic on first-year students. The task force was charged with making recommendations designed to ensure these students have opportunities to achieve the awareness, understanding and connections in their academic and co-curricular experiences alike that serve as the foundation for an enriching and successful collegiate experience. The task force was composed of faculty, staff and students from across the commonwealth.  

One of the task force’s first recommendations was to establish a system of financial support for colleges, campuses and units that wish to offer programs and services to second-year students to help that cohort develop the awareness, understanding and connections of a full on-campus experience.

Financial support can be used for any of the following purposes:

  • programs and services for second-year students that have not been available in the past, such as welcome programs and other orientation-related activities;
  • continued support for alternative and innovative delivery of collaborative services across the University, such as academic support services and access to University-wide programming;
  • support expectations of offices that are transitioning to provide services at pre-2020 levels or in the same manner, such as extra personnel to appropriately staff offices;
  • anything that does not fit into the above categories that will support second-year students in their transitions.

Any college, campus or unit at Penn State can apply for up to $7,500 in funding by applying at

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and units are encouraged to submit proposals for programs to help accommodate the needs of second-year students as they continue to transition throughout the year. A steering committee made up of representatives from the sponsoring units will review the proposals:  Application review will continue on a rolling basis. Awarded funds must be spent by May 1, 2022. Colleges, campuses and units can submit multiple proposals.

Applicants will be asked to provide the following information:

  • office, college/campus and person responsible;
  • a 250-word proposal, to include description of program, goals of the program, innovation, need and how it will improve the transition for second-year students; 
  • approval from your campus/college and supervisor;
  • budget and timeline;
  • additional funding sources;
  • outcomes report and presentation of findings at First to Second Year Forum.

Questions about the grant program can be directed to the task force co-chairs, Barry Bram,, and David Callejo Perez,


Last Updated September 07, 2021