Basic Needs & Support
Students can face financial challenges or unexpected life events during their college careers. Nationally and at Penn State, food and housing insecurity is an increasing concern for many college students. We are here to help provide the resources you need to thrive and succeed, so you can focus on your goals and making the most of your time at the University.
If you are struggling to afford basic needs, such as food, housing, clothing, or other household items, we are here for you. If you need help — or if you are uncertain about your needs — reach out to one of the many resources available on-campus or in the community.
We're here to help
Penn State has many resources available to assist you with financial challenges. Our offices can guide you to the best resources based on your need and provide support and ongoing assistance, as appropriate.
Did you know that you could be eligible for assistance with costs, such as
- Toiletries, and household items
- Rent and utilities (public assistance)
- Medical bills/health insurance
In addition, we have resources to help you manage your money and make informed financial decisions as well as information to help you cook and eat healthy meals on a budget.
Where to start
Are you facing challenges with access to adequate food, stable housing, or meeting other basic needs? Do you know a Penn State student who is facing these challenges? As a first point of contact at every campus, you can complete the Basic Needs Request form for yourself or on behalf of someone you know.
Student Care and Advocacy will review this form, and the student will be provided with resources via email as well as the option to meet with a case manager in Student Care and Advocacy to walk through resources and answer any questions.
If you need help — or have questions about your unique needs — reach out for support. There are staff members at every campus who are available to assist you, and there is no judgement from Penn State if you are experiencing hardship.
Mental Health and Emotional Support
Worrying about how to meet basic needs while juggling academic work, friends, family, and more can take a toll on your mental wellness. If you need to talk to someone Counseling and Psychological Services has a variety of services available to support you.
Health Promotion and Wellness offers free wellness services around a variety of topics as well as other self-directed stress management resources.
Supporting students in distress
Are you concerned about a student who may be facing financial difficulties? Learn how to recognize a student may be distressed as well as how to show concern and provide support.
In addition, anyone can complete the Share a Concern form to express concern about a student.