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The Penn State Access Account: Your Key To An IT Product Windfall

As Penn State students, we enjoy a lot of perks.

We get to watch an elite great football team, take in the views of gorgeous mountains, and can choose from more academic programs than you can imagine. But one thing that’s often overlooked is all of the free IT perks we can take advantage of using just our Penn State Access Accounts.

It took me, a second-semester junior, more than two-and-a-half years to realize how many IT discounts and benefits we get from our affiliation with Penn State. We’ve compiled a simple, concise list of all of the programs you can download for your future use.

Disk Space, Storage, and Sharing

As college students with often 15, 18, or 21-plus credit semesters on our plates, storage space on laptops is at a premium. Thankfully, Penn State offer two sources for storage and backing up files, which come in especially handy when you inevitably spill something on your laptop and need to get it repaired.

  • Box: Box is a secure, cloud-based, commercial file storage, sharing, and collaboration service. It provides users with an unlimited amount of storage space online so that any content they put into Box can be accessed, managed, and shared from any location. You can access Box from your phone, laptop, or on desktops around campus.
  • Yammer: This program allows students, faculty, and staff to organize and facilitate discussion groups or work together on files. Yammer can make the process of completing group projects easier, but seriously, you should do yourself a favor and use Microsoft Teams instead.

Discounted Cellular Plans

School is expensive, and in the 21st century, cell phones are essential. If you’re short on cash and struggling to pay your phone bill, Penn State is here to help. Discounted cellular plans help students and staff save on phone plans with vendors like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

Tech Training

College is a time to learn about things like the arts, science, history, and technology. But if you’re not an IT student, learning about the variety of software out there isn’t always easy. That’s why Penn State offers students a variety of services to help them ease their way into the field.

  • Lynda: Lynda provides access to thousands of high-quality tutorials. The best part is that they’re free, self-paced, and created by industry leaders for beginners and experts on a variety of programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.
  • Tech Tutors: If you’d rather have more personal, one-on-one time to learn about technology you might need for an assignment, look no further. Tech Tutors offers free online screen-sharing or peer-to-peer training if you’d rather sit at home and get the help that you want. They provide training for software as simple as Word and as complex as InDesign.
  • IT Service Desk: If you’ve walked into any dorm commons (or the Knowledge Commons in the library), you’ve likely seen the IT service desks. The students who work the IT service desks offer free support for anyone with questions about technology and IT tools. They even have an online Help Request Portal so you can submit or check the status of your requests at any time.


The variety of software platforms offered to students is arguably the best part of going to Penn State. Students can get the latest versions of Microsoft Office and Windows for free along with Adobe’s Creative Cloud and a host of the company’s programs.

WebApps also provides students free access to software applications like Minitab, MATLAB, and more.

Web and Media Services

If none of these services have caught your eye, there are plenty of other options out there for you.

  • Sites at Penn State: If you’re interested in creating your own website or blog, Sites at Penn State is the perfect venue to do so. The program itself is powered by WordPress and is free for students and faculty alike.
  • One Button Studio: This service allows students to create videos with professional levels of production for free and with the simple push of a button. If you’ve ever dreamed of recording your own TED Talk, this is for you.
  • Maker Commons: One of the biggest phenoms to rock the technology world in recent years is the commercialization of 3-D printers. Students can submit and create 3-D prints based on a variety of patterns for free and without any previous experience.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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