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Student Freebies You May Not Know Come With Tuition Fees

Let’s face it, folks. Although college is some of the best years of our lives, it gets pretty expensive. Between paying for tuition costs, rent, groceries, textbooks, and of course bars and brews, every little Venmo and dirty Sprite adds up, making it hard to stay out of debt while living in State College.

Luckily enough, Penn State offers many freebies to lend a helping hand, providing students with a wide variety of services and resources for free or at a discounted rate.

Although many of these freebies are made apparent and advertised, some of these hidden gems often go overlooked by current students and would typically be fairly expensive to pay out of pocket. Here are some essential resources and services offered by the university for free with student tuition fees.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office, provided to every Penn State student and faculty member, is one of the most essential tools provided by the university. Penn State offers Microsoft Office 365 for free, giving students access to online versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, to name a few. The software is an obvious necessity for anyone in college as it is frequently used to communicate with professors, staff, and peers.

Windows 10 & 11

Along the same lines as Microsoft Office, Penn State also offers both Windows 10 and 11 operating systems. These software are a useful service for anyone looking to upgrade their current one and don’t want to cough up $100+ dollars.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is available to all Penn State students and faculty members at no additional cost. Through the full suite of Adobe products, students and faculty members have access to a host of creative tools for digital imaging, design, web, and video, as well as online services including 20GB of storage. Some of these services through Adobe include Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and Audition, to name a few.

The New York Times & The Wall Street Journal

If you ever get tired of scrolling through Instagram or TikTok to get your news, you can use your ID to receive free subscriptions to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. If you’re too lazy to punch in the numbers, you can always pick up a physical copy in the commons of each residential area and at the HUB.

Discounted Spotify & Amazon Prime

Students enrolled at any accredited university can enjoy Spotify Premium for a discounted rate of $5.99 a month with your first month free. In addition to unlimited access to ad-free tunes, Amazon Prime provides two-day shipping, which comes in handy when you need to order that last-minute textbook or some new decor for your humble abode. If you don’t want to pay the expensive annual fee, you can get your first six months of Prime for free so long you use your Penn State email address.

Media Commons

Across campus, several media commons grant students access to 3D printers, One Button Studios complete with green screens and recording equipment, Mac desktops, and creative services. Pattee Library, Ag Sci Industries Building, and Davey Lab all host these commons.

Laptop Repair

Time and time again, students experience computer troubles ranging anywhere from water damage to software issues to just being clumsy and dropping it. If you ever find yourself in that boat, our friends at the IT service desk are there to help. Only charging for the cost of replacement parts, the service desk will repair your laptop just as well as any of the stores downtown, if not better. Along with these simple repairs, they can help you with anything from data transfers to virus removal and can even help folks get connected to the official Penn State WiFi.

Academic Success Tools

Through the College of Liberal Arts Chaiken Center Resources, students are provided with a wide range of pre-made planners and to-do lists, available to print. These resources allow students to manage their time and plan accordingly for academics and extracurriculars. Why spend $20 on a planning calendar when you can download one for free?

Media Rentals

The Media and Technology Support Services, located behind the Wagner Building, allows students to rent anything from cameras, tripods, microphones, and laptops free of charge. Students are allowed to keep these rentals for one week with the option the extend the rental up to two additional times. The rental center is open on weekdays from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students are required to present their PSU ID to rent out any equipment.

SPA Events

Throughout every semester, the Student Programming Association provides students with free concerts, comedy shows, and lecture series. From Impractical Jokers’ Sal Vulcano to Austin and Ally’s Ross Lynch to Hot Ones host Sean Evans, SPA provides students with engaging guests and opportunities that are certainly ones you can’t miss.

Penn State WebApps Remote Applications

All Penn State users can access selected applications with a web browser through WebApps. The applications available through this service include Microsoft Office, ArcGIS Desktop, MATLAB, Mathematica, Minitab, SolidWorks, and SAS. You can connect to remote apps here.

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About the Author

Evan Halfen

Evan Halfen is a junior broadcast journalism major from Newark, DE, and is one of Onward State's associate editors. Evan loves all things Penn State, tailgating, being loud, just about any beach, and his puppies, Butterscotch and Wentzy. You can direct all your tips, roasts, and jokes to his Instagram: @evan.halfen or email: [email protected]

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