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New Face: Meet Admissions Counselor Meg Abplanalp

Get to know Meg Abplanalp, an admissions counselor with Penn State World Campus and Continuing Education. It’s always nice to put a face with a name!

What’s your role in admissions services?

  • I communicate with prospective students and applicants on the phone and through email, and also by holding in-person appointments for those able to stop in.
  • I also plan and coordinate recruitment events and information sessions geared specifically toward adult learners and their support systems.
  • I sit on various World Campus program teams to ensure our prospective students and applicants have a voice in the creation of new degree and certificate programs, as well as the maintenance of current programs we offer.
  • Occasionally, I get to be the first one to tell an applicant the great news of his or her acceptance; I’ve got to admit, that’s my favorite part of the job!

Coordinating and attending recruitment events puts you in contact with many future Penn Staters. What do you like best about this experience?

I love hearing the stories about people who love Penn State — whether it’s someone who grew up watching Penn State football, someone whose son or daughter attended Penn State years ago, or someone who earned his or her undergraduate degree decades ago, Penn Staters keep coming back! Once you’re part of the family, that’s it.

One student in particular stands out in my mind:  a man who grew up dreaming about Penn State, but whose parents couldn’t afford a college education when he was younger, became emotional over the phone when we communicated the great news of his acceptance. Attending Penn State had always been a dream of his, and now that we’re online, he could make that dream a reality (even from Texas!). It was a wonderful moment.

As an admissions counselor, you field many questions from students. What part of your job do you find most satisfying?

Helping adults recognize their potential. It takes a lot of “gusto” to click Submit on that application; in fact, most adults think about going back to school for years before they actually do it. Once they do submit that application, there’s an almost immediate change in those students’ confidence, hope, and motivation. It’s so rewarding!

What does being a Penn Stater mean to you?

Being a Penn Stater not only means I’m part of a great family and network — it also means I’m part of a deep-seeded tradition spanning over 150 years. Just the thought of that gives me chills!

Any advice for current World Campus students?

  • For prospective students, know that it’s never too late to attend Penn State! Students outside the “traditional norm” are the future of education, and we’re here to help you through your journey.
  • For current students, be proactive in every aspect of your education; communicate with your adviser, manage your time, and be honest with yourself.

Always remember there’s someone here to assist you with any issues you may encounter along the way.

Thanks, Meg!