The Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) is for incoming first-year students admitted to the University Park campus. The program, which runs during Summer Session II, combines small, cohort-based courses with out-of-class programming and peer-mentoring to help students successfully transition to Penn State.

Each student enrolls in one LEAP pride, which is made up of two linked courses, and is assigned a peer mentor who plans programming and helps support LEAP students throughout the summer program.

Benefits of LEAP

  • Small, linked classes that help you get to know faculty members
  • Peer mentoring
  • LEAP housing
  • Out-of-class programming

LEAP Terms:

LEAP Pride

The two courses you enroll in are linked together to form a LEAP pride. Each student selects one LEAP pride and is enrolled in the two courses that make up that pride. Each pride will have no more than 24 students. LEAP students earn 6-credits toward their degree.

LEAP Mentor

A LEAP mentor is a current Penn State student who serves as a leader and role model for the LEAP pride. The mentor plans social and academic programming for their pride throughout the summer. This programming includes activities to help the students get to know each other, learn about campus resources, and become familiar with campus and the State College community. Mentors also plan study sessions and other academic activities for their LEAP Pride.

General Education

Most LEAP courses help students fulfill General Education requirements. Approximately one-third of the credits students take toward their degree requirements will be from general education. For more information about the General Education curriculum visit the Office for General Education.


There is no additional cost for LEAP. Enrolled students pay the same tuition, fees, and room and board costs as any other summer student who is enrolled in six credits and living on campus. Summer tuition, room, and board rates are finalized in April. The cost for tuition, room, and board for summer session II is approximately $8,000 for Pennsylvania residents and approximately $13,000 for out-of state students. View the tuition schedule and room and board rates for more detailed information.

Summer Student Aid

Student aid is available in the summer for eligible students. Summer session is considered the end of the current aid year, so to be considered for student aid for summer 2024, students should fill out the 2023-2024 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Questions about student aid should be directed to Penn State Student Aid.

The LEAP program was a bridge that helped me easily transition from high school into college without feeling so overwhelmed.