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The ASPIRE program is a Comprehensive Studies Program (formerly Educational Opportunity Program) which offers admission consideration to students who demonstrate the potential to be successful students, but who may require specialized and structured academic support services. The program is for Pennsylvania residents who are freshman applicants and plan to begin their studies in the fall semester of any given academic year.

Consideration for admission to the Berks ASPIRE program includes, but is not limited to, the following criteria:

  • Must be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Must demonstrate high financial need: guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and verified by Penn State
  • Must be a student who shows academic promise and the desire to achieve a college degree
  • Successful completion of the ASPIRE Application and FIF Form, and an interview with the ASPIRE Coordinator

Program Features and Services

The program familiarizes students with the campus and community resources. It offers specialized programming to address the educational, social, cultural, and personal needs of students and includes an intense tracking system of the student's academic progress. Students are held accountable and rewarded through a quality educational experience.

Summer Bridge Program

Lion’s Path, our two-week summer bridge program, is designed specifically for the ASPIRE students to help acclimate them to the campus and prepare them for the academic demands of college before they begin the Fall semester. During Lion’s Path, students will participate in preparatory Math and English courses, academic skills workshops, and self-awareness and skills assessments. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the support services the campus offers, meet faculty and staff, and engage with peers and mentors in team-building and leadership activities. 

ASPIRE Courses

ASPIRE students enroll in a student success course during their first year (2.0 credit course in the Fall and a 1.0 credit course in the Spring).  This course is designed to provide support to students during their transition from high school to college. The course will help new students gain control over their college experience by developing effective educational strategies, greater self- awareness, and skills built upon accurate knowledge of the university’s programs, policies and services. This course is taught by the ASPIRE Coordinator.

Academic Progress

The ASPIRE Coordinator keeps in contact with each student’s professors to monitor the student's academic progress, provide strategies for academic success, and facilitate increased communication between the student and professor.

Chi Alpha Epsilon (XAE) National Honor Society

ASPIRE students have the opportunity to join Chi Alpha Epsilon, a national honor society created specifically for students  involved in Academic Development Programs within their university. Aspire students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA for two consecutive semesters to be eligible, and must continue to strive for academic excellence.

For more information about Chi Alpha Epsilon visit: http://www.chialphaepsilon.org/

Dedicated Campus Resource Professional

The ASPIRE Coordinator works with ASPIRE students to provide them with support and assistance throughout their entire college career. The ASPIRE Coordinator provides the following:

  • Individual academic support
  • Academic advising and coaching
  • Staff and peer tutoring
  • Feedback on students' course assignments
  • Assistance with navigating and utilizing campus services
  • Help with students' general needs


ASPIRE activities include:

  • Team building exercises
  • Social and cultural events
  • Academic workshops
  • Community service
  • Educational field trips
  • Leadership opportunities

Interested in the ASPIRE Program?

Questions regarding ASPIRE

If you have questions about the program please email Aubrey R. Edwards at are12@psu.edu, ASPIRE Coordinator, or contact her by phone at (610) 396-6074.

More ASPIRE Program Information:

Information on Scholaships and Financial Aid for ASPIRE Students


ASPIRE Questions?

Aubrey R. Edwards
Perkins Student Center, Rm 6
610-396-6074 (phone)
610-396-6316 (fax)
E-mail Aubrey (are12@psu.edu)