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Colleges / Penn State University Park

Penn State Admissions

If you are considering submitting an application to Penn State, the fee for the application costs $65.

Application fees can add up, but some schools do have free applications and students who are struggling to afford application fees may be eligible for an application fee waiver.

Students who apply for Fall should receive an admissions decision no later than October 1.

Penn State Admissions Stats at a Glance

Penn State 2021 Admissions Statistics
Admissions Test Policy Not optional and are considered
Applicants Who Submit SATs 77%
Applicants Who Submit ACTs 18%
Waitlist Yes

Applying Early to Penn State?

Penn State - University Park does not offer early decision but does offer early action.

Mark your calendar!

The Early Action deadline is November 1, which is coming up fast! Penn State will release EA admissions decisions no later than December 24.

Some students apply to college early because they believe it will help their chances. Early deadlines may increase the chance of being admitted, since applying early shows your are very interested in a school, and your application is being considered before all the regular decision applicants apply.

See a list of some selective colleges that admit significantly more applicants during early decision or early action than during regular admission.

Is Penn State Hard To Get Into?

Penn State is a very difficult school to get into. Penn State has open admissions, which means admission is not competitive and any applicants that met the basic requirements can enroll.

In 2021, Penn State accepted 54% of students, around 40,031 of the 73,861 students who applied.

Schools that are very difficult to get into, like Penn State, accept fewer than 60% of all applicants. At least 50% of all admitted students have GPAs in the top 10% of their high school class and scored over 1230 on the SAT and over 26 on the ACT.

Penn State has not reported data for waitlisted and admitted students.

What's Most Important to Get In to Penn State?

Colleges consider a range of factors when choosing who to admit for their next incoming class. Each college has a different way of determining which factors are are most important when choose which applicants to admit, and which to deny. When creating your list of schools to apply to, you may want to consider your strengths and any possible weaknesses in your application, and apply to colleges that put the most emphasis the admissions factors where you're strong.

Admissions Factors at Penn State

Admissions Factor Level
Academic GPA Very Important
Alumni/ae Relations Considered
Character/Personal Qualities Not Considered
Geographical Residence Considered
Class Rank Not Considered
Work Experience Not Considered
Extracurricular Activities Not Considered
Level of Applicant's Interest Not Considered
Application Essay Not Considered
First Generation Not Considered
Interview Not Considered
Racial/Ethnic Status Considered
Recommendation(s) Not Considered
Religious Affiliation/Commitment Not Considered
Rigor of Secondary School Record Important
State Residency Considered
Talent/Ability Considered
Standardized Test Scores Considered
Volunteer Work Not Considered

Penn State Application Requirements

Double check with Penn State's admissions department to confirm all application materials and requirements.

What GPA Do I Need To Get Into Penn State?

Unweighted GPAs range from 4.0 to under 1.0.

Penn State considers standardized tests scores during the admissions process.

Penn State does not have a test optional admissions policy. Test optional schools allow students to choose if they want to submit ACT or SAT scores with their applications or not.

In 2021, 77% of Penn State's first-year students submitted their SAT scores with their application. 18% of admitted applicants sent ACT scores.

What's a Good SAT Score for Penn State?

On the SAT Math Section, 25% of Penn State students scored 680 or higher and 75% of students scored 570 or higher. On the SAT Critical Reading section (formerly called the Verbal section), 25% of Penn State students scored 660 or higher, and 75% scored a 570 or higher.

Want to increase your SAT Score?

Preparing for the SAT can help raise your score, but it doesn't have to take up a lot of time.

Learn how to increase your SAT score 200 points or more in just 10 minutes a day.

What's a Good ACT Score for Penn State?

To be most competitive at Penn State, you should strive to earn between 25 and 30 on the ACT.

An ACT score of 30 means you fall in the 75th percentile for Penn State's admitted students. One out of every four students scored above a 30, and three out of four students scored lower than 30 on the ACT.

A 25 on the ACT is the 25th percentile for Penn State students. Only one out of every four students scored below 25.

Want To Bring Up Your ACT Score? Access ACT practice tests and study tips and see upcoming ACT test dates.

Transferring to Penn State - University Park

Transfer applications are processed on a on a rolling basis as they are received.

Transfer students can enroll in Penn State during the following terms: - Fall Term - Spring Term - Summer Term

Penn State Admissions FAQs

Can I defer my acceptance to Penn State?

Yes, admitted students can defer their admission to Penn State.

Does Penn State accept transfer credits?

Penn State accepts eligible transfer credits from accredited institutions. Penn State accepts:

  • CLEP subject tests
  • DSST/DANTES
  • ACE recommendations for credit

Does Penn State accept Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credits?

Penn State accepts International Baccalaureate credits (IB) credits and Advanced Placement (AP) credits.

Do I have to submit test scores to Penn State?

Penn State is not test optional. You must submit test scores as part of the application.

What is Penn State's acceptance rate?

Penn State's acceptance rate is 54%.

Want To Learn More About Penn State?

To learn more about Penn State, choose from the options below:

Overview

Student Life

Academics

Tuition & Aid

Visit the College Confidential forums to join the conversation about Penn State

Explore other colleges in Pennsylvania or use the college admissions predictor to calculate your chances of getting into some of the top colleges and universities in the U.S.

Penn State Admissions Requirements

Admission Difficulty

Very Selective

54%

How hard is it to get into Penn State? Penn State is a very selective institution. The Penn State acceptance rate is 54%. This means that the institution accepts 54 out of every 100 applicants.

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Penn State Application Deadline

First-Year Applications are Due

Continuous processing

Transfer Applications are Due

Continuous processing

The deadline for Fall first-year applications to Penn State is Continuous processing.

The deadline for Fall transfer applications to Penn State is Continuous processing.

Check the school website for more information about deadlines for specific programs or special admissions programs

Penn State ACT Scores

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ACT Range

25 - 30

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT Score

Estimated Chance

30 and Above

Good

25 to 30

Avg

25 and Less

Low

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Penn State SAT Scores

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Composite SAT Range

Not available

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Math SAT Range

580 - 680

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Reading SAT Range

570 - 660

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Penn State GPA

Avg. High School GPA (non-weighted)

Not available

© 2021 College Confidential / Concentrical LLC, Data provided by IPEDs and Peterson's Databases, © 2020 Peterson's LLC.

Quick Facts

Total Enrollment

46,313

Campus Setting

Small Town

Acceptance Rate

54%

Tuition and Fees

In State

$18,898

Out-of-State

$36,476

Fall Freshmen
Application Deadline

Continuous processing
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