Penn State University

Centre County, Pennsylvania

Penn State University Admissions

Acceptance Rate 58%
Acceptance Deadline Rolling

Penn State Application- Introduction

When you are applying to college, you need to know how to make your college application as strong as possible. Before you make a Penn State application, firstly check that the school s a good fit. Then, find out what the Penn State application requires, so you can apply to Penn State effectively.   

To make a strong Penn State application, be sure you know the following:

  • What are the Penn State application requirements?
  • How to access the Penn State application portal
  • How much is the Penn State application fee amount?
  • Do you qualify for a Penn State application fee waiver?
  • When is the Penn State application deadline?

Why should I apply to Penn State?

Pennsylvania State University is a public research university. The Penn State ranking among U.S. research universities is #25. With 20 campuses to choose from, you’ll benefit from extensive resources, a vast network of clubs, and a strong sense of school spirit. When it comes to the nation’s overall “Best Colleges,” the Penn State ranking is #63.

Further, the Penn State enrollment is large – with 73,476 undergraduate students enrolled for the 2021 school year, it ranks among the top ten schools in the nation.  However, of the 95,999 students that turned in a Penn State application for the class of 2025, only 15,443 were accepted

The Penn State admissions process is competitive. Therefore, do thorough research into how to get into Penn State with a strong Penn State application. 

How do I apply to Penn State?

Once they know they’d like to apply to Penn State, students applying to college need to know the Penn State application requirements. Research these early so you can start your Penn State admissions and track your Penn State application status long before the Penn State application deadline. This is how to get into Penn State effectively. 

Students can apply to Penn State in two ways: through the CommonApp, or through the Penn State application portal, MyPennState. CollegeAdvisor has loads of resources on navigating the CommonApp. 

Like CommonApp, the Penn State application portal is an online service where students can apply to Penn State, check their Penn State application status, and more. Find guidance on how to apply to Penn State with the Penn State application portal here

Generally, there is a $65 Penn State application fee for your college application. However, you can get a Penn State application fee waiver by visiting Penn State Beaver and following the steps there. 

Firstly, the Penn State application portal will ask you to identify yourself by applicant type. Are you a first-year, international or transfer student? Are you either ex-military or undocumented? Knowing your status will help you find the right Penn State application requirements for you

It is important to realize that you can only apply to two of Penn State’s twenty-four campuses. If you apply to Penn State at University Park, the school’s most popular first-choice campus, the school will hold you to higher unofficial Penn State requirements for GPA and SAT/ACT scores. However, the Penn State application for first-years is test-optional through Fall/Summer 2023. So it’s up to you whether or not you submit SAT/ACT scores. 

While Penn State admissions will mostly look at your academic record to judge your college application, they look at other things too. For example, they may also consider a program-specific audition or portfolio review, the geographic and cultural background of the student, an activities list, and a personal statement. 

Does Penn State require an essay?

The Penn State application does not require an essay. Penn State admissions reviews a high number of applicants. Therefore, there is only one optional personal statement. 

However, this essay is still a chance to share what makes you unique with Penn State admissions. In addition, it can boost your chances of making the Penn State enrollment. So think of the essay as one of the mandatory Penn State application requirements. Check out our guide to writing strong Penn State supplemental essays here

When is the Penn State application deadline?

In short, there are a range of Penn State application deadlines. Penn State admissions will review your Penn State application on a rolling admissions schedule. Some academic programs have limited Penn State enrollment and specific application dates. While you are working on your Penn State application, be sure to keep track of your Penn State application deadline. 

The school offers a non-binding Early Action Penn State application. This is available from August 1 and is due by November 1. Students who want to optimize their odds when applying to college should consider this option. Although this means submitting your application earlier, Early Action is non-binding. Unlike Early Decision, Early Action means you’ll know your Penn State application status by December 24, while having until May 1 to decide about Penn State enrollment. 

Penn State Application Takeaways

In order to boost your chances when you apply to Penn State, begin your Penn State application as early as possible

The Penn State application portal is a one-stop shop for every stage of the Penn State application. You can:

  • Double check the Penn State application requirements
  • Check your Penn State application status
  • Meet the Penn State application deadline
  • Hopefully accept your offer to  Penn State enrollment 

Now that you know how to write a strong Penn State application, head over to to dive deeper into: 

Keep scrolling for our comprehensive guide on how to get into Penn State, and help boost your chances when applying to college with one-on-one advising from an Admissions Expert. 

Penn State University Cost

Average Cost* $0
Average Total Aid Awarded $10,353
Students Receiving Financial Aid 42.61%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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Penn State University Academics

Student Faculty Ratio 15:1

Penn State University Online

Offers Online Courses No

Our clients got into Penn State University last admissions cycle. Are you next?

Our advisors graduated from the nation’s best universities and know what it takes to stand out in the admissions process.

Penn State University Students

Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 40,600

Penn State University Advisors

Shannon Kennedy
Penn State University
After 7+ years at Northwestern University in admissions, I wanted to more directly help students apply to college. With experience at University of Illinois at Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology in addition to NU, I started counseling students in 2016. I have advised dozens of students individually and as a high school college counselor. My advisees have matriculated at the most selective institutions and a wide range of colleges across the country and internationally. I live in the Chicago area and enjoy encouraging houseplants to flourish almost as much as I enjoy working with high schoolers poised to change the world!
Isabella Gayoso
Penn State University
Hey! My name is Isabella and I am a rising Junior Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering double major with a minor in Entrepreneurship at Penn State. At Penn State, I hold several distinctions, including being a member of the honors college(Scheyer), the honors engineering scholars program (Leonard Scholars), and a recipient of the Provost Award. Professionally, I worked at SpaceX as an intern for my gap semester in the spring. This summer I am interning for Lockheed Martin Space. During my senior year application cycle, I gained admittance to several top universities, listed on my profile. I also earned several national, regional, and local scholarships including the Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship, and I have totaled over $150,000 in scholarship money to date. One of my areas of strength is scholarship applications and essays, both specific to a university or in a national or local application. I also thoroughly understand how to frame a college application in the best way possible by creating cohesive activity descriptions, essays, and short answer responses. I have worked with students in the Pittsburgh area and with International students. This is my first year with CollegeAdvisor, and I’m so excited to help students meet their goals!

Also Accepted to

College Testimonials from Clients Who Were Accepted to Penn State University

Rohan Kumar

I think my experience as a whole was a success. I got a lot of constructive feedback from my advisors and it really helped me with my applications. I really appreciate all the help and support I received. In the end, I am happy that I chose ChollegeAdvisor and would definitely recommend it to others.

Liyuan Zhang

It’s a great honor to have help through the platform of CollegeAdvisor and work with the most experienced advisors during this year’s application season. I’ve actively recommended CollegeAdvisor to juniors in my high school.

Buse Balik

My experience with CollegeAdvisor was amazing. My advisor, Carolyn was the best. She helped me with everything about the application process and helped me keep everything organized. I can say it lifted a lot of weight off my shoulders because she was very good at guiding me through the application process.

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