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?

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Penn State University Students

Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 40,600

Penn State University Advisors

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

As a first-generation college student and a daughter of immigrant family, I had to navigate the college process on entirely on my own. I am eager to work with students in search of extra support as they embark on a pivotal moment in their journeys. I believe in encouraging students to embrace their creativity to highlight their strengths and their stories while marketing themselves to their schools of interest. As a Michigan graduate, I am a Wolverine at heart and embrace the title trailblazer in my work with high school students everyday.

Also Accepted to

Michigan State University

I hold over 6 years of higher education administration experience advising students on their educational and academic pursuits. I obtained my B.S. in 2017 from Bowling Green State University where I received a 4-year full-ride scholarship. I graduated from Michigan State University with my master's in Education Administration in 2019. As a higher education professional, I strive to remove barriers to education and provide support to students from all backgrounds, identities, and experiences. I believe that having access to affordable higher education is an amazing avenue to pursue, and an opportunity everyone should be able to access affordably. I have experience advising a diverse array of students from many different institution types and love connecting with students holistically and providing them support and resources to best reach their collegiate goals. As an educator the driving force behind my advising style is to provide guidance and support as well as getting to know my student goals, values, and priorities to help them make decisions best suited for their situation. My time in higher education has allowed me to gain a great understanding around academic requirements, extracurricular activities, and institution types. I am always excited to learn about the experiences that have shaped students and how they want to make their impact on the world. I am very skilled in assisting students in finding out what it is they value and how they want to "share their story" with higher education institutions. I know the application process and the search for the right school can feel daunting and overwhelming at times, but I know from experience with the right support it can be incredibly rewarding and exciting as well!

Also Accepted to

Northeastern University

Hi there! My name is Renee and I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from Northeastern University where I minored in both Business Administration and Social Entrepreneurship. I then furthered my studies at University College London and hold a Master of Arts in Education and International Development. After living and working in Cape Town, South Africa after the completion of my graduate studies, I have spent the past five years with Philadelphia Futures, an organization that provides low-income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college. Within my role as Senior Coordinator, I advised a caseload of 45 students and their families by sharing tools to help students find their best fit college and create a strong admissions plan. I have led admissions process and programming for these students by planning, executing and tracking all activities related to both their college admissions application and their financial aid application as well. This has included the FAFSA, CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE completion, as well as postsecondary list-building and postsecondary decision-making processes. My previous students have been admitted to a varied and diverse list of mid-range and highly selective institutions, such as Stanford, Penn, Vanderbilt, Boston University, and John Hopkins. I have worked with students who have pursued a degree in a wide range of majors including the Arts and Humanities, Business, and STEM as well. As such, I am well versed in the requirements and expectations of a wide variety of academic disciplines. Looking at my work from a financial aid perspective, I have decreased my students cash gap by an average of $25K or more per student, often to as low as $0. Additionally, I have helped students access and secure an average of $100K in external scholarships as well. As the college admissions landscape is continually shifting, I pride myself in staying up to date on the latest trends and data by attending various professional development opportunities including attending counselor information sessions, well as fly-in events across campuses around the country. I am also a NACAC and PACAC member as a classified independent educational consultant. Within this space, I have stewarded strong relationships with college admissions staff to advocate for my students and their families. Education has the power to be transformative. I know the college admissions process can feel overwhelming, but I’m dedicated to empowering students on their educational journey! I will leave no stone unturned and will provide the necessary expertise to help students live up to their greatest potential!

Also Accepted to

Northwestern University
After 7+ years at Northwestern University in admissions, I wanted to more directly help students apply to college. I have experience at the 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!

Also Accepted to

Penn State University
Hello! My name is Isabella, and I am a 4th-year student with a Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering double major and minors in Entrepreneurship and IST for Aerospace Engineers 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 interned at SpaceX in Spring 2021, Lockheed Martin Space in Summer 2021, and a hypersonic start-up called Hermeus in Summer 2022. 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. While in high school, I was active in several STEM extracurricular events, including the Summer Exposure Engineering Experience Program at the University of Michigan (received a scholarship to attend the summer camp and won the summer camp's $20,000/year Engineering Scholarship of Honor for use at UMich), MOSTEC at MIT, and CE^2 at Columbia University. 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 prior to joining CollegeAdvisor. This is my second year with CollegeAdvisor, and I’m so excited to continue helping 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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