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Pennsylvania State University Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements

If you aspire to study at Pennsylvania State University but you don’t know how things are done in the school, then, you are on the right track.

We will be communicating to you in this article all the essential things that you are required to know about Pennsylvania State University acceptance rate, GPA, and requirements. Let’s get started!


Founded as farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania in 1855, Pennsylvania State University is a public research institution with about 20 campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania State University is a major research university that conducts teaching, research, and public service on its various campuses, with each campus having its own unique affordances.

The University Park campus, which is one of the campuses has about 47,000 students and has been labeled as one of the “Public Ivies.” Which means that it is a public funded institution that provides quality education comparable to those of the Ivy League.

As one of the select few public Ivies in the nation—public universities with Ivy league affordances—it is no surprise that University Park campus academic prestige seems to rise and rise every year.

University Park campus also has an annual enrollment of more than 46,800 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the U.S.

According to U.S. News & World Report ranking, the university ranked 63rd (tie) among national universities. In 2021, it also ranked 23rd (tie) among public schools in the United States.

Penn State University Acceptance Rate

The acceptance rate at Pennsylvania State University sits around 56%. That being said, one’s chances of admittance rise drastically if one takes advantage of the early application deadline.

Students who submit their applications by the early action deadline of November 1st have a 67.9% chance of admittance.

The deadline to submit an application to Pennsylvania State University for non-early action applications is December 1st, with students hearing back some time in late January.

Early action applicants will hear back with an admissions decision in late December. See Best Law School in Pennsylvania.

One’s possibility of being admitted to Pennsylvania State University students is dependent on the campus to which a student applies.

Approximately 68% of Pennsylvania State University students receive some form of financial aid in form of grants and Scholarships. Pennsylvania State University’s FAFSA form submission deadline is December 1st.

Pennsylvania State University Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

The out-of-state acceptance rate at Pennsylvania State University sits around 42%. In general, the out-of-state and international student acceptance rate is at a variety of Pennsylvania State University campuses is steadily growing yearly.   

Out-of-state students compose about 35% of the overall Penn State student population of recent Ohio graduating classes While Pennsylvania University Park main campus is composed of roughly 45% of students from out of state.

However, there is good news for students hoping to apply to Pennsylvania State University who are residents of another state.

For instance, in 2021, the amount of out-of-state and international students grew from its normal 5-7% of the incoming class to 22%, this is a significant achievement for the school’s efforts to diversify its campuses.

As such, out-of-state students will not only have better chances of admittance in the upcoming years, but they will also be entering into a university community that has made a concerted effort to welcome those from other states.

GPA for Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University does not have a minimum GPA requirement. However, when one looks at the average GPAs of admitted students, one learns the average high school GPA for admitted freshmen at the school.

The middle 50% of University Park students received a high school GPA ranging from 3.56-3.91 and for all other campuses in the institution, the average GPA ranged from 3.06-3.65.

Based on the given average GPAs of recent freshmen classes one can learn that the school has a competitive GPA.

SAT & ACT Requirements for Pennsylvania State University

There is no minimum SAT or ACT requirement for Pennsylvania State University.

That being said, competitive candidates at University Park will typically have an average SAT ranging from 1280-1450 and for all other campuses, the middle 50% was 1090-1300.

However, one is advised to look through any ACT/SAT requirements for their specific program. For example, the middle 50% of the University Park campus’s ACT scores were 29-33. For all other campuses, the middle 50% scores ranged from 23-30.  

Therefore, if one does not meet a requirement for their specific major, they would likely not be rejected from admittance at Pennsylvania State University generally, but rather only not be accepted into that specific major.

Other Requirements and Admission Tips

 Besides standardized test scores and one’s GPA, Pennsylvania State University also assures that students have completed the standard required coursework for the state of  Pennsylvania generally.

This coursework includes a specified number of units in English, math-heavy majors, and thus requires four years of high school math classes instead of the minimum of 3 years.

Importantly, although there is a minimum amount of coursework for these three credits, Pennsylvania State University specifies that students can make themselves more competitive by taking the recommended number, and they are also advised to strive for a GPA above a 3.5, or a 3.1 if one isn’t applying to the University Park campus.

It is necessary for applicants to target these two factors—GPA and high school course load rigor—if they want to be as competitive as possible when applying to Penn State.

One way to achieve this course load rigor is by taking more courses in a given subject than is required by the minimum admissions criteria offered by Penn. See Best Medical Schools in Pennsylvania.

For instance, it is compulsory for students to take a minimum of 2 years in a foreign language to be admitted to Pennsylvania State University and as such, a student could enroll in 3 or 4 years of high school language courses in order to increase their competitiveness.

Finally, as previously mentioned, students who apply by the early action deadline tend to have a much higher chance of being admitted compared to regular decision applications.

Essays for Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University uses the Common Application system. As such, the essay questions for each particular year can be found on the Common Application website.

An example of a common application question from this year is “Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?”

Besides the Common Application essay, Penn State has also included in recent years a supplemental essay which is 500 words in length.


That was all on Pennsylvania State University – Acceptance Rate, GPA, and Requirements. I hope it was useful to you. Endeavor to ask your questions concerning this article using the comment section.

Last Updated on July 12, 2023 by Admin

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