PSU Acceptance Rate and How To Get In Easily

If you’re contemplating applying there and want to determine your chances of getting in, you should examine the PSU acceptance rate. It is obviously difficult to predict with confidence whether you will be admitted or not because there are so many factors that go into the admissions process. However, the factors that matter most to admissions committee members are your GPA, SAT, ACT, and test scores.

In this article, we’ll go through every prerequisite for admission to Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, you’ll learn how to wow them when you apply.

PSU Acceptance Rate and How To Get In Easily

Overview of Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University (PSU or Penn State) is a public, coeducational university in the state of Pennsylvania, USA. Its flagship campus at University Park is the system’s largest branch and the hub for graduate and undergraduate education. PSU boasts the world’s fifth-largest college campus and uses it brilliantly to provide students with access to every amenity a prospective college student might desire. However, in addition to its main campus, PSU has around 20 sites spread across Pennsylvania, each with its own set of advantages.

For example, its Altoona campus is tucked away in the mountains of Central Pennsylvania, giving students the atmosphere of a small college. With fewer than 4,000 students in this tranquil mountain setting, it provides a very different experience from Penn’s University Park campus.

About 47,000 students attend the University Park campus. It includes more than 1,000 clubs, the second-largest football stadium in the country, and every amenity a student might need for a huge university atmosphere. As a result, PSU provides several different types of collegiate experiences rather than just one. Additionally, they have a special system to assist students in exploring these many campuses so that by the time a student graduates, they will have had the opportunity to attend a variety of colleges, including big and small, technical and liberal arts, urban and rural.

The level of students accepted now is unquestionably more intellectually proficient than they were a generation ago, even if PSU’s requirements for entrance and acceptance rate have not fallen as precipitously as they have at many other public universities. The PSU acceptance rate for the Class of 2025 was 58%.

It’s critical for candidates to have a current grasp of their competition given how Penn State’s admissions environment has changed in recent years.

Admissions at Pennsylvania State University

In 2020, PSU had a 78% acceptance rate. Pennsylvania has the 56th-lowest acceptance rate. If you match the admissions standards, Penn State Main Campus is an easy school to get into with a very good likelihood of acceptance. Out of 95,321 applications, 74,604 were accepted last year.

The institution has stringent SAT and ACT entrance criteria, often accepting students with scores in the top 37% (SAT 1070/1300; ACT 24/29). 21% of those who are admitted choose to enroll in the PSU Main Campus, which normally admits and draws “B+” average high school students with a GPA of roughly 3.68.

On the other hand, the middle 50% unweighted GPA range among students who received a spot in the Class of 2026 was 3.59–3.93. The ACT’s range was 28–33, and the SAT’s range was 1270–1450. The numbers for pupils who actually enrolled were a little lower. Freshmen enrolled in 2021–22 had ACT scores in the middle 50% of 26–32 and SAT scores in the middle 50% of 1200–1400.

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Admission Statistics

Acceptance Rate78%79%78%
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield)19%23%21%
Data Sources: IPEDS for Fall 2020 starting class

Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Acceptance Rate

The 2022 projected acceptance rate for PSU is roughly 51%. PSU, on the other hand, has an early action acceptance rate of 67.9 percent. Penn State’s early action application deadline is November 1st, with applicants hearing back from Penn in late December.

The typical application deadline is December 1st, with students hearing back in late January.

Furthermore, the campus to which a student applies has an impact on their chances of acceptance. Although Penn does not share school-by-campus admissions data, looking at GPA, ACT, SAT, and total application numbers at each campus might help shed light on admissions patterns.

It appears that University Park is, on average, more difficult to get admitted to than many of PSU’s campuses when test scores and GPAs for University Park are compared to these same characteristics at other campuses.

The frequency of financial aid students receive at PSU is related to general admissions data since financial aid is usually a deciding factor in a student’s decision to attend a certain college.

Basically, approximately 68% of PSU students get financial aid of some kind. The FAFSA deadline for PSU is December 1.

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PSU Historical Trend and Acceptance Rate 2022 Projection

We anticipated the acceptance rate for the 2022–2023 academic year based on historical trend information that reveals acceptance rates from the prior years. In recent years, PSU’s general acceptance rate trend has increased significantly.

Acceptance Rate By Year:

  • 2016-2017: 56.4%
  • 2017-2018: 50.3%
  • 2018-2019: 56.5%
  • 2019-2020: 76.0%
  • Projected Penn State Acceptance Rate 2022-2023: 51%

How Does PSU Acceptance Rate Compare to that of others?

Arguably, PSU has an acceptance rate that is 34% greater than the US average for all universities, which is around 56.7%.

Neighbouring Similar College Acceptance Rates:

SchoolAcceptance Rate
Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus93.0%
Carnegie Mellon University15.4%
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus56.7%
Towson University76.3%
Johns Hopkins University11.2%

PSU Out-of-State Acceptance Rate

In essence, PSU’s out-of-state acceptance rate is roughly 42%. Interestingly, while out-of-state students make up around 35 percent of the entire Penn State student body, 45 percent of students attend University Park, Penn’s main campus.

However, it is important to note that this is most likely due to the fact that the majority of out-of-state candidates apply to the University Park campus.

Although the PSU out-of-state acceptance rate changes from year to year, it is a decent rule of thumb to predict that non-Pennsylvania students will be accepted at a rate around ten points lower than in-state applicants.

The probability of applying as an out-of-state student at Penn State appears to be improving year after year. However, the number of out-of-state and foreign students at Penn State’s many campuses is continuously increasing.

Out-of-state and international students, for example, increased from 5-7 percent of the entering class in 2021 to 22 percent at the Scranton branch. This is basically a big accomplishment for the school’s attempts to diversify its campuses.

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Admissions Requirements for Pennsylvania State University (PSU)

The acceptance rate is the first thing to consider if you want to attend PSU. This indicates how competitive the school is and how seriously they take its requirements.

Meanwhile, as previously stated, the PSU acceptance rate is 51%. As a result, for every 100 candidates, 49 get accepted.

a) General Recommendations & Requirements for Admissions

  • High School GPA Scores: Required
  • School Records: Required
  • Standardized Test Scores (SAT, ACT): Required
  • TOEFL Exam (Foreign Language Students): Required

b) Pennsylvania State University GPA Requirements

To be admitted to Penn State, applicants must certainly have very good high school grades. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshmen class at Penn State Main Campus was 3.68 on a 4.0 scale, showing that mostly B+ students are accepted and ultimately attend. Moreover, in Pennsylvania, PSU has the 17th highest average GPA. If your high school grades are higher than the average 3.68 GPA, you have a very strong chance of being admitted, as Penn State admits 78 percent of all applications.

It’s challenging to improve your GPA in time for college applications if you’re currently junior or senior. You’ll need a higher SAT or ACT score to make up the difference if your GPA is at or below the school average of 3.58. This will give you a competitive advantage over candidates with higher GPAs.

c) Pennsylvania State University SAT Requirements

The top 47% of SAT exam takers are often preferred by PSU for admission. At least 1070 on a scale of 1600, the school routinely accepts SAT composite scores, and admission should be seen as a stretch. We predict that some students with SAT scores as low as 950 could be admitted. For freshmen accepted, the expected average SAT composite score is 1190 out of 1600. In Pennsylvania, Penn State has the highest average SAT composite score, coming in at number 19. Since 74% of candidates submit their SAT results to the institution, having a competitive score is essential.

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

SAT Score (1600 scale)CompetitivenessAdmission Chances
1300 and AboveGood>86%
1185 to 1300Avg +78%-86%
1070 to 1185Avg –68%-78%
955 to 1070Reach55%-68%
Less than 955Low<55%

PSU SAT Score Analysis (New 1600 SAT)

The new SAT 25th percentile and 75th percentile scores are 1160 and 1370, respectively. In other words, you score below average on the new SAT with an 1160 and above average with 1370.

The updated SAT section scores are broken down as follows:

SectionAverage25th Percentile75th Percentile
Reading + Writing625580670

d) Pennsylvania State University ACT Requirements

According to admissions data, PSU frequently admits applicants with ACT scores of 24 and above. Also, the top 27% of all successful candidates frequently transmit their ACT scores. So, we believe that in some cases, the minimum ACT composite score accepted by the institution is about 22.

Furthermore, students who submit an ACT composite of 26 or above should be in the top half of applicants, and those with a score of 29 or higher have excellent odds. The school has the 17th highest average ACT composite score in Pennsylvania. ACT scores are provided by 22% of applicants to PSU.

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Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

ACT ScoreCompetitivenessAdmission Chances
29 and AboveGood>87%
26 to 29Avg +78%-87%
24 to 26Avg –70%-78%
22 to 24Reach60%-70%
Less than 22Low<60%

Average ACT Scores of Applicants to Penn State:

ACTScore Range
English22 – 30
Math23 – 29
Composite Score23 – 30

What’s Most Important to Get into PSU?

In essence, institutions take a variety of variables into account when selecting applicants for their upcoming incoming classes. Each institution has a unique method for deciding what elements they value most in the admissions process. You may wish to think about your application’s strengths and any potential flaws when making a list of schools to apply to. Focus on the institutions that will give you the best chance of admission.

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How Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Rates Applicants

The applicant’s GPA is the sole element PSU rates as extremely essential to their admissions procedure. The strictness of one’s secondary school record is the sole factor considered to be “significant.” Penn State “considers” six variables. Standardized exam results, skill and ability, legacy status, geographic location, state domicile, and race or ethnicity are among them.

The most crucial aspect of the school admissions officer’s evaluation is the student’s academic record. This, without a doubt, reflects the individual’s four years of academic progress.

Furthermore, they examine the many roles that a student can play as a student, sibling, athlete, son or daughter, volunteer, and/or employee. Furthermore, we make the process of selecting a class of students with various interests and backgrounds very serious.

Tips for Applying to Pennsylvania State University

If you want to be one of the 78,000+ Nittany Lion applicants for the upcoming admissions cycle, you should be aware of the following:

  • Interviews are not available at Penn State. Therefore, using your writing and recommendations to tailor the admissions process is the best option.
  • In the admissions process, Penn State does not take “demonstrated interest” into account. This implies that visiting campus, making connections on social media, emailing an admissions official, etc. won’t provide you an edge.
  • To meet the Early Action deadline, submit your application through the Common Application by November 1st. The deadline for the Regular Decision is December 1.
  • On the additional Common App form, you must indicate your intended major or program of study. At PSU, there are several Direct Admit Majors.
  • Last but not least, be sure to spend enough time and energy on the additional essay Penn State requires.

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With over 95,800 college applications received, the overall acceptance rate for Pennsylvania State University (PSU) in Fall 2020 is 51%.

This indicates that the school is somewhat selective. The school wants you to satisfy their GPA and SAT/ACT criteria, although they are more flexible than other colleges. You have a good probability of getting accepted if you exceed their standards. If you don’t, you could be among the unlucky few who receive a rejection letter.

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions About PSU Acceptance Rate

1. Does PSU Main Campus prefer SAT or ACT?

PSU receives SAT results from 74% of students. When applying, 22% of candidates provide their ACT scores.

2. What is my chance of getting into Penn State Main Campus?

Admission to Penn State is granted to 78% of those who apply. Admission competition is fierce, and the college has stringent admission requirements.

3. What SAT score is required for Penn State Main Campus?

The middle 50% of admitted applicants have SAT scores between 1070 and 1300. 74% of students submit SAT scores when applying.

4. What ACT score is required for Penn State Main Campus?

The middle 50% of admitted applicants have ACT scores between 24 and 29. 22% of students submit ACT scores when applying. 


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