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2019 Penn State Acceptance Rate: Class of 2023

So, you’re thinking about applying to Penn State, and you’re curious about your chances of admission. There are a lot of factors in the admissions process. However, the most important factors in the admissions game are your GPA and test scores.

Test Type
SAT Score: 1600
GPA: 4

Percent change to get into :100 percent

With an acceptance rate of 57.6%, admission to Penn State is extremely competitive. Based on our analysis, to have a good chance of being admitted, you need to be at the very top of your class and have an SAT score of close to 1480, or an ACT score of around 33.

Not quite there? Try taking our SAT prep course and You’ll still have a chance of getting in, but it’s in the single digits. Let’s take a closer look at Penn State admission statistics.


2019 Penn State Admissions Statistics: Class of 2023

  • Penn State’s acceptance rate in 2019 was 57.6%
  • For the class of 2023, out of 28,007 applicants, Penn State admitted 16,134
  • The average unweighted GPA of admitted applicants was 3.76
  • The average ACT score was 30
  • The average SAT score was 1340

For students who took the ACT, the 25th percentile score of successful applicants was 28, and the 75th percentile score was 32.

For students who took the SAT, the 25th percentile score was 1250. The 75th percentile score was 1430.


If you’re somewhere in the middle of these numbers, remember that a high test score can compensate for a slightly lower GPA, and vice versa. If you’re at the lower end, it helps if you’re a diverse applicant, the child of an alum, or have incredible personal achievements.

Other aspects of your application, such as athletics, extracurricular and recommendations, are important, but will likely only make a difference for admission if you’re in the 75th percentile range for your GPA and SAT/ACT scores.

Even if Penn State is your dream school, and even if you’re in the 75th percentile, you’ll still want to make sure you apply to a wide variety of schools to ensure you’ll gain admission somewhere.

Generally, you should have:

  • Three safety schools (where you are in the 75th percentile of GPA/test scores)
  • Three reach schools (where you are in the 25th percentile of GPA/test scores)
  • Three target schools (where you are near the average for GPA/test scores)

OK, so you’ve decided to apply. We took at a look at Penn State’s admissions requirements to help you get everything in order.


2019 Penn State Application Requirements: Class of 2023

Here’s a full list of application requirements:

  • Fill out the Official Application and submit the application fee
  • Submit either an ACT score or SAT score
  • Submit your high school transcript via a Self-Reported Academic Record

Here are the deadlines that you should be aware of:

  • The application deadline is November 30th for Fall Semester
  • The application deadline is November 1st for Spring Semester
  • February 15th is the financial aid application deadline
  • Fall Semester notifications are released January 31st
  • Spring Semester applicants find out their fates in mid-December

Have you been admitted to Penn State? Congratulations! Below is a glimpse of what your classmates will be like.


2019 Penn State Class of 2023 Admitted Students Profile

If you matriculate at Penn State, you’ll be joining a diverse class, with students from all over the U.S. and the world, and have a chance to study in dozens of fields.

Here are some interesting facts about the recently admitted class:

  • Roughly 53.5% are male and 46.5% are female
  • 11.4% of students are international

Penn State has a diverse class, as well, with a large number of people of color. The ethnicities of admitted applicants are:

  • International: 11.4%
  • Underrepresented minority: 2%
  • Two or more races: 3%
  • White: 76.1%

What do these admitted students plan to study? Penn State offers dozens of majors, and students matriculating there pursue a wide number of subjects. Here is a list of some of the top programs:


  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Marketing

Now, how are you going to pay for this?

man confused

Penn State Tuition Figures

At $47,480, Penn State’s cost of attendance is astronomical. Most incoming students receive some form of financial aid, and the average award is $6,644.

Here’s a fuller look at Penn State tuition and financial aid in 2017:

  • Total budget: $47,480
  • Average financial aid package: $6,644
  • The average student debt of a Penn State graduate is $37,213

For the latest numbers and to learn more about financial aid options, click HERE.

Now, what is life like at Penn State? Let’s take a look.


Penn State Location

Penn State’s main campus is located in University Park, Pennsylvania.

Interestingly enough, the location “University Park” was only named as such back in 1953. Why? Because it had been previously been known as “State College” to reflect the school’s status as a state college.

In 1953, a formal referendum to change the name failed to pass but the resolution to the issue was to create a new postal address for the location called “University Park.”

Remember, you’re going to Penn State for its excellent academics! Below is a look at what academic life will be like.


Penn State Academics

Penn State has dozens of majors. Some of the school’s more interesting majors are:

  • Accounting
  • Biobehavioral Health
  • Civil Engineering
  • Digital Multimedia Design
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Geobiology
  • History
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Journalism
  • Kinesiology
  • Labor and Employment Relations
  • Marketing
  • Nuclear Engineering
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Philosophy

Now, let’s take a look at life outside the classroom at Penn State.


Student Life at Penn State

Penn State has hundreds of student organizations, covering academic interests, creative and performing arts, cultural and racial initiatives, gender and sexuality affinity groups, government and politics interests, and various media and publications.

Here’s a sampling of Penn State’s student activities:

  • 3-D Printing Club
  • Advertising Club
  • Bee House
  • Blooms & Shrooms (PPEM)
  • Casino Management Club
  • Dear Hero Program
  • Eco Action
  • Electronic Sports Club
  • Field Hockey
  • Gamers For Charity
  • Happy Valley Music Label
  • In Memorian Sketch Club
  • Judo
  • Kickball
  • LGBTA Student Coalition
  • Marketing Association
  • Mock Trial Association

Are you an athlete? Penn State’s got plenty of options for you.


Penn State Athletics

Penn State offers a large number of intercollegiate sports, with extensive varsity, as well as club, offerings, for both men and women. 

Penn State’s sports include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Fencing
  • Cross-Country
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Soccer
  • Football
  • Track & Field
  • Tennis
  • Wrestling
  • Volleyball

Who might you become with a Penn State degree? Let’s take a look at some well-known and successful alums:


Notable Alums

Penn State has produced politicians, business tycoons, entertainers, musicians, media figures, and leaders in dozens of other fields.

Here’s a list of some particularly well-known alums:

  • Nike CEO Mark Parker
  • Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier
  • Comedian Keegan-Michael Key
  • US Senator Kelly Ayotte
  • Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Berg
  • Computer Scientist Fei-Fei Li
  • NBA player Tim Frazier
  • NFL quarterback Kerry Collins
  • CIA officer Valerie Plame
  • Television anchor Lara Spencer
  • Sports Illustrated head writer Tom Verducci

And this is only a partial list!


Getting into Penn State is very competitive. Don’t despair if you get a no.

If you have a strong GPA and high test scores, you have a great chance of getting into at least one of the more competitive schools. And if you don’t, remember: where you go is NOT who you are.

If you need to boost your GPA or test scores before application time rolls around, you should consider signing up for a course with Prep Expert. We offer one-on-one tutoring and classes, both in-person and online, at locations throughout the United States.

For more test strategy, college admissions, and scholarship application tips sign up for our FREE class happening right now!

Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Written by Dr. Shaan Patel MD MBA

Prep Expert Founder & CEO

Shark Tank Winner, Perfect SAT Scorer, Dermatologist, & #1 Bestselling Author
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