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Penn State Admission Requirements

University Park, Pennsylvania

Chances of getting into Penn State Main Campus

Acceptance Rate

Acceptance Rate
56.5%
Admission Difficulty for Penn State Main Campus
Measure Difficulty
Admission StandardsVery High
Applicant CompetitionAverage

How hard is it to get into Penn State and can I get accepted? The school has a 56% acceptance rate ranking it #22 in Pennsylvania for lowest rate of acceptance. Last year, 29,793 out of 52,742 applicants were admitted making Penn State a more competitive school to get into with a good chance of acceptance for qualifying applicants.  Academically, it has very high requirements for admission test scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 26 percent. Penn State Main Campus typically accepts and attracts "B+" average high school students. Only 27% of those admitted chose to enroll in the school. Most incoming freshmen graduated in the top quarter of their high school class.

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Penn State SAT Scores

SAT Requirements & Average SAT Score

SAT Range
1160-1360
Applicants Submitting SAT
74%
SAT Scores for Penn State Main Campus
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 25th 580
SAT Math 25th 580
SAT Composite 25th 1160
SAT Scores for Penn State Main Campus
SAT Test 25th Percentile Score
SAT Reading 75th 660
SAT Math 75th 700
SAT Composite 75th 1360
Average SAT Score 1260

SAT Scores you need to get in

What are the SAT requirements for students to be admitted to Penn State Main Campus?

Penn State Main Campus typically requires applicants to be in the top 31 percent of SAT test takers. The school consistently takes SAT composite scores down to 1160 on a 1600 scale, below which admission should be considered a reach. We estimate some students could be accepted with SAT's as low as 1060. The estimated average SAT composite for admitted freshman is 1260 out of 1600. The school ranks #12 in Pennsylvania for highest average SAT composite score. A competitive SAT score is critical as 74 percent of applicants submit SAT scores to the school. Note: SAT scores presented on this page have been adjusted upwards per the College Board's concordance tables for test takers after March 2016.

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Estimated Chance of Acceptance by SAT Score

Penn State Main Campus admission chances by SAT score
SAT Score (1600 scale) Competitiveness Admission Chances
1360 and Above Good >68%
1260 to 1360 Avg + 56%-68%
1160 to 1260 Avg - 43%-56%
1060 to 1160 Reach 31%-43%
Less than 1060 Low <31%
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Penn State ACT Scores

ACT Requirements & Average ACT Score

ACT Range
25-30 
Applicants Submitting ACT
22%
ACT Scores for Penn State Main Campus
ACT Test 25th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 25th 25
ACT Math 25th 25
ACT Composite 25th 25
ACT Scores for Penn State Main Campus
ACT Test 75th Percentile Score
ACT Reading 75th 33
ACT Math 75th 30
ACT Composite 75th 30
Average ACT Score 27

ACT Scores needed to get accepted

What are the ACT requirements for prospective students to get into Penn State?

Admission data indicates that Penn State regularly accepts students with ACT's of 25 and above. Successful applicants typically send ACT scores in the top 22 percent nationally. We estimate the school accepting minimum ACT composite scores around 22 in some instances. Prospective students submitting an ACT composite of 28 or higher should be in the upper half of applicants - and students with a 30 and above have very competitive chances. The school ranks #13 in Pennsylvania for highest average ACT composite score. 22 percent of applicants submit ACT scores to Penn State Main Campus.

Estimated Chance of Acceptance by ACT Score

Penn State Main Campus admission chances by ACT score
ACT Score Competitiveness Admission Chances
30 and Above Good >71%
27 to 30 Avg + 56%-71%
25 to 27 Avg - 45%-56%
23 to 25 Reach 35%-45%
Less than 23 Low <35%
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Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Avg. High School GPA
3.59
Typical High School Grades
B+

You will need very good grades in high school to get into Penn State Main Campus. The average high school GPA of the admitted freshman class at Penn State Main Campus was 3.59 on the 4.0 scale indicating that primarily B+ students are accepted and ultimately attend. The school ranks #18 in Pennsylvania for highest average GPA. If your high school GPA meets these requirements, there is a good chance you will be accepted as Penn State accepts 56% of students who apply.

 What do these ratings mean?

High School GPA's for admitted Penn State Main Campus students
High School GPA Freshmen Within Range Competitiveness
3.75+ 34% Good
3.50 to 3.75 31% Avg +
3.25 to 3.50 23% Avg -
3.00 to 3.25 8% Reach
2.75 to 3.00 3% Reach
2.50 to 2.75 1% Reach
2.25 to 2.50 N/A% Low
2.00 to 2.25 N/A% Low

High School Class Rank

84% of Penn State Main Campus freshman were in the top twenty five percent of their high school graduating class.

High School Class Rank for admitted Penn State Main Campus students
High School Class Rank Freshmen Within Range
Top 10% of class 41%
Top 25% of class 84%
Top 50% of class 98%
Bottom 50% of class 2%
Bottom 25% of class 0%

Admission Statistics

Penn State Main Campus admission statistics
Women Men Total
Applied 26,654 26,088 52,742
Accepted 16,112 13,681 29,793
Acceptance Rate 60% 52% 56%
Enrolled 4,005 4,070 8,075
Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield) 25% 30% 27%

Admission Requirements

What are the requirements for admission to Penn State Main Campus and what considerations affect admission decisions?

Penn State Main Campus Admission Requirements
Test Scores Required
High School GPA Required
High School Class Rank Recommended
Completion of College Preparatory Program Recommended
Recommendations Neither required nor recommended
Demonstration of Competencies Neither required nor recommended

Credits Accepted

High School Credits Accepted at Penn State Main Campus
AP Credit Yes
Dual Credit Yes
Credit for Life Experiences Yes

Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=214777 IPEDS survey data for Penn State Main Campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

74% of students submit their SAT scores to Penn State. 22% of applicants send their ACT scores when applying.

56% of those who apply are granted admission to Penn State. Admission competition is low and the college has very high admission standards. See if your grades and scores are good enough for admission.

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have SAT scores between 1160 and 1360. 74% of students submit SAT scores when applying. See if your SAT score is good enough for admission.

The middle 50% of addmitted applicants have ACT scores between 25 and 30. 22% of students submit ACT scores when applying. See if your ACT score is good enough for admission.

Penn State Campus