What is Penn State’s Acceptance Rate?

So how hard is it to get into Penn State? That depends on what school you’re comparing It to. The Penn State acceptance rate is 51%, making it competitive, but attainable for half of its applicants. But what does that actually mean if you’re looking to apply? When we take a look at some data from the latest incoming class, here’s what we find:

  •    an average GPA of 3.76 on a 4.0
  •    an average SAT score of 1325 on the 1600 scale
  •    an average ACT score of 28

This does add some competition to the application process. Keep in mind that the Penn State acceptance rate is still 51%, meaning there’s still a very good chance of being admitted. When their admissions committee is looking over your application, here are the three things they consider most important:

  •    your GPA and class rank (if applicable) counts for 2/3 of their decision
  •    activities list, personal statement, and standardized test scores make up the other 1/3

There are no minimum requirements or scores needed for you to be considered for admission to Penn State. Because of this, I suggest you use the averages I provided above as your minimum. Remember, they’re averages. Penn State is still a competitive school and the higher your scores, the better your chances of being accepted. So let’s take a look at what things you can do to improve your chances of being accepted into Penn State.

Improve Your Chances of Acceptance to Penn State

Now you know what it takes to be part of those accepted to Penn State, so we can focus on tailoring your academic career to make you a stronger applicant. Even with an acceptance rate like 51%, I’m going to give you some tips and tricks to improve your chances of being accepted by Penn State. Every year, the college admissions process becomes more and more exclusive. That means the pressure is on you to wow them and show how perfect you are for their school. So here are my top four tips to boost your chances of being accepted to Penn State.

  1. Work With a College Consultant

College consultants are becoming more necessary, because applying to college is becoming more difficult; not to mention confusing. By working with a college consultant, you’ll be working with someone who is a pro at applying to colleges, being accepted, and being noticed by admission committees. So take some pressure off you and your parents. Partner with a college consultant and have a knowledgeable ally while applying for colleges.

  1. Prove You’re Serious About College

2/3 of Penn State’s admission decision is based on your GPA and class rank. Within that class rank category, they’re also looking to see what kind of classes you’re taking. Are you taking a schedule full of classes like underwater basket weaving or are you taking a rigorous high school course load with AP and IB courses and earning as many A’s and B’s as possible? My suggestion is you take the AP/IB route and ask for help with your classes when you need it. You’re not a failure for needing help! AP and IB courses are completely different from normal high school level courses. Its okay if you need some help; it prevents your GPA from suffering, because you didn’t ask questions when you could. So whether you ask your teacher or invest in a tutor, reach out for help and feel more confident about turning in your homework and taking tests.

  1. Prep for Your Standardized Tests

The ACT and SAT are designed to measure your college readiness. It’s not just testing you on what you know, but also on your ability to think critically, pull information from material you’ve read and back up your claims with solid evidence. Getting the best score you can shows you’re ready to tackle college coursework and be successful at it. You can boost your scores by doing the following:

  •    Take the Pre-ACT and the PSAT, see which one you score better on, and focus on that particular test. Penn State accepts both and they don’t play favorites.
  •    Compare your score to the average for students accepted into Penn State. If you’re below the average, you have time to improve your score. If you’re above the average, you can always score higher!
  •    Practice. Re-taking the Pre-ACT or the PSAT isn’t necessary, but taking practice tests is. Figure out where you’re scoring the lowest and focus on improving in that area so you can boost your overall score.
  •    Find someone who scored better than you. This isn’t meant to make you feel badly about yourself! When you work with someone who has already taken the ACT or SAT and scored very high, you improve your chances of doing well on them as well.
  •    Take them more than once. Sounds painful right? Here’s the thing. Penn State will only look at the test you scored highest on. So if you take it the first time and aren’t satisfied, take it again, and send in your scores.

  1. Remember to make an impact

Penn State does look for students who are involved with extracurricular activities through their school and volunteer in the community. They use your activities list to help determine whether or not to accept you into the college. As important as studying, doing your homework, and getting good grades is to the college admissions process, you’re going to need a break so you don’t burn out. Extra-curriculars and volunteering are a fun way to take a break from studying and makes your college application look better.

With the Penn State acceptance rate being at 51%, it’s definitely higher than some of other schools in the country. Although it has no minimum requirements for admission when it comes to test scores and GPA, you should consider the averages of students admitted to be your personal goals. Remember to work with a college consultant, prove you’re serious about college, prep for the standardized tests, and make an impact on your community to boost your chances of being accepted to Penn State.

What do you think? Do you have any questions about how to prepare your application? Concerned about your test scores not being good enough? Drop a comment below with your questions or thoughts. We can’t wait to talk with you!