Penn State University

Penn State University: 2020 Requirements, Scores & GPAs

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This is the go-to guide for getting into Penn State University. We suggest you read until the end... Not only will we layout the exact GPA and test scores you should aim for when applying to Penn State University, but we’ll also offer creative ways to help your application stand out from the pack. We breakdown Penn State University statistics better than any article out there and show you how these have changed over time. Also, make sure to check out Penn State University on CampusReel to see what it’s really like here. You can also use the below calculator to help determine your likelihood of acceptance at Penn State University

What are your chances at Penn State University?

No sign up required - see your likelihood of acceptance now

Your SAT Score
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  • Your GPA*

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Penn State University or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    What GPA do you need to get into Penn State University?

    Penn State University’s average GPA is 3.15. Penn State University does require GPA. Penn State University is currently selective. However, be aware that oftentimes schools in this GPA range are increasing their selectivity in hope of increasing “prestige”. We can’t read the minds of Penn State University application readers, but they likely want to increase the average GPA from 3.15 to 3.31 this year - to play it safe, we recommend striving for the 3.31 GPA.

    *BEFORE CONTINUING PLEASE NOTE: GPA and “prestige” DO NOT mean a college is right for you. Penn State University may seem amazing on paper, but you may hate it... That’s why 700,000 students transfer colleges every year - they end up going to the wrong school. It’s crucial to watch the videos on CampusReel and make sure you can envision yourself on Penn State University’s campus. These Penn State University admission statistics do not sufficiently tell you what a college or university is like.

    What is Penn State University’s acceptance rate?

    Last year Penn State University’s acceptance rate was 51.32. However, check out how the acceptance rate has changed over time.

    2016 2017 2018
    Acceptance Rate N/A N/A 51.32 %

    As you can see, Penn State University is a little easier to get into than last year.

    Acceptance rate alone does not indicate your likelihood for getting into Penn State University - it’s a very high level understanding of the true competition. Use the acceptance rate as a general guide for curating a list of 10-15 schools that fall into different ranges of competitiveness. Then, use the below data to get a deeper understanding of how your application will compare to the rest of the pool.

    What are your chances at Penn State University?

    No sign up required - see your likelihood of acceptance now

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Penn State University or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Does Penn State University Require Test Scores?

    Penn State University requires that you either take the SAT or ACT. See the table below for how Penn State University’s accepted students have performed on both tests. You may be wondering how many test scores should you submit. Generally, don’t freak out about taking the test too often. Industry consensus is that you can submit up to 6 tests as a reasonable limit.

    Penn State University SAT Requirements

    Penn State University’s average SAT score is 1195 - this is the sum of the math and reading portions of the SAT (the 1600 scale). Check out the below table for a deeper look into how students performed - it’s also very interesting to look at the average test score over time. The trend over time helps give insight into whether Penn State University is getting more or less competitive.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 560 670 615
    Reading 530 630 580
    2019 Total 1090 1300 1195
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    Penn State University’s average SAT score is 1195. To be a competitive applicant for Penn State University your SAT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 1090, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Penn State University a “target” school (one that you are likely to get into) you should aim for a score of 1300.

    Penn State University ACT Requirements

    Penn State University’s average ACT score is 66. To be a competitive applicant for Penn State University your ACT score should come close to the average. If you’re closer to the 74, you’re likely going to have a tougher time getting accepted. To consider Penn State University a “target” school (one that you have a good chance of getting into) you should aim for a score of 59.

    25th Percentile 75th Percentile Average
    Math 25 - 25
    Reading 24 30 27
    Writing 25 29 27
    2019 Total 74 59 66
    2018 Total - - -
    2017 Total - - -

    Penn State University Requirements

    Now you know where you need to be for getting into Penn State University from a grade and test score perspective. Let’s quickly outline what else you’ll need to provide for your application to get reviewed, and then we’ll move onto the most important section: differentiating your app.

    Recommendations Status
    School Rank Recommended
    GPA Required
    School Record Required

    How to get into Penn State University

    Follow these steps to maximize your chances of getting into Penn State University. Everything you read above will help prepare you for what you need to achieve to have a shot at Penn State University, but these steps will take you even further in applying that knowledge and differentiating your application.

    Main Academic Excellence that is in line with Penn State University admission standards.

    1. Score at least a 1195 on the SAT or 66 on the ACT.
    2. Maintain a GPA of at least a 3.15.

    Join Extracurriculars that Align with Penn State University’s Values.

    1. Join your school band, a sports team or another group activity. If Penn State University values music heavily, for example, then try to participate in an organization related to that topic.
    2. Volunteer in your hometown. University Park has tons of ways to be involved beyond just the college. Penn State University wants applicants that are also good ambassadors for the school - they want students who will give back to the local community and broader University Park area in general.
    3. Spend your summer doing something that speaks to your values, personal growth, leadership qualities and other less quantifiable characteristics. Penn State University needs to see past your test scores and grades - they need to know that you will be a valuable and contributing member of their community. You are more than grades and test scores - your experiences should demonstrate that.

    Prepare Your Application

    1. Write a stellar essay that shows Penn State University something they can’t figure out from the other parts of your application. For a detailed guide on writing the best college essay, check this out.
    2. Get teacher recs that speak to your character. If you know what you’re majoring in and include that in your Penn State University app, try to have at least 1 recommendation from a teacher in that department.
    3. Apply Before the Deadline. Too many students wait until the last minute to submit their application, and too much can go wrong during this precious time window. Since many students are applying on the last day, it’s possible that Penn State University’s own system crashes. Don’t risk the added stress this can cause - submit your app a few days early.

    What are your chances at Penn State University?

    No sign up required - see your likelihood of acceptance now

    Your SAT Score
    Your ACT Score
    Select a score
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  • Your GPA*

    *gpa score is required

    This free college chances tool calculates your acceptance chances at Penn State University or any other U.S. college

    Please note all chances are estimates based on test score and GPA averages.

    *or select a school above for a specific calculation

    Need chances at another college?

    Related College & Universities:

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