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First-Year Students

First-year students

First-year students typically enroll at Penn State in the fall semester following high school graduation. The application becomes available September 1 of a student's senior year of high school. Penn State considers a variety of factors when determining first-year student eligibility, including:

  • final grades in all subject areas for grades nine, ten, and eleven of high school, if you are currently a high school senior
  • class rank (weighted average is used for students who have taken AP/Honors courses)
  • required Carnegie (high school) units
  • standardized test scores; SAT/SAT I or ACT  (SAT II exams are not required.)

Approximately two-thirds of the evaluation is based on high school grades, and one-third on other factors, including standardized test scores, class rank, and the types of courses taken in high school (i.e. AP, honors, etc.).  The evaluation may also include a review of the personal statement and list of extracurricular activities that you may submit with the application.


Requirement Type University Park All other Penn State Campuses
High School GPA 3.52-3.97 2.96-3.46
Combined SAT 1750 to 1990 1470 to 1720
Composite ACT 26 - 30 21 - 25
Combined English/Writing ACT 25-30 20-25
The following table shows the middle 50 percent range for first-year students offered admission to Penn State.

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Penn State New Kensington
Office of Enrollment Management
Hours of Operation:
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Some evening hours by appointment only