Steps to Apply for First-Year Students
Please review these helpful steps to understand the Penn State application process, as well as the application requirements for first-year students.
Step 1: Consider a Penn State Program, Major, or Area of Interest and Review the Admission Requirements
It’s a good idea to look over majors you may be interested in and to review any specific requirements that must be met for you to be eligible for admission.
In reading over majors, you may even discover a new area of interest. You’ll also be able to see if there are any specific application deadlines that must be met for admission into your intended major.
Step 2: Consider Your Penn State Options
Your Penn State application allows you to select two campuses as starting points for your Penn State degree. Make an informed choice by learning more about Penn State’s 20 undergraduate campuses and the World Campus, Penn State’s online degree program.
Penn State Campuses
Some things to keep in mind about campus selection:
- Tuition is lower at campuses outside of University Park. Those cost savings can add up—between $6,400 and $9,800 during your first two years of study.
- Students starting at a campus outside of University Park can participate in the 2+2 plan—two years at a starting campus followed by the final years at University Park or any campus offering the intended degree.
Step 3: Access the Application and Review Important Dates
The application for admission becomes available on the following dates:
Fall/Summer Admission: August 1 for the subsequent summer or fall.
Spring Admission: June 1 for the following spring.
Application submission dates vary by applicant type and intended program of study. Some programs have specific deadlines or admissions requirements. Please refer to our Dates & Deadlines for more information about application deadlines, as well as our Admission Requirements to review information about any additional materials required for your intended program of study.
First-year students who apply by November 1 and who check the appropriate box on the application will be part of Penn State’s Early Action program. Students in Early Action will receive their decision by December 24. For those students choosing not to apply Early Action and for all domestic students, we recommend submission of a complete application, including all required materials, by December 1.
Step 4: Start Your Penn State Application
If applying through MyPennState:
Create a Penn State account if you don’t already have one. MyPennState where you will apply, check the status of your application, and receive your admission decision.
You will start your application by clicking “Apply Online” to start your Penn State application. As you work through the application, you will need to complete your Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR), choose a program of study, and consider which Penn State campus will be your first-choice campus and which campus will be your alternate choice campus. There are a lot of options at Penn State so you will want to make sure you are applying to the academic program and campus that you are most interested.
Your application work can be saved at each step of the process by clicking the “Save and Continue” button at the bottom of the page. This feature will allow you to move back and forth within the application or log off and return to complete your application at a later time.
If applying through the Coalition:
Penn State’s Coalition application is available to first-year (freshman) U.S. citizens and permanent residents living in the U.S. We encourage first-year applicants that are undocumented (with or without DACA) to apply through the Common App.
Complete the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success application, which will then direct you to MyPennState to complete the SRAR. Penn State requires the completion of SRAR via MyPennState and does not accept the high school record in the Coalition App. We strongly encourage you to obtain an official copy of your high school transcript to ensure accurate entry of your coursework completed and grades earned. The SRAR will need to include all your high school coursework from grades 9-11 and your grade 12 schedule. If your senior grades are available when you enter SRAR, you can enter them at that time.
If applying through the Common App:
Complete the Common App, which will then direct you to MyPennState to complete the SRAR. Penn State requires the completion of SRAR via MyPennState and does not accept the high school record through the Common App. We strongly encourage you to obtain an official copy of your high school transcript to ensure accurate entry of your coursework completed and grades earned. The SRAR will include all of your high school coursework from grades 9-11 and your grade 12 schedule. If your senior grades are available when you enter SRAR, you can enter them at that time.
Step 5: Submit Your Application
The application requires a nonrefundable application fee of $65 for domestic students and $75 for international students. Students who have requested and received an approved application fee waiver, you will be able to bypass the payment screen on the application.
Be sure to complete the last step after “Summary and Review,” which finalizes payment of your fee, and be certain it is successfully submitted.
Once the application is submitted, you can verify its completion on the Application Checklist in MyPennState This may take up to 24 hours to update.