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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 (4.0 scale)
3.55-3.97 3.00-3.50
Combined SAT 1750 to 2000 1460 to 1690
Composite ACT 26 - 30 21 - 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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8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Some evening hours by appointment only