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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Parents and Families
of Prospective Penn State New Kensington Students

My student is considering Penn State New Kensington. Do you recommend visiting the campus before applying? How do we arrange a visit?

We definitely recommend that you visit our campus, either before applying or immediately after submitting an application. A student Lion Ambassador will happily give you a tour of the campus and answer any questions you may have, and an admissions counselor will explain the application and admissions process. A financial aid counselor is also available to discuss any concerns regarding financing your education.

You can contact the Office of Admissions at 1-888-968-PAWS to schedule an appointment or check our website to register for scheduled on-campus Admissions Events.

When should my student apply for admission?

We recommend that applications for first-year admission be submitted by November 30. Applications will be accepted after that and will be evaluated in a rolling fashion. Transfer admission applications should be submitted as soon as possible prior to the start of the desired semester, due to the lengthier evaluation of the transfer credit process.

How will my student be notified about an admissions decision?

All students are notified through the mail regarding the outcome of the application evaluation. If your child applied online, he or she can also check their MyPennState account to monitor the status of the application and receive the decision online.

My family does not live in Pennsylvania. Are admissions requirements different for out-of-state students?

No, all students are evaluated in the same manner.

My student is interested in doing the "2+2" plan by starting at Penn State New Kensington and then transferring to University Park.  When will the "transfer" happen?

We never use the term "transfer" to describe the process of relocating from one campus location to another. That's because at Penn State University, every campus location is equal. Every credit earned at a campus is equal to the credits offered at University Park, and students who begin their studies at a campus location are on equal footing with their counterparts at University Park when it comes to Entrance to Major in the junior year.

At Penn State, the process of relocating from one campus to another is called Change of Location, and this typically takes place after completing the first two years of full-time study toward a baccalaureate degree. Change of Location requests submitted prior to the completion of two years of study are only granted in extreme cases in which the student would not be able to meet the curricular requirements of the choosen major.

Can my student start and finish a Penn State degree at Penn State New Kensington?

Yes. The campus offers eight baccalaureate degrees and five associate degrees that can be started and finished entirely at Penn State New Kensington. These programs include study in the fields of business, communications, psychology, information technology, science, liberal arts, engineering technologies, radiology, and nursing. 

Students can also complete the first two years of nearly all of Penn State's 160 degree programs at the New Kensington campus through the 2+2 Plan. The final two years of these programs can be finished at Penn State University Park or at a variety of other Penn State campuses.

Is there housing available at Penn State New Kensington?

While most of the students at Penn State New Kensington choose to commute, off-campus housing is available and located immediately adjacent to the campus. The Nittany Highlands Apartments and other affordable housing can be obtained from the Off-campus Housing information page, or a list will be provided in the Office of Student Affairs.

Whom can I contact at Penn State New Kensington to discuss services for disabilities?

Penn State is committed to providing access to a quality education for students, including those with documented disabilities. The campus disability coordinator is Elaine Zarichnak, campus nurse. She can be reached at 724-334-6066.

How much does it cost to attend Penn State New Kensington?

Penn State offers an excellent value for a quality education with a worldwide reputation for excellence. Penn State establishes tuition rates and fees for all students each year in July. To calculate the most accurate tuition, consult the online Tuition Calculator.

How does my student find out if he or she is eligible for financial aid?

To be considered for student aid, all Penn State students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the only financial aid application Penn State requires.

Penn State recommends that first-year students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for maximum consideration of all student aid programs. Returning students should submit a FAFSA renewal by April 15.

If our family owns a house in Pennsylvania, is my student eligible for PA residency?

To qualify for in-state tuition, the student needs to reside in Pennsylvania. Owning a house in Pennsylvania alone does not qualify a student for PA residency tuition. To change your status from out-of-state to in-state, you will need proof of residency, including PA income tax and federal income tax forms for the most current year.


My student is taking college courses with a local college/university. Will they transfer to Penn State?

A student can evaluate transfer credits he/she may have already earned or plan to earn from an accredited college or university by using Penn State's Transfer Course Evaluation Guide.



As a parent, will I have access to my student's grades?

Due to federal regulations, parents do not have access to their child's grades. Only if the student gives written permission to the Registrar's office can grades be released to parents.

How safe is Penn State New Kensington?

In general, the campus provides a very safe environment for our students, faculty and staff, In fact, the campus has a safety committee which meets quarterly to review and make recommendations on various issues concerning safety. All recommendations are forwarded to the administrative team for approval. Upon approval, it is the campus safety committee's responsibility to see that the changes in procedure, policy or practice have been initiated.

Penn State New Kensington campus security is available each week day and 24 hours on the weekends. Students can take advantage of campus security when they are here after dark. Rather than walking alone at night, a security officer will escort students to their cars or to another building.


Can my student take Penn State courses while he/she is still in high school?

Yes. The Penn State New Kensington Dual Enrollment (DE) Program offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college courses at a 50% tuition reduction. The program enables students to get a real jump on their college careers by earning college credits while still in high school. Students participating in these programs may choose from a variety of Penn State courses offered during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.