First-Year Students

You are considered a first-year student if you are currently in high school or have attempted fewer than 18 college credits after high school graduation.

If you have attempted or completed 18 or more credits at another college or university after high school graduation, you are considered a transfer student.

Admission decisions for first-year students are made on the basis of several combined factors, including: 

  • Final grades in all subject areas for years 9, 10, and 11 of high school 
  • Weighted average or class rank for students who have taken AP/Honors courses 
  • Required Carnegie (high school) units 
  • Standardized test scores (SAT or ACT) are optional for applicants through Summer/Fall 2023 

When your application is evaluated, two-thirds of the decision is based upon the high school academic record (grades and rigor of schedule). One-third of the decision is based upon standardized test scores (either the SAT or the ACT). 

Penn State offers three methods for first-year students to apply for study at the University. 

  1. The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success
  2. The Common Application
  3. MyPennState

If you are an international student, please visit the international student admissions page.