Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

Common Application

Information about Penn State's participation in the Common application.

Penn State is now one of more than 800 colleges across the United States accepting applications through the Common Application.

Apply via the Common Application

Application Egibility

First-Year(Freshman) and International Students: Applying to Penn State via the Common App is available to first-year (freshman) domestic and international students.

Transfer Students: All transfer students should apply to Penn State via MyPennState.

Am I at a disadvantage if I apply through the Common App instead of MyPennState?

No, the required application materials and application evaluation process are the same if you apply through the Common App, the Coalition or through MyPennState. There is no advantage or disadvantage to either application but you should apply through only application platform.

The Common App, the Coalition application and the MyPennState application give students the opportunity to apply Early Action (all materials submitted by November 1). Students applying Early Action will have a decision by December 24. Students not choosing Early Action may choose to apply by the priority filing date of November 30. Students applying by November 30 will have a decision by January 31. The application fee regardless of platform is $65 for domestic students and $75 for international students.

Checking your application status

Once you submit your application through the Common App, you will be directed to go to MyPennState to complete the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR). You may feel that you completed this step as part of your Common App, but you must complete the Penn State SRAR via MyPennState in order for your application to be reviewed. Once you submit all materials for your Common App you should regularly check its status and receive an admission decision in MyPennState.

Early Action and Priority Filing Dates

Early Action: November 1

The Common App, the Coalition application and the MyPennState application give students the opportunity to apply Early Action (all materials submitted by November 1). Students applying Early Action will have a decision by December 24.

Priority Filing Date: November 30.

Students not choosing Early Action may choose to apply by the priority filing date of November 30. Students applying by November 30 will have a decision by January 31. The application fee regardless of platform is $65 for domestic students and $75 for international students.

Fee Waivers

You may be eligible for an economic need-based fee waiver based on information in the Profile section of your Common App. If you meet the criteria for a Common App fee waiver, your Penn State application fee will be waived.

To receive a Common App fee waiver, you must affirm at least one of the following indicators of economic need:

  • I have received or am eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver;
  • I am enrolled in or am eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL);
  • My annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service;
  • I am enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound);
  • My family receives public assistance;
  • I live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or am homeless;
  • I am a ward of the state or an orphan;
  • I can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader.

Common Application Resources

Below are some tools and resources you can use should you use the Common Application:

  • The Common App blog highlights announcements and any changes coming for the upcoming application year
  • Common App Ready has PowerPoint presentations, videos, and handouts (in English and Spanish) that can be used to walk students and parents through the Common Application
  • The Common App website has a wealth of college exploration tools for students as well as a parent section
  • The Virtual Counselor is an online content library of articles and videos with college-related advice for students and parents
  • Common App onTrack is a free mobile app students use to stay organized and on top of their deadlines
  • The Advisor role and Application Preview help counselors and those supporting students keep track of a student’s application progress as well as view their application, with student permission
  • The Common App Solutions Center provides 24/7/365 support, including easy to search FAQs, live chat, and schedule-a-call