Frequently asked questions regarding Penn State's New Early Action filing deadline.
First-year, domestic students may apply for undergraduate admission to Penn State via Early Action. To apply Early Action, students must submit a complete application (the application itself and the Self- Reported Academic Record [SRAR]) must be received by the deadline of November 1. If opting to include standardized test results (official scores from either the SAT or ACT) must also be received by the deadline of November 1.
Students applying Early Action will receive a decision by December 24 and will be part of the early financial aid awarding process beginning in mid-February if Penn State has received the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by December 1. Possible decisions for Early Action qualified applicants will be 1) admit; 2) deferral of decision to the November review group (see below); or 3) denial of admission.
Early Action is a non-binding commitment by Penn State to respond to applicants earlier in the admissions decision cycle. Applicants will still have until May 1 to pay their enrollment deposit or commit to Penn State. If you tend to stress out more than most and have been dreading the college admissions process, applying early action may be the best way to make your senior year of high school as enjoyable as possible.
Applicants can request reconsideration of their application by indicating a change in your major or campus preference. However, we will need time to process the reconsideration of your application and will not be able to make an immediate decision. Therefore, we can only work toward getting you a decision by the end of January.
Unfortunately, we are not able to make a new decision on your application before December 24. Therefore, it will be in your best interest to be patient as we work toward getting you an updated decision by the end of January.
Receiving a deferred decision as part of the Early Action review group was always a possibility. While we would have preferred to be able to make a final decision on all our early action applications, we need more time to review your application in the greater context of our entire applicant pool. This additional time will allow us to do further analysis on your application to ensure that we provide each student with the greatest opportunity for admission.
It means that a student's decision timeline has been deferred to our Rolling admission review timeline and the applicant will receive an admissions decision by the end of January.
Absolutely not. We just need more time to make consistent decisions on all the applications that have been received.
Like many of our peers, Penn State does consider a deferred decision a decision. Essentially, we promised to take action on all early action applications by December 24. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applications, and a need to further review your application in the context of all applicants, we were not able to admit or deny all applicants by December 24. This additional time will allow us to do further analysis on your application to ensure that we provide each student with the greatest opportunity for admission.
You should have a decision in your MyPennState account by January 31. However, if that is not the case, give it a few more days for your account to update. It could be that we have made the decision, but it has not yet posted in your MyPennState account.
The first place to look and the best place for your most up to date decision is in your MyPennState account. For those applicants who live in the United States, we will also send you a letter in the mail. You will receive this letter a few days after your MyPennState account has updated.
There will be an estimated cost for tuition and fees and other educational costs, but final tuition and fee costs will not be finalized until the Penn State Board of Trustees meet in July.
You will still be considered for federal financial aid. Because some sources of aid have limited funding, the December 1 date is recommended for maximum consideration of all sources of aid.
If you are a first-year student interested in a program that is available through Early Action, you will see a question on the application that asks if you are interested in Early Action. Should you fail to indicate interest and want to be considered Early Action at a later date, you may email email@example.com and include Early Action in the subject line. The request must be made prior to the deadline of November 1.
No. However, by applying early action you will receive your admission decision earlier based on a review of your application materials.
No, Early Action is not available for transfer applicants. Transfer students will be evaluated on the established schedule for review.
Early Action does not bind the student in any way, whereas colleges with Early Decision obligate students applying Early Decision to attend that college that admits them. Early Action students will have until May 1, the National Decision Day, to accept their offers. Penn State has an obligation to respond by December 24 to students who complete their application for Early Action.
Admit: Applicant receives an offer of admission to Penn State.
Defer: Deferral of the decision to the November review group and applicant will be notified of an admission decision by the end of January.
Deny: Penn State is not able to make an offer of admission.
With Early Action, you will receive a 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. Admission to Penn State become more competitive as the year progresses which is why we encourage students to submit a completed application prior to the Early Action deadline
No, you will be completing your Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) as part of your application so transcripts are not required in order to be evaluated. We do suggest that you get a copy of your transcript from your school counselor to complete your SRAR. If you plan on applying before the start of your high school senior year (application becomes available August 1), you should get your transcript before the end of your junior year of high school.
Yes. Early Action will apply to any of our 20 undergraduate campuses, but not the World Campus.
Yes, the Accelerated pre-medical/medical program, music, theater, musical theater, acting, dance, and golf management, require supplemental information, interviews or auditions that preclude the December 24 decision timeline. Likewise, World Campus applicants will not be invited to participate in Early Action.
The application(s) will become available for students interested in SU/FA 2021 admission on August 1, 2020.
In order to be considered for summer aid, you will need to submit the 2020-21 FAFSA. If you have submitted your 2020-21 FAFSA and have scheduled at least 6 credits for the summer, you can expect to receive a summer aid notification in April of 2021.
You will receive a decision by December 24 if you complete the application (complete = application, SRAR and official test scores for students opting to include standardized test results) by November 1. This will allow you until May 1 to commit to Penn State, allowing you more time to determine if Penn State is the right fit for your college career.