Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Penn State University

Early Action (FAQ)

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, the Self- Reported Academic Record [SRAR]; and standardized test scores [official scores from either the SAT or ACT]) 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: an admit to Penn State (either to their starting campus or alternate-choice campus); 2) deferral: a deferred decision to the November priority review group (decision by January 31); or 3) denial: a denial of admission to the applicants starting campus and alternate choice campus.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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

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.

Absolutely not. We just need more time to make consistent decisions on all the applications that have been received.

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 November Priority review timeline and the applicant will receive an admissions decision of admit, deny or waitlist by the end of January.

You will receive a decision by December 24 if you complete the application (complete = application, SRAR and official test scores) by November 1.

In order to be considered for summer aid, you will need to submit the 2018-19 FAFSA. If you have submitted your 2018-19 FAFSA and have scheduled at least 6 credits for the summer, you can expect to receive a summer aid notification in April of 2019.