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; 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

The application(s) will become available for students interested in SU/FA 2019 admission on August 1, 2018.

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.

 Yes. Early Action will apply to any of our 20 undergraduate campuses, but not the World Campus.

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 in order 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.

There is no real disadvantage. With EA, you will receive a decision by December.  If you do not choose Early Action and complete your application by November 30, you will receive a decision by January 31.

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. 

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.  EA 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.

No, Early Action is not available for transfer applicants. Transfer students will be evaluated on the established schedule for review.