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

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.

No. However, by applying early action you will receive your admission decision earlier based on a holistic review of your application materials.

If you are a first-year student interested in a program that is available through EA, you will see a question on the application that asks if you are interested in EA.  Should you fail to indicate interest and want to be considered EA at a later date, you may email admissions and include Early Action in the subject line.  The request must be made prior to the deadline of November 1.