Pennsylvania State University--University Park

2014 Quick Stats
201 Old Main

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: (814) 865-4700
2013-2014 Tuition
male /
rolling admission

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#37 Overall Score: 66 out of 100. National Universities

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Pennsylvania State University--University Park is a public institution that was founded in 1855. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 39,192, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 8,556 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Pennsylvania State University--University Park's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 37. Its in-state tuition and fees are $16,992 (2013-14); out-of-state tuition and fees are $29,566 (2013-14).

There is rarely a dull moment on the Pennsylvania State University—University Park campus, also known as Happy Valley. With around 950 clubs and organizations, there are broad opportunities to get involved in campus life. The school mascot is the Nittany Lion, and teams compete in the Division I Big 10 Conference. The football team plays in Beaver Stadium, which is one of the largest arenas in North America with room for more than 107,000 fans. Penn State is home to a thriving Greek system with nearly 90 sororities and fraternities. About 15,000 students volunteer in THON, the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. Students raise money for pediatric cancer research and awareness throughout the year and participate in a 46-hour dance marathon - no sitting or sleeping allowed. Freshmen must live in one of five housing areas on campus. Across the street from campus is State College, a bustling small town with an array of coffee shops, restaurants, shops and bars populated mostly by students. Surrounded by mountains, the school is also close to skiing, snowboarding and hiking opportunities.

The land-grant institution, which originally was offered state land in exchange for agricultural courses and research, offers highly ranked graduate programs through the College of Education and the College of Engineering. Undergraduates produce the Daily Collegian newspaper, and students get free daily copies of The New York Times, USA Today and Centre Daily Times - the local paper - through the school’s Newspaper Readership Program, the first of its kind. Notable alumni include John Cappelletti, a Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL player; and Valerie Plame Wilson, former CIA agent and author. 

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Penn State is the flagship public university of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, with an historic land-grant mission of teaching, research and service. The university enrolls more than 95,000 students at 24 campus locations statewide and the Penn State World Campus, including more than 45,000 at the University Park campus in State College. Penn State has a campus within practical commuting distance of virtually every Pennsylvanian. Many students start their degree programs at one of nineteen Penn State undergraduate campuses across the state and complete their requirements at University Park. The World Campus delivers more than 60 degree and professional programs online to nearly 12,000 students a year, including military personnel serving overseas. The university also holds a unique responsibility for outreach and engages in collaborative activities with industrial, educational and agricultural partners around the world to disseminate and apply knowledge. Penn State Outreach programs reach one out of two households in Pennsylvania each year. The university also offers degree programs at the College of Medicine at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, and Penn State Dickinson School of Law at the University Park and Carlisle campuses. Boasting one of the nation's largest graduate schools, the university is a leader in engaging students in landmark research. More than $2 million in research activity takes place at Penn State each day. Opportunities for discovery extend beyond the graduate school, as Penn State undergraduates have unique opportunities to work with world-class faculty conducting significant research that advances and serves the nation in important ways. Research at Penn State is enhanced through the university's membership in the Worldwide Universities Network, a consortium of research universities that collaborate on research primarily focused in science, technology and engineering. This partnership is an example of the University's continued efforts to expand the breadth and scope of its collaborations. Penn State's Alumni Association has nearly 170,000 members, making it the nation's largest dues-paying alumni organization, with more than 275 chapters, societies and interest groups worldwide.

General Information

School type public, coed college
Year founded 1855
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting city
2012 Endowment N/A


When applying to Pennsylvania State University--University Park, it's important to note the application deadline is rolling. The application fee at Pennsylvania State University--University Park is $50. It is selective, with an acceptance rate of 54.2 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 54.2%
Application deadline rolling
SAT/ACT scores must be received by N/A

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Pennsylvania State University--University Park is 17:1, and the school has 39.4 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Pennsylvania State University--University Park include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Engineering; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Social Sciences; and Health Professions and Related Programs. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 92.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 17:1
4-year graduation rate 65%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 16%
Engineering 13%
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 9%
Social Sciences 7%
Health Professions and Related Programs 6%

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Student Life

Pennsylvania State University--University Park has a total undergraduate enrollment of 39,192, with a gender distribution of 53.8 percent male students and 46.2 percent female students. At this school, 36 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 64 percent of students live off campus. Pennsylvania State University--University Park is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 45,783
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Pennsylvania State University--University Park offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Pennsylvania State University--University Park also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Pennsylvania State University--University Park, 17 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Pennsylvania State University--University Park.

Students who have cars on campus 17%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Pennsylvania State University--University Park, 50.3 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $6,753.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

In-state tuition and fees $16,992 (2013-14)
Out-of-state tuition and fees $29,566 (2013-14)
Room and board $10,090 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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