Total Cost of Attendance
The Pennsylvania State University, known as Penn State, is highly ranked for both its undergraduate and graduate programs, particularly in the area of entrepreneurship. In-state tuition for the 2021-22 school year at Penn State was $18,898. That’s slightly more than double of the average for public four-year universities at $9,349 per year. Many students take out student loans to help with Penn State tuition.
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Recommended: Pennsylvania Student Loan & Scholarship Information
Generally, financial aid is monetary assistance awarded to students based on personal need and merit. Students that qualify for financial aid can use it to pay for college costs like tuition, books, and living expenses.
The federal government is the largest provider of student financial aid. However, aid can also be given by state governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and nonprofits. The different types include:
- Scholarships: These can be awarded by schools and other organizations based on students’ academic excellence, athletic achievement, community involvement, job experience, field of study, and financial need.
- Grants: Generally based on financial need, these can come from federal, state, private, and non-profit organizations.
- Work-study: This federal program provides qualifying students with part-time employment to earn money for expenses while in school.
- Federal student loans: This is money borrowed directly from the U.S. Department of Education. It comes with fixed interest rates that are typically lower than private loans.
- Colleges, universities, and state agencies use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial aid eligibility. The FAFSA can be completed online, but note that state and federal and school deadlines may differ.
- You can find other financial aid opportunities on databases such as:
- US Department of Education – Search for grants from colleges and universities by state
- College Scholarship Service Profile (CSS) – A global college scholarship application used by select institutions to award financial aid
Private Student Loans
Private loans are funded by private organizations such as banks, online lenders, credit unions, some schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. While Federal student loans have interest rates that are regulated by Congress, private lenders follow a different set of regulations so their qualifications and interest rates can vary widely.
What’s more, private loans have variable or fixed interest rates that may be higher than federal loan interest rates, which are always fixed. Private lenders may (but don’t always) require you to make payments on your loans while you are still in school, compared to federal student loans which you don’t have to start paying back until after you graduate, leave school, or change your enrollment status to less than half-time.
Private loans don’t have a specific application window and can be applied for on an as-needed basis. However, if you think you may need to take out a private loan, it’s a good idea to submit your FAFSA first to see what federal aid you may qualify for as it generally may have better rates and terms.
If you’ve missed the FAFSA deadline or you’re struggling to pay for school throughout the year, private loans can potentially help you make your payments. Just keep in mind that you will need enough lead time for your loan to process and for your lender to send money to your school.
Recommended: Guide to Private Student Loans
Projected 4-Year-Degree Price
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees
Students spent $18,898 for in-state tuition and $36,476 for Penn State out-of-state tuition for the 2021-22 school year. In addition to Penn State tuition, they also paid $12,744 for room and board.
Graduate Tuition and Fees
Penn State tuition for graduate school in 2021-22 was $23,189 for in-state students and $39,248 for out-of-state students. The average cost for tuition for graduate school at a public institution is $54,500. There are graduate loans available to help with these costs.
Cost per Credit Hour
While you have the option to attend Penn State full-time (at the Penn State tuition rates we’ve covered), you also can opt to attend part-time. In that case, you would pay per credit hour. At the University Park campus, you would pay $765 per credit if you’re a Pennsylvania resident and $1,498 for out-of-state and international residents (note: these are the rates for the 2021 fall semester).
Campus Housing Expenses
*Based on studio pricing. Average rate based on available apartments on Penn State’s off-campus housing website in 2022.
On-campus housing is provided at 12 of the 20 campuses of Penn State. First-year students at University Park are required to live on campus and are guaranteed housing.
Students may also opt for private housing near campus. Student Affairs has a website for Off-Campus Student Support where you can view apartments near your campus. Check it out to explore the available off-campus options .
Penn State Acceptance Rate
When it comes to the Penn State acceptance rate, over half of all students who apply are accepted.
Now that you know the Penn State acceptance rate, it’s important to understand what’s needed for admission. To be accepted as a student at Penn State, there are a couple of requirements, and then there are additional recommendations.
- Secondary school GPA
- Secondary school record
- Admission test scores (SAT/ACT)
- Completion of college-preparatory program
SAT and ACT Scores
Currently, Penn State is test-optional through summer/fall 2023. Students may submit SAT or ACT scores but are not required to. Even though submitting test scores for admissions is optional, here are the scores by subject at the 25th and 75th percentile:
Popular Majors at Penn State
Penn State offers students more than 275 majors to choose from on its 20 undergraduate campuses. Here are the most popular, as well as how many students graduated in each field with an undergraduate degree in 2020-21.
1. Information Science/Studies
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 867
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 807
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 607
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 578
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 572
6. Mechanical Engineering
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 545
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 491
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 448
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 383
10. Information Systems
Undergraduate degrees in 2020-21: 380
This resource can help you learn more about the different majors at Penn State.
- 4 years: 55%
- 6 years: 73%
Post-Graduation Median Earnings
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SoFi Private Student Loans
Please borrow responsibly. SoFi Private Student Loans are not a substitute for federal loans, grants, and work-study programs. You should exhaust all your federal student aid options before you consider any private loans, including ours. Read our FAQs. SoFi Private Student Loans are subject to program terms and restrictions, and applicants must meet SoFi’s eligibility and underwriting requirements. See SoFi for more information. To view payment examples, click here. SoFi reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at any time. This information is subject to change. SoFi Lending Corp. and its lending products are not endorsed by or directly affiliated with any college or university unless otherwise disclosed.
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Featured Image Credit: Penn State University.