The Pennsylvania State University's campus in University Park, PA is one of the nation's top public academic institutions. In fact, Penn State is considered to be an ivy league caliber institution. PSU's 76,000 undergraduate students are in pursuit of over 600 programs that include 275 majors, 200 minors, and 100 undergraduate certificates. The university also offers 20 associate degrees.
Overview of Pennsylvania State University – Main Campus
Furthermore, since Penn State is a publicly funded institution, students have multiple campuses to choose from. If they need to spend time closer to home, they are sure to find one of the system's 20 campuses nearby. If not, PSU has copious offerings online. PSU's World Campus offers over 150 distance learning programs that lead to degrees or certificates.
When not honing their minds to become the leaders of tomorrow, Penn State students find that the campus offers ample recreational opportunities. The intramural program provides students with fun, competitive sports such as floor hockey, golf, whiffleball, quash, among many more. For less-structured recreation, students can get a workout in one of the four campus fitness centers that provide 210 weekly classes. Students can also find a competitive challenge in the E-sports arena or join one of the many diverse clubs and organizations.
|Campus Setting||City: Small|
|Student Faculty Ratio||15:1|
Pennsylvania State University – Main Campus Reviews
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Penn State Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||NA|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Recommended|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||December 1|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
One of the stunning things about Pennsylvania State is the fact that it delivers ivy league caliber academic while still being a publicly-funded institution. Pennsylvania residents thus see a gross cost of only $20,000 for a year of tuition, books, and fees. The cost to an out-of-state student is around $37,000. Since students need to eat and sleep, the total cost of a year that includes room and board is closer to $37,000 for Pennsylvania residents and $54,000 for non-residents.
That low cost is stunning considering the quality of the education provided. However, financial aid packages also bring the cost down considerably. In fact, the average net cost is a mere $25,000 for a year. At the lower end, low-income households pay just under $21,000 and the top income bracket pays only $32,000. These are only averages, too. Individual students who are admitted to Penn State often qualify for many additional scholarships that bring costs down even lower.
|Average net price||2018-2019|
|Average Total Aid||$8,678|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||73%|
|Room & Board||$11,884|
- Tuition In-State - $18,450
- Tuition Out-of-State - $35,514
- Books and Supplies - $1,840
- Room & Board - $11,884
- Other - $4,788
It's no stretch to say that Pennsylvania State University's Main Campus provides academic programs that stand out on the global stage. PSU's academics are even considered to be of an equal caliber to the ivy league. However, reputation is not everything. It's also important to consider PSU's educational statistics.
When it comes to retention rates, PSU is outstanding. Their first-time, full-time students return for a second year at a rate of 88%, and 45% of their first-time, part-time students likewise return. That is often considered to mean that these students are satisfied, if not thrilled, with the academic environment, campus resources, and even their access to recreational and wellness activities. In fact, no small part of that success is surely due to the fact that PSU has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1, reflecting class sizes that are hard to beat in even the smallest colleges.
PSU's graduation rates are also quite impressive. A full 71% of their students graduate. While PSU doesn't post its transfer out rates, it can be surmised that those who don't receive a sheepskin on a PSU stage complete a degree somewhere.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Engineering Majors||1,881 Total Graduates / 17%|
|Mechanical Engineering||351 Graduates|
|Chemical Engineering||228 Graduates|
|Electrical and Electronics Engineering||205 Graduates|
|Civil Engineering, General||178 Graduates|
|All Business Majors||1,636 Total Graduates / 15%|
|Finance, General||473 Graduates|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||221 Graduates|
|Hospitality Administration/Management, Other||190 Graduates|
|All Computer Information Science Majors||1,044 Total Graduates / 10%|
|Information Science/Studies||589 Graduates|
|Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance||252 Graduates|
|Computer and Information Sciences, General||18 Graduates|
|Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration||18 Graduates|
|All Social Sciences Majors||927 Total Graduates / 9%|
|Economics, General||496 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||161 Graduates|
|International Relations and Affairs||137 Graduates|
|Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs||818 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Other||296 Graduates|
|Digital Communication and Media/Multimedia||100 Graduates|
|Speech Communication and Rhetoric||83 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||52%|
Outcome & Salary
As might be expected, Penn State graduates find that their first-rate academic credentials reveal job opportunities that are unmatched. While measuring the value of an education involves many subjective factors, median salary is one objective indicator of how alumni fare with their diplomas. Of the top ten earning PSU graduates, the mining and mineral engineering students report the highest median earnings of $84,000. In fact, PSU's list of their top earning degrees is dominated by alumni with engineering degrees. However, in the middle of that list are the registered nursing students who report a median salary of $68,000.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$44,900|
|College Grads Average Salary||$73,585|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$70,600|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$735,850|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,441,850|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$98,896|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$636,954|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,342,954|
|No Colleage Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$37,960|
|10 Year Projected Income||$379,600|
|20 Year Projected Income||$759,200|
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