Penn State University Tuition and Fees

Penn State University Tuition and Fees

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    By Susan Guillory

    (Last Updated – 06/2022)

    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.

    Costs for 2021-22

    Student Type

    In-State

    Out-State

    Tuition & Fees

    $18,898

    $36,476

    Books & Supplies

    $1,840

    $1,840

    Room & Board

    $12,744

    $12,744

    Other Expenses

    $4,788

    $4,788

    Total Cost of Attendance

    $38,270

    $55,848

    Financial Aid

    If you’re concerned that you might not be accepted to Penn State because you don’t have the money to attend, don’t be. Penn State is need-blind, meaning your ability to cover tuition isn’t considered when the school reviews your application. Anyone, regardless of income and financial situation, can apply.

    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

    Recommended: The Differences Between Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

    Private Student Loans

    Just over half of Penn State students take out federal student loans, while 15% take out private loans. The average private student loan is $19,623.

    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

    The cost of attending Penn State for four years, including tuition, room and board, books, and other expenses, is $153,080 for in-state students. Compare that Penn State tuition to the total average cost for a four-year public university cost of $101,948.

    Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

    Costs for 2021-22

    Student Type

    In-State

    Out-State

    Tuition & Fees

    $18,898

    $36,476

    Room & Board

    $12,744

    $12,744

    Total Cost of Attendance

    $31,642

    $49,220

    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

    Costs for 2021-22

    Student Type

    In-State

    Out-State

    Tuition

    $23,189

    $39,248

    Fees

    $530

    $530

    Total Cost of Attendance

    $23,719

    $39,778

    Tuition for graduate school in 2021-22 at Penn State 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

    Costs for 2021-22

    Student Type

    In-State

    Out-State

    Books & Supplies

    $1,840

    $1,840

    Room & Board

    $12,744

    $1090*

    Other Expenses

    $4,788

    $4,788

    *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

    Fall 2020

    Number of applications

    95,321

    Number accepted

    74,350

    Percentage Accepted

    78%

    When it comes to the Penn State acceptance rate, over half of all students who apply are accepted.

    Admission Requirements

    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.

    Required:

    •  Secondary school GPA

    •  Secondary school record

    Recommended:

    •  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:

    Subject

    25th Percentile

    75th Percentile

    SAT Evidence-Based
    Reading/Writing

    530

    640

    SAT Math

    540

    660

    ACT Composite

    24

    29

    ACT English

    23

    30

    ACT Math

    23

    29

    Graduation Rate

    Penn State has an average graduation rate. Here are the graduation rates of students who began their studies in 2014:

    •  4 years: 55%

    •  6 years: 73%

    Post-Graduation Median Earnings

    Upon graduation, students from Penn State earn, on average, $41,900, according to CollegeSimply.com. This is below the average for salaries for college graduates across the board of $55,260.

    Bottom Line

    Penn State’s tuition may be a bit higher than the average for U.S. public four-year institutions, but what you get in return is the chance to study one of more than 270 fields that will prepare you for a fulfilling career. And because Penn State is need-blind, it’s inclusive, no matter what your financial situation. Anyone can apply.

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