What’s so special about Nov. 30, anyway?

As most of you know, Penn State does not have an application deadline, per se, but we do have what we call a recommended filing date, which is November 30. I’m here to demistify some of the myths surrounding this date and answer any questions you may have about the application process.

What that date means is that if you’re a domestic high school student applying for admission for the summer or fall semester, you should try your hardest to get all your application materials (including your online application, transcripts and SAT/ACT scores) to us by November 30. Of course you can apply after that, but your options may be more limited. For instance, your first-choice program or campus might be full. Or, if you’re looking at a campus other than University Park, on-campus housing might be full.

Bottom line is this: make it easier on yourself, give yourself the best chances of getting your campus and program of choice, and apply by November 30.

Some other common questions surrounding this topic:

Q: Can I send SAT or ACT scores after November 30?

A: Technically speaking, yes. But here’s why it likely won’t benefit you. Credentials received after November 30 will put your application in a later review pool, making it more competitive for admission to your program or campus of choice. Additionally, students rarely improve significantly enough on their standardized tests that it will make a difference in an admission decision.

Q: What happens if I don’t have all my materials to you by November 30?

A: We will still review your application, of course, as long as you send us all required materials. Depending on when your application is complete, it may be more difficult to gain admission to your program and campus of choice.

Q: Can I send mid-year grade reports?

A: As we only use your high school record from 9th through 11th grade, it won’t benefit you to send us mid-year grade reports.

Finally, if you apply by November 30, you will receive a decision by the end of January, the latest. We received more than 70,000 undergraduate applications last year and are on track to meet or exceed that goal this year, so we sincerely appreciate your patience in the review process.

Good luck! Keep those applications coming!

PS — If you’re an international student (you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident) the November 30 recommended filing date does not apply to you. Check back here soon for more application tips for international students.

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