International Students: Penn State Cost and Value

The Value of a Penn State Education
Students starting at Penn State in 2012 come from 74 different countries.  The entire student body includes students from 131 countries. Our international student profile comprises an array of statistics and information about the impressive international facets of Penn State as a global university.

Why are so many students from so many different places invested in a Penn State education and the Penn State experience? We couldn’t possibly cite all of the reasons, but here are a few:

  • Penn State ranks among the top 50 World Universities for 2012, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
  • Penn State offers more than 160 majors. You may come to Penn State with a specific major in mind, or before choosing a major, you may opt for the flexibility to explore many majors.
  • Penn State is among the nation’s top universities in industry-sponsored research, with plenty of opportunities for undergraduate research in all areas of study.
  • Penn State’s network of 20 campuses throughout Pennsylvania creates opportunities designed to fit your needs. Penn State students study at large campuses, small campuses, and everywhere in between.
  • Leadership opportunities exist at every campus. Students participate in more than 1,200 clubs and organizations, including multicultural organizations, music and performance groups, sports teams, spiritual groups, and more.

Cost and Financial Guarantee

The University Office of Global Programs issues a 12-month estimated Expenses and Financial Guarantee document for international students attending Penn State.  It is important to note that if you are a student who requires a visa to study in the U.S. you will need to provide a financial guarantee based on this information.   Information related to the financial guarantee requirements can be found through the Office of Global Programs.

The financial guarantee document is NOT part of your admission application. Within a few weeks of accepting an offer of admission, Global Programs will contact you with information about providing the appropriate financial guarantee requirement information.  See What is acceptable as a financial guarantee? for more information.

Funding a Penn State Education

All forms of financial aid (grants, loans, and work study) offered at Penn State are provided by the federal and/or state governments and are available only to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. International students are not eligible for these aid programs.

International students are typically funded by outside sources, such as their family, a future employer or their home government.  There are a limited number of opportunities for merit-based financial aid offered by Penn State and available to international undergraduate students, such as scholarships offered by the Schreyer Honors College.

Some Penn State campuses and academic colleges award scholarship money on a competitive basis to international students. These scholarships are often based on the GPA you maintain at Penn State and are not often available to first year students. Please review the campus or college website that interests you for more information on eligibility of scholarship awarding.

The University Fellowships Office is Penn State’s resource for undergraduates seeking information and guidance regarding scholarships and fellowships funded by sources other than Penn State.

As you can see, there is tremendous value to becoming a Penn Stater.

If you have any additional questions, don’t forget that you can join Penn State international admissions counselors, students and college representatives for an online chat on Thursday, November 8 from 1600 – 2000 EST (GMT-4:00).  Or, you can email us at

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