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Despite Fewer Applications, Freshman Class Larger Than Expected

Despite an 8 percent drop in applications this year — from 77,596 to 71,410 — the number of paid acceptances for the freshman class is up 6 percent — or 523 students — than it was at this time last year.

Penn State has maintained that the drop is due to a nationwide decline in overall college applications, especially among Pennsylvania demographics.

“These numbers continue to reflect Penn State’s strength in attracting the best students from Pennsylvania and around the world,” former interim provost Rob Pangborn said.

8,930 students are slated to begin their studies at University Park this year. President Erickson unveiled the new application numbers during his remarks to the Board of Trustees earlier this afternoon.

“I want to emphasize that the quality of the entering class — as measured by high school GPA and SAT scores — is comparable to the entering cohort in previous years,” Erickson said.

Additionally, a record-high 2,000 paid accepts for summer session at University Park have been received, and capacity has been increased to the LEAP program.

“Penn State’s successful effort to attract a strong entering cohort this year reflects the special efforts in recruiting, including increased institutional scholarship support, marketing campaigns in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh regions, and additional student receptions, open-houses, and high school visits,” Erickson said.

According to the university, out-of-state acceptances (including Commonwealth Campuses) are down 8 percent but Pennsylvania acceptances are up 6 percent. International acceptances are up 16 percent.

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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