FAQs for Prospective Students

I'm considering Penn State New Kensington as a college choice. Do you recommend visiting the campus before applying, and how can I arrange a visit?

We definitely recommend that you visit our campus anytime during the admissions process. A student Lion Ambassador will happily give you a tour of the campus and answer any questions you may have about what it's like to be a student at Penn State New Kensington. An admissions representative will explain the application and the admissions process and can answer any admissions-related questions you may have. A financial aid representative is also available to discuss any concerns regarding financing your education. Any time you visit Penn State New Kensington, you will automatically qualify for a waiver of the $65 admissions application fee, so what do you have to lose? If you can't visit soon, you can check out our campus virtual tour. You can call 888-968-PAWS or e-mail [email protected] to schedule an appointment, or check our website to register for upcoming admissions events.

When should I submit my application for admission?

We recommend that applications for first-year students be submitted by November 30 of the senior year. Applications will be accepted after that and will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Applications for transfer students should be submitted as soon as possible prior to the start of the desired semester, due to the lengthier process of evaluating transfer credits.

How will Penn State New Kensington notify me about my acceptance?

All students within the United States are notified through the mail about their admissions decision. International students as well as US students will receive their decisions online via their MyPennState account. This is the account used to fill out the application, and students can continue to monitor the status of their application by using this site as well.

Are admissions requirements for out-of-state students different from those for in-state students?

Admissions requirements for all US students are the same. International students have a slightly different set of criteria and must submit some different types of documentation. Visit our international student page for more information.

When will I need to "transfer" to the University Park campus?

We never use the term "transfer" to describe the process of relocating from one campus to another. That's because at Penn State University, every campus is academically equal. Every credit earned at one campus is equal to credits offered at another, including University Park, and students who begin their studies at a campus like New Kensington are on equal footing with their counterparts at University Park. At Penn State, the process of relocating from one campus to another is called Change of Location, and this typically takes place after completing the first two years of full time study toward a bachelor's degree. There are always exceptions to the rule, so it's important to check with an admissions representative to be sure.

Can I start and finish my entire education at Penn State New Kensington?

Sometimes. Generally, students can complete the first two years of nearly all of Penn State's 160+ majors at the New Kensington campus. The final two years of these programs are typically finished at University Park or at a variety of other Penn State campuses.

In addition, New Kensington offers ten bachelor's degrees and five associate degrees that can be completed entirely at the campus. These programs would allow you to start and finish at New Kensington and earn the same Penn State degree you would earn anywhere else, including University Park.

How much access will I have to faculty at Penn State New Kensington?

With an average class size of around 25, students find it easy to keep in touch with and develop strong relationships with faculty. All faculty keep office hours equal to the hours they are in the classroom. Information about faculty members' office hours is always included in the course syllabus, and students are encouraged to take advantage of this time. Students also have opportunities to work with faculty on research, can easily get academic and advising help from faculty, and most, if not all of your instructors will know you by name.

Is help available if I am having trouble in class?

The Academic and Career Success Center at Penn State New Kensington includes resources for students who are having difficulty with a particular course as well as for students who aim to maintain a high academic standing. The Success Center provides information and academic enrichment for all students seeking assistance in writing, math, science, and nearly all other courses offered. Assistance may be provided by a professional academic instructor or by a trained, faculty-approved peer tutor. All services are free.

I have a disability. Whom should I contact at Penn State New Kensington to discuss disability issues?

Penn State is committed to providing access to a quality education for students, including those with documented disabilities. The campus disability coordinator is Elaine Zarichnak, campus nurse. She can be reached at 724-334-6066 or [email protected].

Can I live on campus, and if so, can I bring a car?

While most of the students at Penn State New Kensington choose to commute, the Nittany Highlands Apartments are located immediately adjacent to campus and are available to any Penn State New Kensington student who wishes to live there. Information about housing can be found on the Housing and Food Services page.

Parking is both plentiful and free for all current students, including freshmen. Student parking permits can be obtained by filling out the online request form and visiting the campus Safety Office.

How safe is the campus?

Penn State New Kensington maintains a Department of Police Services which provides safety and security services throughout our entire campus. The department consists of a Public Safety Manager who is a sworn Police Officer certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania along with several Security Officers. The Police Services Department also consists of Security Officers who provide community-oriented patrols of campus, ensuring Penn State New Kensington students, faculty, staff and guests remain safe and secure at all times. Annual security reports by campus can be found online.

Penn State New Kensington was also named the safest college campus in Pennsylvania and 9th safest in the entire country by Niche, a company that surveys and reviews colleges nationwide. 

Will my parents have access to my grades?

Due to federal regulations, parents do not have access to their child's grades. Only if the student gives written permission to the Registrar's Office can grades be released to parents.

How much does it cost to attend Penn State New Kensington?

Penn State offers an excellent value for a quality education with a worldwide reputation for excellence. Penn State establishes tuition rates and fees for all students each year in July. To calculate the most accurate tuition, consult the online tuition calculator.

How can I find out if I'm eligible for financial aid?

Over 90% of Penn State New Kensington students receive some form of financial aid. To be considered for student aid, all Penn State students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the only financial aid application Penn State requires. For questions regarding the FAFSA or your financial aid, contact our Financial Aid Office.

What is the deadline to apply for financial aid?

Penn State recommends that first-year students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15 of the senior year for maximum consideration of all student aid programs. Transfer and returning students should submit a FAFSA by April 15. May 1 is the deadline for all Pennsylvania state-funded programs. Students may submit the FAFSA after these dates, but they may not qualify for all aid sources.

What is the Penn State New Kensington Federal School Code for financial aid?

The Federal School Code is 003329. This is the same code for all campuses of Penn State and will show up on the FAFSA as University Park. Don't worry, though, this number is correct. All financial aid is processed centrally through the Office of Student Aid at University Park.

How do I know if I'm eligible for in-state residency?

To qualify for in-state tuition, the student needs to reside in Pennsylvania for non-education purposes for at least one year prior to the initial enrollment at Penn State. Owning a house in Pennsylvania alone does not qualify a student for residency. To change your status from out-of-state to in-state, or to view the full policy on residency classification, visit the website for the Office of the Bursar.

What if I cannot pay my tuition bill by the due date?

Penn State offers different types of payment plans, including a deferred payment plan and a pre-payment plan. A comparison of options, including methods of acceptable payment, can be found through the Office of the Bursar. You may also call Penn State New Kensington's Bursar Office at 724-334-6023 for more information.

How can I notify my health insurance company that I am a full-time student?

You can contact the Registrar's Office at Penn State New Kensington to request enrollment verification for health insurance purposes.