Parents & Families of Prospective Students - FAQs

Parents & Families of Prospective Students - FAQs

My student is considering Penn State New Kensington. Do you recommend visiting the campus before applying? How do we arrange a visit?

We definitely recommend that you visit our campus, either before applying or immediately after submitting an application. A student Lion Ambassador will happily give you a tour of the campus and answer any questions you may have, and an admissions counselor will explain the application and admissions process. A financial aid counselor is also available to discuss any concerns regarding financing your education.

You can contact the Office of Admissions at 888-968-PAWS to schedule an appointment or check our website to register for scheduled on-campus Admissions Events.

When should my student apply for admission?

We recommend that applications for first-year admission be submitted by November 30. Applications will be accepted after that and will be evaluated in a rolling fashion. Transfer admission applications should be submitted as soon as possible prior to the start of the desired semester, due to the lengthier evaluation of the transfer credit process. International students should apply and submit all required documentation by February 1st of the year they plan to start at Penn State.

How will my student be notified about an admissions decision?

All students within the United States are notified through the mail regarding the outcome of the application evaluation. The student may also check their MyPennState account to monitor the status of the application and receive the decision online.

My family does not live in Pennsylvania. Are admissions requirements different for out-of-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.

My student is interested in doing the "2+2" plan by starting at Penn State New Kensington and then transferring to University Park.  When will the "transfer" happen?

We never use the term "transfer" to describe the process of relocating from one campus location to another. That's because at Penn State University, every campus location is equal. Every credit earned at a campus is equal to the credits offered at University Park, and students who begin their studies at a campus location are on equal footing with their counterparts at University Park when it comes to Entrance to Major in the junior year.

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 baccalaureate degree. Change of Location requests submitted prior to the completion of two years of study are only granted in extreme cases in which the student would not be able to meet the curricular requirements of the choosen major.

Can my student start and finish a Penn State degree at Penn State New Kensington?

Yes. The campus offers 15 different degree programs (10 baccalaureate degrees and five associate degrees) that can be started and finished entirely at Penn State New Kensington. The baccalaureate degree programs include administration of justice, biobehavioral health, business, communications, electro-mechanical engineering technology, information sciences and technology, nursing, project and supply chain management, and psychology.  The associate degree programs include biomedical engineering technology, business, information sciences and technology, letters,arts and sciences, and radiological sciences.

Students can also complete the first two years of nearly all of Penn State's 160 degree programs at the New Kensington campus through the 2+2 Plan. The final two years of these programs can be finished at the University Park campus or at a variety of other Penn State campuses.

Is there housing available at Penn State New Kensington?

While most of the students at Penn State New Kensington choose to commute, off-campus housing is available and located immediately adjacent to the campus at the Nittany Highlands Apartments, and other affordable housing can be obtained from the off-campus Housing information page.

Whom can I contact at Penn State New Kensington to discuss services for disabilities?

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

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 does my student find out if he or she is eligible for 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.

Penn State recommends that first-year students submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15 for maximum consideration of all student aid programs. Returning and transfer students should submit a FAFSA renewal by April 15.

If our family owns a house in Pennsylvania, is my student eligible for PA residency?

To qualify for in-state tuition, the student needs to reside in Pennsylvania. Owning a house in Pennsylvania alone does not qualify a student for PA residency tuition. To change your status from out-of-state to in-state, you will need proof of residency, including PA income tax and federal income tax forms for the most current year.

My student is taking college courses with a local college/university. Will they transfer to Penn State?

A student can evaluate transfer credits he/she may have already earned or plan to earn from an accredited college or university by using Penn State's Transferring Credit Tool.

As a parent, will I have access to my student's 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 safe is Penn State New Kensington?

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 6th safest college campus in Pennsylvania and 57th safest in the entire country by Niche, a company that surveys and reviews colleges nationwide. 

Can my student take Penn State courses while he/she is still in high school?

Yes. The Penn State New Kensington Dual Enrollment (DE) Program offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college courses at a 50% tuition reduction. The program enables students to get a real jump on their college careers by earning college credits while still in high school. Students participating in these programs may choose from a variety of Penn State courses offered during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.