We are continuing our college comparison this month by highlighting four additional universities: Penn State University Park, Penn State Lehigh Valley, University of Pittsburgh, and Millersville University of Pennsylvania. We contacted each school and compared their selectivity, admissions deadlines, standardized testing policies, and more.
Click on the chart to see how the schools compare with one another.
Each of the schools highlighted this month have a form of rolling admissions. None of the four have early action or early admission programs. Rolling admissions refers to a university’s application process. The basic idea is that there isn’t a specific deadline to apply. Instead, the university receives applications on an ongoing basis and reviews each application as it is received. The traditional method is waiting until a deadline is passed and then reviewing all applications at once.
With rolling admissions, the earlier the student applies the better. Most schools have a limited number of open spots, and as they review applications as they come in, those spots are filled. If you wait too long to apply, you run the risk of all the spots being filled, especially in the more popular areas of study.
Keep in mind, that even if a school doesn’t have a hard deadline for the application, there is likely still a deadline for applying for financial aid. Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh both recommend filing the FAFSA by March 1st (of your Senior Year). Millersville University’s recommended deadline for the FAFSA is March 15th.
Our chart lists some interesting notes about each university regarding admissions. For example, Penn State has 20 undergraduate campuses in Pennsylvania. You can begin your education at one Penn State campus, and then transfer to another campus to finish your degree. Penn State says, “ More than 60 percent of our students choose to start their education at a campus other than University Park and then transition to University Park after two years to complete their degree, a path known as the 2+2 Plan.” This could be a solid option for some students who want to attend Penn State and save money by selecting a local campus for the first two years.
University of Pittsburgh has the Freshman Guarantee. The school states, “If you’re someone whose professional goals are clear, our Freshmen Guarantee offers exceptionally talented students the ability to lock in admission at one of our top-ranked programs.” For example, a freshman applicant who wishes to pursue would need to indicate Pre-law on their application, be in the top 10% of their high school graduating class, score a 1360 SAT (combined reading and math) or 29 ACT (math and English subscores average), and maintain a 3.5 GPA at Pitt.
Each Freshman Guarantee program has its own requirements, but a separate application is not necessary. You will be automatically reviewed for these programs when you apply to Pitt. To give the student their best chance, he or she should apply early in their senior year of high school.
SAT Subject Tests
We researched each school’s policy regarding SAT Subject Tests and learned that none of them require or have specific recommendations for any SAT Subject Tests.
Each university had a different policy regarding superscoring the ACT and SAT. The term “superscore” is a practice by which some universities take the highest scores from individual sections across test dates and combine them. You can read more about superscoring on our blog from May 9, 2016.
Penn State University Park and Penn State Lehigh Valley do not superscore the SAT or the ACT. They will use the highest composite score from a single test date in their application review.
University of Pittsburgh will superscore your SAT Critical Reading or Evidence Based Reading and Writing subscore and your math subscore. They will use the highest of the SAT superscore or the ACT composite score in reviewing your application for admission. You are not required to submit SAT Essay or ACT Writing test scores.
Millersville superscores SAT results and the only required sections are the Evidence Based Reading and math, the writing and additional subject areas are optional. They do not superscore ACT results.
As mentioned last month, to give yourself the best opportunity for admission, list all of your SAT and/or ACT test results on the application, if possible. This gives the admissions officers the opportunity to consider your best scores across both versions of the SAT and all ACT tests you’ve taken. Generally, admissions officers want to find a way to admit strong students into their schools.
We hope that each of these comparisons has been helpful as you and your students consider which college to attend in the future. Contact us if you have questions. We are happy to help.