Is Penn State An Ivy League School? Knowing Penn State University

Every now and then, you hear people make mention of the ivy league schools, and you’re probably confused. You seem not to know what the ivy league means, let alone figure out what schools belong to the ivy league. You have guessed right to think that the ivy league has to do with something special. Now the big question in your mind is about Penn State.

In this article, we’ll make you understand what the ivy league means and answer the question, “is Penn State an Ivy League School?” We will also tell you all you need to know about Penn State.

Let us start by explaining the Ivy League.

Table of contents

What Is The Ivy League?

The Ancient Eight is another name for the Ivy League. It is an American collegiate athletic conference comprised of eight private academic universities in the Northeast. Aside from athletics, “Ivy League” is often used to refer to the eight schools as a group of elite colleges with academic excellence, admissions exclusivity, and social elitism in mind.

In the United States and worldwide, Ivy League universities are usually considered the gold standard of higher education. Ivy League institutions and universities are among the most prominent and sought-after in the United States and around the world.

READ ALSO: Ivy League Schools In New York: List and How to get Accepted

An Overview of the Ivy League

The Ivy League athletic association comprises eight private schools and universities at its most basic level. It, however, refers to a lot more than only college sports. The Ivy League comprises schools with centuries of history, tradition, and distinction. All but one of the Ivies, located in the Northeast, predates the American Revolution. Harvard, for example, was founded in 1636, making it the country’s oldest institution of higher learning.

However, the term “Ivy League” did not arise until three centuries later. Stanley Woodward, a sports writer, coined the term “ivy schools” after writing about the football season at the “ivy schools” in 1933. The sports conference was founded in 1954, after a two-decade wait.

The standards for student performance and admission became increasingly stringent and rigorous as the sporting teams of these institutions began to draw more financing and popularity. As a result, since the 1960s, these Ivy League schools and colleges have earned a reputation for generating graduates who excel academically, have social status, and have bright professional prospects. These colleges have maintained their reputation to this day and have a significant representation among the top-ranked universities in the United States.

Most people nowadays identify the word “Ivy League” with highly competitive, prestigious universities and use it as a yardstick for judging high-quality education.

SEE ALSO: What Are The Easiest Ivy League Schools To Get Into?

Is Penn State University An Ivy League School?

Penn State University or Pennsylvania State University is NOT an Ivy league school this is because Penn State University is not a member of the Ivy League. As explained above, there are only 8 Ivy League schools and Penn State is not one of them. 

The following are the Ivy League Schools:

  • Harvard University
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Yale University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Princeton University
  • Brown University
  • Dartmouth College

Why is Penn State University Usually Mistaken for An Ivy League School?

The fact that the two colleges have extremely similar-sounding names, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University, is why so many people get confused. UPenn is commonly referred to as Penn, which sounds remarkably identical to Penn State, to the point where publications have confused the two.

Another reason for the ambiguity is that the Ivy League is made up entirely of private universities, but Penn State sounds like a public state university when it isn’t. Penn State University is a public university. Penn State is a major, well-rated public university, while UPenn is a highly regarded private Ivy League institution.

Except for the fact that they’re both well-known and located in Pennsylvania, the two colleges aren’t connected in any significant way.

READ ALSO: 10 Best Boarding Schools in Pennsylvania | 2023 Ranking

About Penn State University

The Pennsylvania State University commonly referred to as Penn State or PSU is a public land-grant research university with campuses and facilities across the state. Penn State was founded in 1855 as the Pennsylvania Farmers’ High School and became the state’s only land-grant university in 1863. The institution was officially Founded in 1855, It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 39,809 students. It is located in a city and spans 7,958 acres. The academic calendar is semester-based.

Penn State University is now a large research university that focuses on teaching, research, and public service. Its educational objective includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, and continuing education, which is delivered both in-person and online. The Institution Park campus has been dubbed one of the “Public Ivies,” a publicly funded university that provides a quality of education equivalent to the Ivy League and is ranked among the top universities in the world by academic magazines.

Penn State has two law schools. Penn State Law is located on the University Park campus, and Dickinson Law is located in Carlisle. Hershey is home to the College of Medicine. Penn State is a multi-campus institution with locations across Pennsylvania. Throughout the state, there are 19 commonwealth campuses and 5 special-mission campuses.

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools has granted Penn State regional accreditation. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has accredited the Smeal College of Business, the Sam and Irene Black School of Business, Penn State Harrisburg, and Penn State Great Valley.

In the 2022 edition of Best Colleges, Pennsylvania State University—University Park is ranked #63 in National Universities. It charges $18,898 for in-state tuition and fees and $36,476 for out-of-state tuition and fees.

University Park Campus of Pennsylvania State University

Nonremedial tutoring, women’s center, placement service, daycare, health service, and health insurance are among the student services provided by Pennsylvania State University—University Park. Campus safety and security services include 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late-night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, student patrols, and controlled dormitory access at Pennsylvania State University-University Park (key, security card, etc.). Students of the legal drinking age are permitted to consume alcohol at Pennsylvania State University-University Park.

In addition to the University Park campus, there are 19 other locations across the state where undergraduate students can enroll. Over 60% of Penn State’s first-year students start their studies somewhere else than University Park. Each of these Commonwealth campuses offers a unique variety of degree options based on the student demographics. Any student in good academic standing is guaranteed a spot at University Park to complete his or her degree if necessary, a process known as “change of campus” or, more precisely, “the 2+2 program,” in which a Penn State student may begin his or her degree at any Penn State campus, including University Park, for two years and finish the remaining two years at any Penn State campus.

READ ALSO: 20 Best Non Ivy League Schools To Consider In 2023

Penn State’s Academic Life

Pennsylvania State University-University Park’s student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1, and 34.2 percent of classes have fewer than 20 students.

Engineering, Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Social Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Health Professions and Related Programs; Agricultural/Animal/Plant/Veterinary Science are among the most popular majors at Pennsylvania State University—University Park.

Admissions Requirement To Study At Penn State

Admissions at Pennsylvania State University-University Park is more selective, with a 54 percent acceptance rate and a 67.9% early acceptance rate. Half of Penn State’s admitted students had an SAT score of 1150 to 1340 or an ACT score of 25 to 30.

However, one-fourth of approved applicants received scores that were higher than these ranges, while the other quarter received lower scores. The application deadline for Pennsylvania State University-University Park is rolling, and the application price is $65.

Pennsylvania State University- University Park Financial Aid & Tuition

At Pennsylvania State University-University Park, 42% of full-time undergraduates receive need-based financial aid, with an average need-based scholarship or grant award of $7,774 each year.

Penn State Student Life

The total undergraduate enrollment at Pennsylvania State University—University Park is 39,809 (fall 2020), with a gender split of 53 percent male students and 47 percent female students.

At this school, 26% of students reside on campus in college-owned, operated, or linked housing, while 74% live off-campus. Pennsylvania State University-University Park competes in NCAA Division I sports.

Is Penn State Different From The University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania is commonly referred to as UPenn or Penn, and Pennsylvania State University is referred to as Penn State or PSU. On the southeast tip of Pennsylvania, UPenn is located in Philadelphia, the state’s largest metropolis. Meanwhile, the main Penn State campus (known as University Park) is located in City College, a smaller college town surrounded by mountains in the state’s heart. Unlike Penn, which has only one major campus, Penn State has 24 campuses spread around the state.

Penn is a private Ivy League school, whereas Penn State is a public state school. Penn State has a 46 percent admission rate, while Penn has a 6% acceptance rate. This means that getting into Penn—the more prominent Ivy League school—is much more difficult than getting into Penn State. This means that if you want to get into Penn, you’ll need a considerably more competitive application than if you want to get into Penn State.


Now that we have taken time to elaborately discuss this topic, we’re sure you have been informed. We hope you found this post very helpful. 

With campuses across the world and an online World Campus, Penn’s 100,000 students and 17,000 faculty and staff know the real measure of success goes beyond the classroom. Their students go on to make positive impacts in communities across the world.

FAQs On Is Penn State An Ivy League School

What are the Ivy League Schools?

The following are the Ivy League Schools: Harvard University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Brown University, and Dartmouth College

What college is the most expensive in the US?

The University of Chicago is the most expensive college in the US. A University of Chicago student pays $81,531 each year. It is the most costly four-year university in the United States.

What is the GPA to get into Penn State University?

With a GPA of 3.58, Penn State requires you to be around average in your high school class

Does Penn State University offer online programs?

You can complete many of Penn State’s degree programs at your own pace. Penn State World Campus courses are asynchronous — meaning you don’t have to attend online classes at a specific time.


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