First-time baccalaureate applications for summer/fall 2020 stand at 89,133, down 1.1% from last year as of February 18 but up 39% from 2018. Applications are down 3.7% for PA, up 3.5% for out-of-state, and down 12.4% for international. Applications from underrepresented students are up 3% from last year.
Owing to the Early Action program, offers of admission are ahead by 11,300, or 23% compared to last year. Paid accepts currently stand at 6,083 overall, up 18% from last year as of this date. Paid accepts for the Commonwealth Campuses are down 5.6% from last year. Paid accepts from underrepresented students are up 11% compared to last year. PA, out-of-state, and international paid accepts are up 14%, 30%, and 72%, respectively, at this early stage.
The awarding of financial aid to prospective students was also initiated earlier this year. Since weekly communications began on February 3rd, nearly 37,000 offered students have received estimates of state and federal aid, along with potential candidacy for Provost Awards, other university and college-based awards, and the new Discover Awards for students from contiguous states who enroll at Commonwealth Campuses.
B. Stephen Carpenter II, professor of art education and African American studies and interim director of Penn State’s School of Visual Arts, has been named dean of the College of Arts and Architecture effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Penn State has been recognized as the top U.S. producer of faculty Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Thirteen Penn State faculty received Fulbright Program awards for 2019-20. In addition, the University is listed as a top producer of student Fulbright recipients, tied for No. 40 with 10 Penn State students receiving Fulbright awards in 2019-20.
The new Penn State Center for Socially Responsible Artificial Intelligence will promote the thoughtful development and application of AI and studies its impact on all areas of human endeavor. In addition to supporting research focused explicitly on AI for social good and mitigating threats from its misuse, through this center, Penn State will encourage that all AI research and development activities consider social and ethical implications as well as intended and possible unintended consequences.
Over the past three years, strategic efforts by University Libraries faculty and staff to provide open, affordable textbooks have saved students $4.8M in potential costs.
Research and Awards
The breadth of Penn State’s research expertise surpasses that of any university in the country, according to the latest National Science Foundation rankings of Higher Education Research and Development research expenditures by key fields and subfields. The rankings, for fiscal year 2018, show Penn State among the top ten in expenditures in 18 research fields. Johns Hopkins University was second with 16 top-ten finishes, followed by Michigan with 15, MIT with 13, and the UC San Diego with 10.
The A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation has committed $15.5 million to create the A. James Clark Scholars Program in the Penn State College of Engineering to support high-achieving engineering students with significant financial need. The foundation’s investment will be combined with $10 million from Penn State to create an endowment for the new program.
A $2.8M five-year grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, will allow a team of researchers to explore the use of stem cells, biomaterials and differentiation factors to match the complex tissues of the face and head directly bioprinted during surgery. Ibrahim T. Ozbolat, Hartz Family Career Development Associate Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics is the principal investigator on the project.
The evolution of viruses will be the focus of a five-year $3.7M grant from the NSF’s new program on convergence research, to an interdisciplinary team led by Penn State. The grant is in two phases, depending on successful completion of phase one milestones. This convergence grant brings together disciplines that have not worked together before to solve problems of high complexity with societal impact. Penn State is one of 11 universites to receive a convergence grant.
WPSU’s Reach podcast tells stories of Penn State researchers, their studies and how their work impacts central Pennsylvanians, the nation and world. The new podcast is available on the WPSU Digital website and through the station’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Penn State Berks was one of 13 institutions of higher education included in nearly $1 million in state grants for the prevention and reduction of opioid use among college students and for naloxone training on campus.
Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics is off to another strong start in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings. The Nittany Lions are No. 7 in the final fall 2019 standings, which is their 13th consecutive top-10 fall finish. Penn State and Stanford are the nation's only institutions to place in the Top 10 in the final fall Directors' Cup standings in each of the past 13 years.
Penn State student-athletes continue to impress as much in the classroom as they do in competition, posting record marks in several categories during the 2019 fall semester. Nittany Lion students tied the program record with a 3.17 grade-point average in the fall, while breaking the department mark with a 3.16 cumulative GPA following the fall semester. In addition, a department-record 28 of 31 programs earned a 3.0 semester GPA.
Ranked at No. 9, Men’s Basketball has tied the highest AP Top 25 poll ranking in Penn State history with the 1995-96 and 1953-54 teams.