First-year, baccalaureate, paid acceptances for summer/fall 2020 totaled 15,791, down by 383 or 2.4% compared to last year. University Park paid accepts are 8,554 (+1.8%), and Commonwealth Campus paid accepts are 6,828 (-9.5%). First-year World Campus paid accepts are 409, (+26.4%) from last year. By residency, PA accepts are 9,734 (-6.2%) compared to last year, out-of-state accepts are 4,785 (+7%), and international accepts are 1,272 (-8.8%). African American and Hispanic/Latinx paid accepts are down 5.9% and 2.3%, respectively, from last year, but are up 14.1% and 17.5% from 2018, the last year prior to introduction of the Common Application.
The undergraduate application for admission in summer/fall 2021 went live on August 1. As of September 16, 3,757 applications have been received, down 2.8% from 2019. The Penn State admission evaluation process will be test-optional for 2021. Students will have the opportunity to decide whether they would like to have SAT or ACT test scores used in evaluating their application for admission.
Penn State Research Expenditures for FY20 topped $1 billion, reaching a record $1007.9M, up $39.9M or 4.1% over FY19. In the first two months of FY21, awards are off to a strong start, up $20M or 11.8% over last year.
For the third year in a row, Penn State supporters have broken the University’s record for fundraising results, committing $381,323,670 to “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence”.
A new partnership between Penn State and the convenience store chain Sheetz provides the company’s employees with a 5% tuition reduction on undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The agreement helps further Penn State’s commitment to expanding access to higher education.
George Grant Jr., professor and dean of the College of Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, has been named chancellor of Penn State Berks. He will begin his appointment on Jan. 4, 2021, succeeding Keith Hillkirk.
Donald J. Welch, who has served as Penn State’s interim vice president for Information Technology and chief information officer since July 2019, has been appointed to the position on a permanent basis, effective Oct. 1.
Tracy Langkilde, Penn State professor and head of the Department of Biology, has been named the Verne M. Willaman Dean of the Eberly College of Science. Langkilde will begin her appointment on Oct. 1.
Research and Awards
Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences and director of the Earth System Science Center, will share the 2020 World Sustainability Award with Antonella Santuccione Chadha, co-founder and the CEO of the Women’s Brain Project and global medical manager for Alzheimer’s disease at Roche Diagnostics. The World Sustainability Award encourages new initiatives and developments in sustainability with the ultimate aim to foster the transfer from sustainability research to sustainable practices and societies.
The Department of Defense’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency has awarded a combined total of $51.1M to two university research alliances to counter threats of destruction, with a specific focus on improving current and developing future warfighter technology. Penn State is leading the Interaction of Ionizing Radiation with Matter University Research Alliance, which was awarded $30M for the next five years, with the potential of extending the alliance for a total of nine years and $54M of funding with additional funding opportunities available.
With a $1.2M grant from Fondation Botnar, an international team of researchers will assess the feasibility of creating and launching a global-scale artificial-intelligence app for mobile devices that diagnoses diet-related problems and offers nutritional advice to adolescent girls living in urban settings in Ghana and Vietnam.
Donghyun Rim, associate professor of architectural engineering at Penn State, is leading a one-year, $108,000 Rapid Response Research Program COVID-19 study funded by the National Science Foundation to understand how the virus is transmitted in indoor environments.
Hedong Li, associate research professor of biology, has been awarded $1.8M from the National Institutes of Health to study how microRNAs — small segments of genetic material — could be used in treatments for spinal cord injury. The five-year grant builds upon previous work by Li and colleagues to convert glial cells, support cells that surround neurons, into functioning neurons.
The College of Education will study state funding for higher education and how states can design equitable funding policies, with grant support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support a two-year project that will focus on three main policy issues: how states fund colleges; funding disparities among community colleges; and how states fund students through financial aid.
A $412,000 grant from the National Science Foundation will fund the purchase of an atomic force microscope at Penn State Behrend. The instrument can measure fractions of a nanometer – which is one-billionth of a meter – and will support research in materials and biological sciences.
The Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to resume the football season starting the weekend of October 23-24, 2020 based on the adoption of significant medical protocols including daily antigen testing, enhanced cardiac screening and an enhanced data-driven approach when making decisions about practice/competition.