Acceptance Rate Questions

I have applied to multiple schools, though I did want to ask about something. Two of the schools I applied to (Florida State University and Penn State University) seem to have gone in complete opposite directions.

FSU rejected me, and explained that 62,000 applied for 6,200 seats (this isn’t exact as I don’t have the letter in front of me). This means that the average acceptance rate dropped to around 10%.

Penn State on the other hand accepted me, but I have heard that their acceptance rate increased by upwards of 20%. This becomes more peculiar when you notice that FSU is test mandated and PSU is optional.

So my questions are these:

  • Why is PSU increasing their acceptance rate when everywhere else seems to be plummeting?
  • How will that increased acceptance rate effect PSU’s national ranking of around 60?
  • What should I expect from other schools? Are moderates now reaches like FSU was?

Thank you for your guidance,

  • a terrified college applicant

Aw that sucks for fsu. Fsu is god tier. Penn state is meh. You can do better. But it’s somewhere to go!

IMO, it is hard to read into much from the information you received/shared. Regarding the 62k applications, that is no doubt a lot - but it does not mean 10% since it probably takes them 15000 admits to get to the number 6200.

Not sure on the Penn State number (there are lots of data-types here who can get you exacts, I bet.) One explanation is that they expect that many more people will turn them down this year - but just a guess on my part.

Penn State ranking will remain in-tact - no worries.

Can’t answer your other questions because I think your 1/2 results may be more about your profile and less about the schools admissions changes from the prior year. For example, did you have test scores that you sent into FSU that were less than a 30 or 1400? If so, by how much? Tell us about your academics. Finally, where else did you apply?

That isn’t the acceptance rate at FSU. You have the wrong number in the numerator. You have the number of seats they are trying to fill not the number of acceptances. Looking at past history, they likely accepted 21-22k students.


Yes, but he could be talking about transfers only. There’s only 6200 spots because not many ppl go to the college in totality. Theres also freshmen spots to be taken into consideration as well as student athletes and even current undergrads. As well as post grads.

No, in 2019, there was 7,106 new freshman at FSU.

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Thats quite a lot for just freshman. Transfer is probably 5000. In the same year.

We don’t have to guess at the numbers. FSU’s common data set shows the 7,106 frosh in 2019/20 that eeyore cited (of 21,202 admitted, so 33.5% yield) and 1,823 transfer student enrolled (includes frosh, sophs, or juniors in fall, spring, or summer)

They had 1,823 transfers that year from 2,413 acceptances from 8,228 applications.

Don’t be ridiculous. Penn State is at LEAST as good as FSU. It is better on many accounts. They both are definitely in the same tier.


Their acceptance rate is 76%. Also have a better football team. But penn state is still good.

You may be looking at whole system. I would imagine much higher admissions rate.

I don’t understand the problem. You got into Penn State. Congratulations! You didn’t get into FSU. Too bad. But you got into Penn State! Hoorayyyy!!!

Stop worrying about rankings and acceptance rates. That’s over. You’re going to a good college! Congratulations!

Last year’s common data set for Penn State (University Park campus) shows the acceptance rate was 49%.

That’s what i was assuming. The problem with “the data.” If misunderstood, it drives incorrect conclusions and opinions.

Penn State and FSU are same tier, but their admissions processes differ. Penn State generally uses GPA as 2/3 of their deciding factor and grades at 1/3 (though they went test optional this year). It’s a little more nuanced in that they want to see that X amount of those classes were Honors/AP/IB level.

Penn State enrollment is down, mostly at their satellite campuses, and they may need to accept more kids to compensate as a result. They are a larger school. It’s important not to confuse acceptance rate for Satellite campuses with their main campus at University Park.

FSU recalculates GPA and uses the five core classes only. An A = 4.0. Add 0.5 for Honors; add 1.0 for AP/IB. As you know, they were not test optional due to state laws.

Both schools have very similar ranges for accepted GPA/test score middle 50% ranges.

This year I’ve seen same kids get rejected from both schools, or accepted to one and not the other, even with 1300-1400 SAT and 4.0 uw. I have not noticed one to be more selective than the other this year, and examples like OP has shared have gone both ways.

Yes , congrats you got into penn state bro. I was just saying fsu is more prestigious

Not how I see it.

#1 state school in PA vs. #2 in FL.

uhhh thanks lol

Makes much more sense. Thanks!