1. We Want to Hear from Two Recommenders
We require at least two recommendation letters from your teachers. There is an option to submit more than two letters; however, you are not obligated to do so.
2. If You Have Questions, Let Us Know
We do not keep track of the amount of times you contact us or visit campus. Our admissions office is open throughout the week with staff who would love to help answer any of your questions or concerns; however, your amount and/or consistency of outreach will not help or harm your likelihood of admission.
3. Our Interview is Optional
Yes, our interview is optional. Current and former Scholars have identified the interview process as an opportunity to learn more about the Honors College. If you opt in to the interview, you will have the chance to talk to one of our graduates and learn more about their experiences on campus—in turn, they'll also learn more about you. If you decide not to interview, that's okay too.
4. Essays—There's Really No Right or Wrong Answer
Our best advice for the essays? Answer the question to the best of your ability. We are not trying to trick you, nor are we looking for a particular type of answer. Our questions are designed to push you to think and we hope to gain greater insight about you. Be honest, be genuine, and allow your character and personality to shine through your writing.
5. Check Your E-Mail Frequently
E-mail is the primary way we will communicate with you, especially after you submit your application. We are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, just like you, but our admissions messages are sent directly to your e-mail address, so check it often.
6. It's True, We Don't Utilize Standardized Test Scores
Contrary to popular belief, we do not utilize standardized test scores when determining admission to the Schreyer Honors College. In our opinion, one of the best predictors of future performance is prior performance; therefore, your course load and academic rigor in high school are the most important pieces of information we review.
7. Keep an Eye on Important Deadlines
To ensure efficient results, keep an eye on approaching deadlines. The absolute final deadline to submit admissions material is December 20 at 11:59 PM EST. In order to maintain an equitable process, we are unable to make any exceptions.
Note: The deadline for submitting recommendations has been extended to 11:59 PM EST on January 9.
8. Triple-Check Recommendation Submission
We know the process of submitting college applications can be confusing, so we want to make it easy for you and your recommenders. Remember to ask your teachers if they are willing to write your recommendation and follow up with them before the application deadline. Include your recommender's e-mail address in your application and we will send them a message explaining how to submit the letter. Unfortunately, we do not accept letters through Naviance or other external services; therefore, all letters must be submitted directly through our web application.
9. Don't Wait, Apply Now
Please do not wait until you've received your Penn State admissions decision before applying to the Honors College. In fact, you can work on both applications at the same time. Submit Penn State's application first, followed by ours, then enjoy your senior year!
10. We Enjoy Hearing from Future Scholars
In terms of the college admissions process, it is more helpful and beneficial to hear directly from the applicant. If you have any questions about your application or the process, please contact us directly. Between classes, at the end of the school day, before practice or after work, feel free to call us with questions or just to check in.
Each year, the Schreyer Honors College requires potential Scholars to answer three essay questions. These questions change on a yearly basis and are meant to elicit well-written, comprehensive responses. Essay responses do not have word count or formatting requirements.
The essay questions are posted here a few months before the Penn State and Schreyer Honors College application is made available on September 1. We strongly encourage you to begin working on your essays immediately after they are posted.
2018 Essay Questions
- It has been said that art imitates life, which implies that what we see depicted in entertainment is merely a reflection of what is happening in real life. Review this video clip and tell us if you believe it reflects experiences of teenagers in the world today. In your response, address the ethical issues presented in this clip and how you would address them.
- Following the terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England in May of 2017, the artist and her management team decided to hold a benefit concert to raise money for those injured and killed during the bombing and to spread a message of love and unity after the attack. Do you think the arts can play a role in solving international conflicts? Please cite examples to support your perspective.
- In the last few years, youth around the world have gravitated toward podcasts, YouTube, blogs and social media for educational and entertainment purposes. Please list one or two of these different types of media that you follow or subscribe to and explain why you identify with and consume their content. Note: please be mindful that some application readers may not be familiar with media platforms you mention in your response.