Why Is Penn State So Expensive? (7 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

If you’re an incoming college student looking for a university where you can continue your academic journey, you’ve probably searched for Penn State.

However, discovering how expensive it is to study at Penn State may give you a socking moment. So, have you ever wondered why Penn State’s so costly? I’ve researched the matter, so read on to discover more!

Why Is Penn State So Expensive?

Penn State is expensive because it is a well-known university that offers nothing but quality education. In addition, it’s a top-rated research university that produces great scientists. Aside from all that, what makes it more expensive is the additional expenses a student should cover when enrolling in the university, like housing and meal plans.

So, let’s not prolong finding out how Penn State has become so expensive. Instead, here are seven reasons why. Read on!

1. Penn State Is A Well-Known University

Penn State is a well-regarded public state institution noted for its high academic standards and diverse academic and extracurricular programs.

Further, it founded a well-known distance-learning department. That said, the university is popular in the US for producing competent individuals in the real world.

Therefore, being popular in a vast country and even internationally gives Penn State the authority to upcharge the education it can provide to its thousands of students.

2. Penn State Gives Nothing But Quality Education

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2022 placed Penn State at number 119 worldwide, out of almost 1,600 institutions in 99 countries.

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Further, the evaluations are based on factors that assess a university’s performance in four areas: research, knowledge transfer, teaching, and international perspective.

Of course, with this kind of recognition, people can distinguish which universities offer quality education from those that don’t.

As a result, many students want to enroll in the university for various reasons, including the opportunity to receive a high-quality education.

Thus, the university can charge higher for the kind of education everybody wants.

3. Companies Highly Regard Graduates From Penn State

Because Penn State can provide a quality education for its students, companies are eyeing graduates from this university.

Moreover, potential employers are aware that Penn State receives a lot of international recognition for how competent the school is. Thus, believing that all students are too.

So, many companies are recruiting graduates from Penn State, and the university is aware of how in-demand its future graduates are in every field of work.

As a result, to produce more brilliant graduates, the university then hires only the best professors, which drives up the cost of Penn State.

4. Penn State’s Housing And Meal Plans

4. Penn State's Housing And Meal Plans

Another high cost of enrolling at Penn State is the cost of university meals and housing plans.

Further, students can pick from five meal plans, although most pay a one-time fee to support all commodities and goods offered in the eating area and to all campus diners.

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In addition, Nitanany, Freshman dorms, Off-Campus, and Apartment accommodation are among the housing options available to students.

Naturally, all these additional needs will add to how you will spend your education at Penn State.

5. Penn State Is A Top-Rated Research University

Among the several rankings Penn State has received in the past years, the school is worth every bit of recognition.

In fact, one of these is the 2021-22 Center for World University Rankings, where Penn State got the 54th spot for providing quality education and academic research.

Of course, the university proved how valuable the school is to many students and aspiring professionals through all its offered courses.

As a result, the university needs more money to sustain the quality of education and its academic research programs.

6. Penn State Is Top Employer For New Graduates

The university can attract and retain top skills to fill positions that will benefit the future generation by maintaining a reputation as a leading employer for fresh graduates.

Also, many young grads find that working at Penn State helps improve the abilities they learned as students while also establishing a solid foundation for their future.

That said, with the reputation that Penn State has, it’s obliged to make the available education more competitive and high-quality. Hence, the university has become expensive.

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7. Penn State’s Operating And Maintaining Expenses

The activity, facility, and information technology fees are the three additional fees that will make your stay at Penn State expensive.

Of course, all three fees cover the costs of operating and maintaining on-campus computers, printers, and various other specific needs that Penn State starters are promised.

Naturally, with all these operating and maintaining expenses, the university must make an upcharge to continue to provide what the students deserve.

To know more, you can also read our posts on why NYU is so expensive, why law school is so expensive, and why out-of-state tuition is so expensive.


This research has shown that Penn State is expensive because of the endless recognition rankings throughout the years.

In addition, the maintenance and operational costs and how the university hones the students to succeed are all factors for the university to become expensive.


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