Portland State University

Portland State University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located in Portland, OR, Portland State University is a public university that offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Should You Attend Portland State University?

Founded in 1946, Portland State University (PSU) offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in many subject areas on its 50-acre campus. The college has accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Student enrollment for 2012-2013 was approximately 28,600 including both undergraduate and graduate students. Keep reading to find out if PSU is the school for you.


  • Portland State University has an ethnically diverse student body
  • Acceptance rate is 4.6% above the national average
  • Located in a downtown area with reasonably easy airport access


  • No rank is published by U.S. News and World Report
  • Graduation rate over four years is 2% lower than the national average
  • Estimated room and board is $1,053 above the national average

Portland State University at a Glance

Portland State University is located in downtown Portland, OR, and is composed of several schools and colleges, including urban and public affairs, engineering and computer science, social work, fine and performing arts, business administration and education. Bachelor's degree programs are available in a wide range of subjects, such as applied linguistics, architecture, theater arts, health studies, business, music performance and much more. In addition to education, PSU offers extensive research opportunities in many fields.

The acceptance rate at Portland State University is 70.1% according to U.S. News and World Report. This is higher than the national average of 60.5%. According to College Board, the student body is a diverse mix of white people, black people, Alaskan Natives and American Indians, Asians, Latinos, non-resident aliens and people of mixed race. While the average 4-year graduation rate is roughly 40%, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) estimated that for Portland State University, it's 38%. Also, while the national average room and board is $9,315, U.S. News and World Report estimated that the 2010-2011 cost at PSU was $10,368.

Admissions & Financial Aid at Portland State University

When applying to Portland State University, you must have achieved a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher in order to qualify for admission. Among other documentation, official SAT or ACT scores and previous high school and college transcripts must be submitted. If the GPA requirement has not been met, high-standardized test scores may still qualify you. If you're straight out of high school, you'll need to have completed certain college preparatory courses, including mathematics and English.

The NCES estimated that for the 2011-2012 school year, more or less 69% of applicants were accepted. Of these applicants, 42% decided to enroll. According to the NCES, 68% of these applicant submitted SAT scores. Of these scores, 460 were in the lower 25th percentile for math and reading and 580-590 were in the upper 75th percentile.

Portland State University offers students a variety of opportunities to receive financial aid. Several academic scholarships are available, including the Oregon Laurels Scholarship and the Presidential Scholarship. If you intend to pursue a career as a full-time educator, the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant is available. Federal work study employment options are also available.

Application and Tuition Information
Regular Application Deadline (2013-14) None for regular applications***
Financial Aid Application Deadline (2013-14) February 28th, 2013(priority)***
Admission Notification Date (2011-2012) Rolling****
Application Fee (2011-2012) $50****
Acceptance Rate (2011-2012) 70.1%****
All Tuition & Living Expenses (2012-2013) $21,723***
Average Financial Aid Package (2013-14) N/A
Percent of Students with Need Met (2013-14) N/A
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2013-14) N/A

Living at Portland State University

Although on-campus housing is an option, the vast majority of students at PSU live off-campus according to U.S. News and World Report. While this may appear to create a dead student life, this isn't the case, with PSU's wide variety of student activities and clubs to choose from, as well as NCAA Division I athletic teams. Activities range from choral groups to a literary magazine to on-campus ministries. If you're interested in Greek life, however, only 1% of the student population joins fraternities or sororities.

The Career Center at Portland State University offers help developing interviewing techniques and successful resume building skills. The center's CareerConnect website includes internship, full-time job and part-time job listings. The office also helps coordinate on-campus visits from employers to facilitate job interviews. A calendar of workshops and events is available online.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Urban***
Student Population (2012-2013) 28,584***
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2012-2013) 47:53***
% of Full Time Students (2012-2013) 70%***
% of In-state Students (2012-2013) 83%***
% of International Students (2012-2013)
Retention Rate (2005-2011) 73% (full-time), 50% (part-time)**
Campus Housing Available Yes
% of Students Living on Campus 9%****
Number of Libraries One*
Extracurricular Activities 174 clubs and organizations****

Article Sources: *Portland State University, **NCES College Navigator, ***College Board, ****U.S. News and World Report.

School Contact Info

  • Address: Admissions, Portland State University, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751
  • Phone: (503) 725-3511, (800) 547-8887, ext. 5-3511