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State College Area High School

Public | 9-12 | 2459 students


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4 stars

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17 reviews of this school

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Posted January 11, 2014

I love this school! State College is really the perfect mix of outdoors, city, and University. The other close schools- Grier, St. Joes, Grace Prep- pale in comparison and if you're considering applying, DON'T. They might look "safer" but their academics and athletics are bare; SCAHS offers classes in business, ag, auto, comp. sci, engineering, journalism, art (photo., film, ceramics, 3D, etc) other CTC, and countless honors classes for exceptional students. The teachers truly care about your academics. If they push hard it's always for education, but ever school has that old, cranky teacher. Also, being next to Penn State (#32 in the nation) is fantastic fall back for those who struggle in school. I've always dreamed of going to an Ivy league but sold myself short; with my classes I am now on track to attend UPenn (in Philly). My only concerns: the school is in poor condition but is planned for renovation, and the difficulty to start clubs. Overall, the Thespian program competes nationally, all major sports are varsity PIAA Division AAA or above (the best), students can take PSU classes, small-city setting is ideal, and students graduate more than prepared for higher learning. A+!
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 19, 2013

This school has a lot to offer its students. The CTC offerings allow for kids to explore careers in a high school setting and the business classes are outstanding. The issue I have had with this school is that the close proximity to the university makes drugs highly accessible to students. University housing surrounds the high school two building campus allowing for too much open opportunity for activity that should not be permitted. Sadly, the community is building/renovating a new school and chose to keep a two building plan - obviously those who voted (random surveys were sent to homes) have no idea what happens around the perimeter of this school.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted April 1, 2011

Very competitive school athletically. Wonderful honors classes. Tremendous variety of classes to choose from for juniors and seniors. Principal is fantastic--genuinely cares about students. Current school board seems out of touch with teachers and most of community.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted October 3, 2009

My daughters both attended the Delta program within the State College Area High School. It was a marvelous experience for all of us. This program believed in 'city as school,' 'students involved in learning' and 'open education.' Each daughter did things that suited her, and her interests, and abilities. We were involved in all the decisions they made about courses, or travel, or other experiences, as members of an advising 'team' Both went on to successful careers in college and life.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 15, 2009

There are various issues between the administration and teachers to the point where faculty meetings teem with anxiety and other underlying emotions. There is little commonality or collaboration between many of the teachers, resulting in vast differences between one 10th grade subject class and another class that should be similar in course material. An elitism is also apparent, leaving any student who is not a 'star' in the dust. The students, however, are well-behaved and generally all great kids.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted March 12, 2008

As an alumni of this school, I have been all over the nation. I can say without a doubt that State High is the very best that public education has to offer.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 3, 2007

Not so much discipline, but it gives the student the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. Great teachers and loads of different courses that a student can chose from. However, if you go to this school it is engraved in your brain that you will be going to Penn State as soon as you are out.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted July 29, 2006

And the high school teachers, by and large, are very very good. The proliferation of programs results in kids at the upper and lower ends being well accomodated. But there are many kids in the middle who remain virtually anonymous.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 12, 2006

Serious adademics and serious extracurriculars.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted March 19, 2006

State College schools are absolutely wonderful. They have a great mix of demographics (more diverse than, say an urban area such as Philadephia - very surprising consider the rural location.) It has a terrific music and arts program - a Grammy Shool winner and for 2006 the jazz band is an 'Essentially Ellington' finalist (look it up on their web site The has a new 'small school' initiative which is great since the high school enrollment is on the 'large' size. Just a great school district. I went to school in State College in the 1970's and I had 3 children in the district for the last 4 years (just moved for job-related reasons) and now that I've moved away, I wish were were back! A+!
—Submitted by a parent

Posted December 26, 2005

Good school, cool teachers
—Submitted by a student

Posted November 13, 2005

State College High School is a great school, especially for advanced children who need a challenge. Their sports programs are very competitive and it is a very large populated school district.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted August 22, 2005

State High has pretty much everything you could want in a public school as far as academic options, quality of teaching and diverse student body. The drawbacks would be: aging physical plant (which is being addressed by the renovation), large student body, and a bit of academic elitism that may leave 'average' kids out in the cold. Overall, though, it's an outstanding high school.
—Submitted by a former student

Posted February 23, 2005

I agree it's a good school if your child is motivated and above average. However, there is a lack of supervision and poor reporting which results in students being able to skip classes without any consequences. Individual needs are not taken into account if the student does not fit the mold of a future college student. The push is for everyone to attend a four year school, whether or not it's the right decision for the individual. This school is too focused on their rankings and numbers.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted January 29, 2005

Nice school, great teachers!!!
—Submitted by a student

Posted October 10, 2004

I think State College Area School District is wonderful and meets the needs of all students. The special education department is fantastic and provides the support needed to help students succeed. Although, some learning support teachers may want to over compensate for their students, most are wonderful and keep the students needs and goals in mind. I am very pleased with the education that my child is getting. The math department is fantastic and teaches the curriculum in innovative and exciting ways. I would not want to have my child go to any other school district. He fits in with the group he chooses. Every student is able to find a 'nitch' to fit into, if he or she chooses to. I am pleased and recommend the education that is provided by this school district to all.
—Submitted by a parent

Posted June 12, 2004

This is a good school if your child fits the 'mold' of an average or above average kid. It is also a great school for budding young athletes. Although the special needs program is much better than other surrounding districts, there is still too little staff and administrators and teachers can be resistant to accommodations. Parents of children with special needs should bring advocates to all IEP meetings and be aware of their children's rights. If your child is uncomfortable with State High's atmosphere, they may do better at the district's Delta Program. This is an excellent program that gives student's many more choices. They are able to pick classes as if they were in a college environment and are encouraged to be creative and show individuality. This school also offers learning/emotional support.
—Submitted by a parent

Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.

Grade level


The state average for Math was 60% in 2012.

540 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Reading was 68% in 2012.

543 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Science was 42% in 2012.

560 students were tested at this school in 2012.









The state average for Writing was 83% in 2012.

548 students were tested at this school in 2012.








Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education


All Students81%
Economically disadvantaged53%
Students with disabilities (IEP)38%
English language learnersn/a


All Students85%
Economically disadvantaged62%
Students with disabilities (IEP)39%
English language learnersn/a


All Students63%
Economically disadvantaged28%
Students with disabilities (IEP)15%
English language learnersn/a


All Students88%
Economically disadvantaged73%
Students with disabilities (IEP)37%
English language learnersn/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests

In 2011-2012 Pennsylvania used the Pennsylvania System of State Assessments (PSSA) to test students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in math and reading, in grades 5, 8 and 11 in writing, and in grades 4, 8 and 11 in science. The results for reading, writing, science and math are displayed on GreatSchools profiles. The PSSA is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Pennsylvania. The goal is for all students to score at or above proficient on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. If there are fewer than 10 students in a particular group in a school, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Education

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2011-2012 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 88% 71%
Asian 5% 3%
Black 3% 15%
Hispanic 2% 8%
Two or more races 2% 2%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2010-2011

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This school has not yet provided program information.

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653 Westerly Parkway
State College, PA 16801
Phone: (814) 231-1111


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