Altoona, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$20,794 ($13,900)
Admission Difficulty
Branch Campus Of
Penn State
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Reviews 459 total reviews with an average rating of 3.4

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College Freshman

Greek Life: I'm rather indifferent/don't know much about the Greeks

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: I Iove it, it's everything and nothing like I've expected all at once and it's amazing

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: I've talked to many people but one creepy guy stands out in my mind and he ruins the thoughts of the others for me

4 College Freshman

Majors: I love it. My adviser is also the head of the department that my major is and one of my professors and I love her

College Freshman

Majors: I've yet to apply to an internship so this is not applicable

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Very few options for freshman, not to say that's not expected but it's leaving my family straining

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I'm living in a dorm so none of these apply to me

3 College Freshman

Diversity: I haven't talked to many but the people I've seen seem rather diverse.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: We have Minor League baseball, many shopping/dining areas, very good public transportation, some arts opportunities, and more within a 50-mile radius.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Rumors of hazings are disconcerting. You would think Greeks would learn by now.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Police services works hard to be present around campus and have good interactions for students, faculty, and staff. When there is an issue, it helps to know the officers and they know you.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Professors are very open to work with you if you have problems. Demanding an "A" from them without doing the work won't fly here.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There are lots of diversity events for students, and a wide range of beliefs are accepted on campus. It's not a narrow-minded community.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: It's a great campus in a smaller city. You get the Penn State name and education without getting lost in the University Park shuffle.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: We're all accepted on campus although there are reports that some of Greek organizations still haze initiates.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: It's gotten worse with more out-of-state students on campus, but law enforcement works very hard to stomp out an issue before it starts.

5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: The student aid staff are very helpful and will really work to get you the most aid possible.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: If you travel, you get more variety. Close off-campus options are so-so.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: The campus has a policy that if you do something wrong off-campus, it can get you disciplined on campus. I think that's a very good reflection of how administration believes in a safe environment for all its students.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Students do use the facilities, which are well kept.

College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I live at home, off-campus. I've never seen one of the campus dorms.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Safety is an issue because of Altoona's ongoing drug problem and those associated with it.

4 College Student

Overall Experience: I've enjoyed my time at Penn State Altoona. I believe many of the negative reviews come from folks who come to the campus and expect the same experience they would get in a typical "college town" (such as State College, ~40 min away) but that is not the case at all. I'm not from Altoona, or PA at all for that matter, but Altoona is very similar to the town that I came from, so I felt right at home here. While it's definitely not the State College experience, Penn State Altoona offers it's own unique experience. It's the perfect transition from high school to college. I chose to attend Altoona for two years because, being from out state, I didn't feel comfortable jumping right into University Park's student population of 40,000+. I'm extremely glad that I chose Altoona as my starting campus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Student

Academics: I feel like I'm getting the same education that I would be getting up at University Park. The professors are pretty knowledgeable in their subjects. The smaller class sizes are fantastic. It allows for more one-on-one opportunities, something that can be hard to come by at a large college campus. It's great preparation for the classes you'll be taking at UP if you are trasnferring after sophomore year.

3 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: You'll find the typical fast food joints that are in any other town. They get very boring after awhile. However if you are able to find a way to travel a bit farther you can find more great options.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Bridgetta Parker
Dumfries, Va.
View all previous student authors

The overall experience at Penn State Altoona is a great one for most, and many say that the campus has exceeded their expectations. The smaller campus is great—and if you’re concerned about a smaller campus equaling a small-minded student body, don’t be. The Penn State Altoona campus is a perfect balance of size and personality, and the atmosphere allows for people to get to know one another in a number of situations. This is a place where friendships bloom and flourish to their fullest extent, and are then kept up long after graduation.

The professors at Penn State Altoona are all very open about their research, and each one is excited to be teaching. All the professors are real intellectuals, and they have such an abundance of knowledge in their field, as well as many other topics. And they are helpful to all students, regardless of whether you know them well or are taking one class with them. At college, students learn the most from the people who assign the textbooks, not the actual textbooks themselves (although some professors at Penn State Altoona write their own textbooks), and this University is no different.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Penn State Altoona

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