Altoona, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$20,794 ($13,900)
Admission Difficulty
Branch Campus Of
Penn State
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3 College Freshman

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

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.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There are people here from all walks of life

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: There's an awkward mix of students who click to their ethnicity and tend to be nasty towards the other groups from time to time.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Diversity: The campus is made up of mostly Caucasian students. Although, there are students who are from all over the world. Most students are commuter students because Altoona is in a local community.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 405th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 990th
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1061st
    Most Open-Minded Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Bridgetta Parker
Dumfries, Va.
View all previous student authors

With more than 4,100 students, Penn State Altoona is the third largest Penn State campus in the system of 20 campuses, and over the past few years, diversity on the Altoona campus has grown exponentially. There is a large percentage of students from Pennsylvania, but there are also students from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In general, there’s a good mix of students from different nationalities and cultural backgrounds. However, there is a lack of interaction between people of different ethnicities outside of the classroom. This may be because language and cultural barriers inhibit some students from easily interacting with others. However, overall, students at Penn State Altoona are accepting and get along well.

LGBTQ pride has become a big topic on campus over the last two years. After the implementation of MOSAIC, a program to help students at Penn State Altoona learn more about the diversity on their campus, the LGBTQ community has been embraced by the majority of Penn State and is fighting toward equality within the city of Altoona. There is also a good mix of students from different backgrounds at Penn State Altoona. People from small towns and farms can interact with students from bigger cities like New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and DC—and they can take comfort in the fact that regardless of where they grew up, everyone here shares many of the same goals.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • District of Columbia
  • Foreign countries
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 2%
18-19: 64%
20-21: 21%
22-24: 8%
25+: 6%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 1%
Asian American: 3%
Hispanic: 1%
International: 6%
Native American: 0%
White: 82%
Unknown: 7%
Gay Pride
The LGBTQ movement has been going strong on Penn State Altoona's campus for the last few years. There have been several panels to discuss current LGBTQ concerns in the world.
Political Activity
The campus is located in central Pennsylvania, where many people uphold Republican political views; however, the majority of the campus is liberal.
Economic Status
Typically, the students come from fairly solid middle-class or lower-middle-class economic backgrounds. The city of Altoona is a lower-middle-class city.
Most Common Religions
There's a wide variety, with the most common being Christianity, atheism, paganism, agnosticism, Buddhism, and Hinduism.
Minority Clubs on Campus
The Black Student Union is very prevalent on campus. The organization hosts many dances, pageants, and talent shows, and funds bus trips to larger cities for the day.

The Gay Straight Alliance hosts many events including Pride Week, a week-long event that showcases certain aspects about the LGBTQ community.

The International Students Association celebrates an entire month of events for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which includes teaching people about their culture, dance, and food.
Did You Know?
MOSAIC is a diversity program that was implemented by Penn State Altoona in 2008. It explores various forms of diversity found within the Penn State Altoona community such as race, ethnicity, religion, ability, age, gender, and sexual orientation.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 21 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 24% Not sure
  • 10% Very conservative
  • 19% Conservative
  • 29% Moderate
  • 14% Liberal
  • 5% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 21 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 5% Conservative
  • 29% Moderate
  • 43% Not sure
  • 14% Liberal
  • 10% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 21 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 21 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 22 responses

  • 5% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 9% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 36% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 50% Very accepting.


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