Local Atmosphere

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

Local Atmosphere: The nightlife/things for college kids to do so they don't stay at home and wallow in self-pity, yea, that's like nonexistent. The food though - that's pretty good.

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The campus is in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing here.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: There is not much to do in Altoona, but State College is close. Many students go there for their weekends.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I come from a big city, so the shopping, dinning, night life are dull here. There is only I bar and that too is dingy filled with middle aged men.

The campus is beautiful but that is about it. Nothing much happens in and outside the college when recreational activities are concerned.

The food variety is poor and only hot dogs and burgers are good in this place. The pasta's are not authentic, steak is not traditional and cuisines are limited to Chinese and fast food joints.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Bridgetta Parker
Dumfries, Va.
View all previous student authors

Unfortunately, the city of Altoona is not a college town. Most businesses close around 10:30 p.m., although many are trying to extend their hours for more business. However, the Varsity Café is very close to campus and doesn't close until midnight. This café features hookahs, singing, and dancing, and although the venue is fairly small, it a popular place for students. Other favorite late-night activities include going to a late movie or traveling to nearby colleges to interact with new people. On some nights, the two bowling alleys in town offer midnight bowling, which lasts until 2 a.m. and comes at a reduced price.

The majority of students tend to stay on campus or very close by, mingling at the off-campus apartments with their classmates. A lot of people also travel to State College where "Big Penn State" resides. Underage activities tend to revolve around walking the streets and trying to find a place to hang out. However, even though Altoona isn’t a traditional college town, the college atmosphere is very prevalent here.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Sheetz headquarters is in Altoona.
  2. Altoona is home to the oldest roller coaster in the world.
  3. The Altoona Curve, a minor league baseball team, plays at Blair County Ballpark, which has a roller coaster (the Skyliner from neighboring Lakemont Park) located just beyond right field.
  4. Mallo Cups are made in Altoona.
  5. The main campus of Penn State (University Park) is only 45 minutes from Altoona.
Notable Natives
  • Charlie Crist - Florida governor
  • Bob Sheetz - founder of Sheetz convenience store/gas station chain
Local Slang
  • Crick: Creek
  • Slippy: Slippery
Points of Interest
  • Blair County Ballpark
  • Horseshoe Curve National Historic Landmark
  • Lakemont Park
  • Railroad Museum
Shopping Centers
Logan Valley Mall
Movie Theaters
Carmike Cinemas
600 Logan Valley Mall
(814) 944-0339
Major Sports Teams
Altoona Curve: Minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Harrisburg: PA: 2 hours
  • Pittsburgh: PA: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 27 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 28 responses

  • 18% Painfully remote.
  • 25% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 32% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 21% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 4% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 27 responses

  • 19% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 22% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 59% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 27 responses

  • 48% No way.
  • 41% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 11% Totally.
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