Location
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$29,566 ($16,992)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4776 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Facilities: There are tons of spaces for students to hang out, relax, play sports, study, and do whatever on campus. Lawns and lounges are common, and there are hundreds of clubs and organizations to participate in.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Anybody can get into most of the programs at Penn State. With most majors, students do not enter into their chosen program until their sophomore or junior year, and many programs have GPA requirements, although most are 2.0 or 2.5. Some more popular programs have higher GPA requirements to limit class size, so if you have your heart set on a particular field, make sure you keep your GPA up.

College Sophomore

Majors: I'm a rising sophomore, so I haven't experienced major-specific classes yet.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Very difficult programs in the sciences.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: The University Park campus is probably one of the safest places on the planet. It is safe to walk alone at almost any time of day, although it's definitely safer to travel with a friend or group in the middle of the night. The biggest safety concern is drunk students traveling at night on weekends. They are the perpetrators of the majority of crimes on campus.

3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: They think they're above everyone else.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life is huge at Penn State, although there are many students who are not involved in fraternities or sororities. There are dozens of Greek organizations, many of which have off-campus houses, and some of which live on campus. I'm not involved with a fraternity, but from what I've heard, unless you're an older member of a fraternity, the living options in houses aren't exactly desirable.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: State College is a fairly large town in a valley surrounded by mountains. There are a few small towns in the immediate area around State College, but the closest decent-sized town is over ten miles away. While State College may be isolated, the local population of 75,000 (of which over 40,000 are students), would make you forget that you're in the middle of the mountains entirely if didn't get to watch the sun rise and set over them every day.

4 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Professors seem pretty great with getting their information across to the students but don't typically care about grades.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Penn State competes at the Division I level in almost all of its sports, and many of its teams are excellent. There is huge support for varsity sports on campus, and school spirit is always incredibly strong.

College Sophomore

Academics: I'm a rising sophomore, and as with most students in my grade level at Penn State, I am just starting to get into my major-specific courses now.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Penn State has great programs for almost all of the degrees it offers, and many of its programs are among the best of their kind. There are many different professors to choose from, so it's pretty easy to find a professor that you'll enjoy learning from. The workload is average as far as higher education goes.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: With being a state school, there is limited financial aid from the university to students in general. There is more financial aid form individual colleges and departments though. It seems that the financial aid process at Penn State is no more difficult than at other schools, although it isn't always the smoothest process. In the end it does get you what you need though.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: From what I've heard from friends at other schools, Penn State's dining commons are above average. In many cases, the dining commons can compete with restaurants in terms of quality and selection.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are tons of options for off-campus dining in State College. The dining options are as diverse as the student population at the university and a large percentage of them are tailored to students in terms of price, convenience, and hours.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: At Penn State there's a pretty typical mix of guys and girls, probably like you would find at most American colleges or universities.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: I've always lived on campus, so I'm not the best authority.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: If you're interested in parties, Penn State is a great option for you. There are lots of events to choose from every weekend, so you can find a party that fits you, guaranteed.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: So many people from different areas but also I can walk down any sidewalk and see someone I know or went to high school with. Lots of people to meet and get to know, it's very easy to have a social life

College Freshman

Greek Life: Not in one so I can't say

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I don't live off campus so I couldn't accurately rate with a star review

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of diversity and options. The same thing doesn't have to be chosen every night from the dining hall, go out and explore what's around

College Freshman

Guys & Girls: It shouldn't matter to be honest.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: it's great for convenience but there are so many other affordable and amazing food places on and off campus. Go out and explore

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Beaver Stadium has one of the best student sections in the country. If you don't partake you miss out big time

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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Hometown
Whitehall, PA
Major
Journalism
View all previous student authors

Despite common reservations about the location and climate, most Penn State students are fiercely loyal to their alma mater. Penn State boasts one of the largest alumni populations in the United States; graduates are proud of their degrees, and employers recognize the University’s name immediately. Although the campus is located in a very rural area, school is technologically up-to-date and on the cutting-edge of current research.

Aside from academics, PSU is also known for its social scene, especially in relation to sports and parties. Nittany Lion football—home of the 2008 Big Ten Champions—is a national draw and a point of pride for both the University and the town of State College. For anyone interested in playing or watching varsity sports, PSU is a top choice. Penn State has also been ranked highly by many polls and “party school” surveys as one of the top party schools in the nation. While it certainly isn’t the wildest town, these rankings are definitely accurate. The small-town setting and large-school atmosphere makes for little else in the way of entertainment, so it can be hard to avoid encountering the party scene during your time as a student. Still, the mix of work and leisure seems to work well for most of the student body, and academic standards at Penn State remain relatively high. It’s easy to spend four years at Penn State as an ever-serious student, focused completely on whatever you choose to study. With so many opportunities to relax nearby, balance and moderation are some of the best skills to learn from your four years in college.

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

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