University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4696 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Freshman

Academics: Coming into a state school, I wasn't really sure what to expect out of Penn State's academics, not to mention the whole Sandusky scandal was just being sorted out. I was pleasantly surprised by what the school had to offer though. There's incredible course variety, and the advisers, at least in my experience, are extremely knowledgeable and know how to get you where you need to go. Unless you want to to something ridiculous with your major(s), the course loads should be very manageable, and the professors are nice and literally do everything they can to help you succeed.

4 College Freshman

Academics: The Eberly College of Science at Penn State is incredible. The facilities here are state of the art (the Millenium Science Complex looks like something out of the future). The instructors are passionate, and the courses aren't that difficult so long as you go to class, do your work, and listen to what the professors have to say (you'd be surprised how hard that is for some people). They'll almost always give you the keys to succeeding in their class. As far as continuing opportunities, the school is so large that the availability of internships and such is impressive. I secured one internship my first term of my freshman year, and am now staying over the summer for a second. I also believe the acceptance rate here to medical school is around 80%, which is like three or four times the national average.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: The drug scene at PSU is, as is expected of such a large school, noticeable, but it's also relatively benign. Kids like to go out and drink, but in my experience most are relatively responsible and stay away from hard drugs. It seems kids are more out to be social and have a good time than "get wasted".

3 College Student

Diversity: I am able to be friends with people from all different cultures and get along with everyone

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There is always so much to do. Many places to hang out and meet new people and just have a fun time.

3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: For the most part students on campus are your typical midwestern type of crowd. Very humble and easy to get along with.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The Smealconnect program has helped me find internships even though I am only a freshman! Its great to know that I can possibly find a job over the summer!

5 College Sophomore

Computers: The amount of computers might be absurd. Guessing, there has to be thousands of them and are always accessible. There are at least 5 or 6 computer labs all over campus not including the library, which also has computers. The computers are very efficient and fast. You are provided with 110 free printing sheets each semester, that may seem like a small amount but it does last the semester. Every where outside of the dorm has wireless access to the Penn State wifi. It does make it easier to have your own computer because being lazy college students its annoying to walk to the computer lab even if its in the building nest door to your dorm. Besides that I have known people to go through semester without their own computer.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: At most I feel safe on campus and I know if anything was to go wrong there are ways to get in touch with the right authorities. It is well lit at night to avoid any mischievous behaviors. Campus crimes that do occur are mostly petty thefts and the best way to prevent this is to lock you doors behind you. Campus security also takes underage and drinking on campus very seriously because we are considered a dry campus; meaning there is no alcohol allowed on campus by anyone even if they are 21 and older.Take precautions in all things that you do.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: State College is the town Penn State is located and it is small and far from most of the great attractions Pennsylvania has to offer. Though there may not be much we make up for it in other ways. There is ALWAYS something to do on or around campus and the town. The locals are super friendly and resonated well with students. Penn State is a huge family and everyone tends to get along well and its easy to feel safe and a part of this community. The school spirit resonates all through out the town and state for our sporting events which is always a big. We bleed blue and white supporting our Nittany Lions!

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: The majority of the students are Caucasians, but there are numerous races, religions, and beliefs that are represented on this campus. With the large amount of student organizations there is something for everyone from any type of background and belief. These organizations help one to adjust to the changes they face in college life. Many organizations collaborate on different events for us to have a better understanding of the the different views and lifestyles that are on this campus. Though diversity may not be as large as it could be Penn State does help to create a place where everyone is welcome.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Insane. There is plenty to do for people of all ages. There are bars for those who are 21 or older and then there are frats for those who aren't!. Transportation is great as well with a campus bus system running till about 3am.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Penn State has many options for majors. It is completely okay if you do not know what major you want to do, because their "undecided" program is very good. The most important criteria for admission would be your SAT scores and GPA. We do not have an abnormal application process. Don't slack during your senior year, and maintain a high GPA!

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: The drug scene at pennstate is not really big, but it is there. It really just depends on what parties you go to and the people you associate with.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Nightlife for students who are 21+ is probably really fun since there are lots of bars/restaurants downtown and the drinks aren't too pricey. For students not 21 yet, nightlife is still fun especially on weekends because kids go to frats and other social type parties to keep them entertained. And for the students who don't like to party, there are always things to do at the HUB.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: Athletes at Penn State University are super talented and hard working. We have one of the best sports teams for football, volleyball, and more! The college campus is just beautiful and perfect for sporting events. Our football field is huge and so are our gymnasiums. WE ARE PENN STATE!

4 College Sophomore

Weather: besides being bitterly cold for most of the semester, The school does a good job clearing all snow as it lays. We also have heated sidewalks throughout campus to keep walkways clear.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Alcohol use is quite high at this school. Not sure on drugs. A lot of peer pressure on the weekends to drink though.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: As an International myself, I was expecting more than what I received. Although Penn State attracts students from all over the world regardless of School Year; their so called diversity seemed to be aimed more towards those coming from the Asian Continent. While there is nothing wrong with this, and though it adds to learning about other cultures and appreciating differences; I was under the influence that Penn State would have more students form Australia, South Africa and more countries in Europe. Penn State does however promote differences and diversity as it engages students into Councils such as the International Student Council. Stories of experiences are also promoted inside and outside the classroom. Students are eager to learn why diversity and difference make the school what it is.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: No matter the season, (football or not), there is always sports happening at PSU! The Fan support is brilliant, and even though we were just sanctioned heavily, our fan base is louder and prouder than ever. Football takes up most of the Fall Semester, but the sports fans for both the men and women's soccer teams are brilliant. Everyone attends the games including younger soccer players and elder fans. Student involvement in the events is numerous and extends to all those looking to keep the Penn State Athletics Program what it's known for. After all, We Are... Penn State!

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: It's awesome to live on campus, because everything is relatively close. I love how I am so close to all of my classes/buildings as well as downtown. It's so convenient!

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: The drug scene at Penn State University Park is pretty big. There's not a day I go outside of my building and there isn't someone or a group of people smoking together.

5 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greek life at my school is great! There are various sororities and fraternities students can pledge for, and make many friends in the process. When pledging, students meet a lot of new people and gain great satisfaction by being part of such a fun and involved organization.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I believe the housing at Penn State is affordable and of high quality, because the housing staff is very nice and always on top of their cleaning! I live in Pollock at Beaver Hall, but as far as I know from my friends and other students, housing in south and east is just as good.

5 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Tons of frats & sororities for everyone, whether you want to drink & party or want something more professional that's geared toward your major. Penn State's Dance MaraTHON is entirely run by Greek organizations, and they have a ton of events year round.


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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.

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