Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4218 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Too Many People – When you have housing that is a very good thing. I go to a school whose campus population is about 40,000 students. Not everyone is guaranteed housing except for the freshmen.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Human Development and Family Studies – This program is really catered to the specifics of the field. The classes all coordinate with each other and they set you up in the order that helps to really build upon a foundation and allows you to excel and succeed. They also help with future prep such as internships and grad programs and prep for the work environment.

2 College Freshman

Computers: There Is Only One Lab. There is only one computer lab and classes get scheduled in that room, so it is virtually unavailable if there is a class in attendance when you need a computer. Also there are only approx. 20 some computers and if you need to print something it is 10cents per page and 20cents if double sided which makes it very expensive when constantly needing to print power point presentations.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Maintain Good Grades and Good Credit – For most scholarships in my department, you need at least a 3.0, which I currently do not have. Had I maintained a 3.0, I'd have a lot less trouble trying to finance my upcoming semesters in college. Not to mention the fact that my parents having bad credit affected my chances of getting a PLUS loan. Ultimately, I was denied the second time that I applied because their credit, which seems unfair since I would be the one who will pay for the entire loan.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: The Corner Room Is Amazing – All of the restaurants downtown are affordable, and definitely provide great food. You can go to Cozy Thai to fulfill your hunger for Asian cuisine, or visit The Corner Room for some great American food, a personal favorite of mine. Or you can try the fantastic dining service at Chili's. Most restaurants are but a five minute walk from the edge of campus that faces College Avenue.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Mechanical Engineering Is Manageable – Since I enjoy math and science, I find it very easy to remain interested in the courses. The workload can get big, since most engineering is heavily science-based. But, staying focused and working in groups can really help knock down the load. One unique aspect is entrance into the mechanical engineering major means 24/7 access to the Reber Building, which is dedicated to mechanical and nuclear engineers. The curriculum deals heavily in physics and mechanics, which prepares you for jobs in the automotive industry or robotics. It can even lead to opportunities dealing with medical prostheses.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Mechanical Engineering Is Great – Although it was not my intended major, which was biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering will still lead me down the same path as long as I complete a minor in biomedical engineering. The basic requirements are very similar, but the major classes focus on very different topics. Either way, the classes will be both challenging and interesting. If given the choice, I would definitely start over so that I could meet the biomedical engineering GPA requirement. My career goal as of now is to become a biomedical engineer at a firm or hospital. I want to work on improving the artificial spine and other prostheses. Biomedical engineering is a relatively new field, but it is an expanding field. My biggest concern is if employers focus on my GPA from my freshman year and think that I am only capable of that kind of work, when I have actually improved way beyond those mistakes.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: At Penn State, you get 100 free sheets each semester, and the computer labs have room pretty much every time you walk in. There is only limited, if not any, space in the labs during midterms or finals, so get there early if you do not own a laptop. I didn't own a laptop for my first college semester, but I spent enough time in the labs to make up for it. So, I'd say a laptop makes life a lot easier, but it's very manageable without one. The network is very reliable and is very fast. Wifi access is virtually everywhere on campus, except some dorm rooms. I was lucky enough to get wifi in my room, while most of the guys on my floor didn't have it.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Always a Party – No matter what age you are, you will find a great party to go to. We have a ton of frat parties and apartment parties for under-aged students. And once you turn 21 there are a lot of bars all over downtown that are always a good time.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: More People Drink – It is pretty easy to find someone with drugs on campus. However there really aren't many hardcore drugs, people mainly stick to smoking. But on the weekends most people just drink rather than do drugs.

5 College Sophomore

Parking: No Car Needed! Everything on campus is in walking distance. If you live downtown or on campus, the only time you may need a car is when you go home. Otherwise you can walk everywhere and we have a reliable bus system.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Sports Are Great – We have great facilities on campus for athletes. IM sports are pretty popular for students. There are multiple gyms on campus which is very convenient.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Not So Great – Parking on campus isn't an issue if you like to walk a good distance to your classes. There are plenty of parking in the lots but they are very far from classes. However, good thing about Penn State is that the buses run to every parking lot.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Upperclassman Dorms Are the Best – The freshman dorms in East Halls are a bit small. However the maintenance crew is extremely nice and you will be able to meet a ton of freshman just like you.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Not Too Difficult – I received minimal student aid, but thanks to some outside scholarships and in-state tuition, I was able to afford my first two years so far. Although I had to take out a few loans, I haven't had to put myself too far in debt. It is a fairly pricy university at Penn State, but the university is by far worth it. It really isn't difficult registering with them, as you just turn in your federal loan files and forms, and they pretty much receive them automatically from FAFSA and whatnot. Overall, not too rough, but fairly pricy.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Fantastic Assistance – I'm in the business college at Penn State, which is regarded as one of the best amongst the nation. The recruitment rate is very high, because of the standards set by the business college. There is a job fair that comes to our university twice a year, looking to recruit people from every business major for internships and possible jobs outside of graduation. The networking is outstanding, and the Greek Life at Penn State also helps with job recruitment and networking. There are various opportunities to network and establish your resume, and it's really up to you where you want to go with your major, and after that all you have to do is contact some professors in the business college and they'll assist you the best they can.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Penn State is a fairly diverse school, especially for the size of the university. We have a great deal of international students, especially from the Southeast Asia areas, who are studying international business and engineering majors a majority of the time. We also have students from Europe as well, and in terms of minority diversity; it's not a lot, but it isn't negligible either.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Variety and Proximity Cost! With the wide range of close apartments, prices can be seen going through the roof! Although right around the price for on campus dorms, you will have to pay year round for the apartment lease, and it is relatively expensive for the size of some of the apartments. However, they are closer to some campus buildings than the dorms themselves, so it isn't a losing situation. You are also right downtown, which makes it convenient on weekends and whatnot for going out.

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: State College is actually the gloomiest area in Pennsylvania, but nothing stops people from their plans. The buses are very convenient but classes rarely get cancelled. During the summe, I really appreciate the heat lamps located throughout the side walks!

5 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: I love the campus because of the nightlife, there always seems to be something to do even if you go out everynight. IF you are over 21 then there are a ton of bars for you, personally for a chill night I like to go to the hookah bar, have some food and relax with friends. There are also a ton of frat houses that constantly have parties. This is why I rate Penn State and A+

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3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Depends on Professor – The academics are hit and miss depending on the type of class. I like to be able to communicate with my professors but with huge lecture classes like Intro to Econ, it is more often that we will be dealing with the student assistant. However, some of the student teachers are very helpful and knowledgeable. I transferred from Behrend and honestly enjoy the academics there more. Penn State does have a wide seleection of classes to choose from which makes it very helpful.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: Severe Punishments – The campus police can be a pain to deal with and they are quite inconsistent. I have had friends being cited for activities that other friends have gotten off the hook for. They can be quite helpful at times however, and they were helpful during the riot.

1 College Sophomore

Athletics: Too Football Oriented – Penn State is way too football oriented of a school. The whole school revolves around the football program and nothing else. Their football games aren't even fun.

1 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Not Worth Going Here – The education that you are getting here sucks. The teachers don't care about teaching you the material, they only care about getting good reviews at the end of the year so they keep their job. My freshmen year I didn't learn any new information. They give out a ton of extra credit so that it makes them look like they are a good professor. Most students that go here are the typical dumb sorority girls. There are a ton of hicks here that don't know anything. The social life on campus sucks, all people do here is drink alcohol. There is nothing to do around the campus. Weekends here are very boring and get very repetitive. Coming from out of state this school is not worth $40,000 plus a year. Attending this university was probably the worst decision I have ever made, I regret going here. Having the recent news of the sex abuse scandal is definitely going to tarnish the schools reputation even more. As a student, I am very embarrassed to wear my Penn State clothes out of my house. The school is way to oriented around football. Football games here aren't even fun. I am definitely transferring next semester.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Apartments Galore – There are many opportunities for students when it comes to living off campus. There are dozens of apartment complexes and even houses are available for rent. The farther from campus, the lower the cost. The only downside is you have to act fast! For example, by October of my freshman year I had already entered into an agreement for an off campus apartment for my sophomore year.

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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.

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