University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4679 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The campus itself isn't that strict about anything in particular. Dorm life is a bit stricter here. Overall, however, Penn State is relatively laid back about drinking, smoking, etc. As long as you don't make a huge scene, the police won't usually go out of their way to hunt students down and interrogate them.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Nightlife is very diverse at Penn State. If people are looking for a good nightlife, Penn State is the place to be. There are a large variety of bars to choose from, and there are constantly parties going whether it be the weekdays or the weekends.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Penn State athletics is very involved with community service and giving back! Most of the sports are top in the nation so you cant go wrong with the athletics. Also they are fun to watch! The facilities are top notch and its hard to find better.

2 College Freshman

Diversity: There seems to be little diversity on campus. There is some but I feel like it is very little. There are different organizations that embrace the different cultures and backgrounds on campus.

2 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Most students on campus have some sort of drug in their dorms at a certain time during the year. A lot of students drink on campus and off of campus. There is a lot of underage drinking that goes on.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: There's a good variety of places to eat on campus as well as several commons to go to if you want to eat, but the reason I didn't grade it an A is because not every commons has great food.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I feel safe on campus because there are a lot of campus safety officers patrolling on the weekends to make sure nothing happens to you or anyone else.

4 College Freshman

Academics: I'm a chemical engineering major, and the opportunities so far have been wonderful. In my first semester of my freshman year, I was given the opportunity to work in a Chem E lab, and to get research experience.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Obviously, everyone has heard of Penn State football. Contrary to most beliefs, it does not take over the lives of the students, but merely provides a great way to improve school spirit. We also have many other wonderful sports teams that the students love to support. One Team!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: I think that Penn State is a wonderful school academically. I am also part of the Schreyer Honors College, so we have many opportunities to take honors classes.

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I have never felt unsafe on campus, even at night. Even on football weekends the crowds are not rowdy or dangerous.

5 College Senior

Majors: I have had two internships and two co-op rotations at NASA. In the internships, I was paid by stipend through a scholarship program. As a co-op I am paid on a salary by NASA. I was expected to do 40 hour weeks. Responsibilities changed in each work tour; one was research and development, another was building hardware, another was creating a software website.

I used fastweb.com and scholarships.com to find the NASA MUST Program, through which I got the internships which later opened the door for me to get into the co-op program.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: The best part about Penn State is that it's so big that you can literally find any type of person you're looking for. We have every type of guy imaginable: athletic, gamer, nerdy, outgoing, introverted, etc. Generally handsome. They usually have a great sense of humor and are really easygoing and fun to hang out with. Same goes for girls (except they're pretty, not handsome!).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: The partying scene is definitely big at Penn State. There are always parties going on every weekend and there are many clubs in downtown for those 21 and over. There are also many activities planned every weekend by the Student Programming Association for those who prefer an alternative to the party scene which include a different screening of movies every weekend, concerts, crafts, laser tag, and NERF catch the flag.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: State College is a nice, small college town. The university is definitely the central point of the city but it is nicely located right near downtown State College which has many small shops, for browsing, cafes, and local eateries which are a nice change once in a while from the university dining commons. There are many museums located on and around campus in State college to enjoy on weekends and there is even Mt. Nittany a few minutes away from downtown which is a great outdoor activity and offers an awesome view of the entire city.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Penn State is highly internet accessible stocked with several computer labs across campus and a library with more than 500 computers. This makes using computers, getting access to internet, and printing extremely easy. The network and wireless connection is not always reliable, depending on the location. It's not completely necessary to have your own computer or printer but having a laptop is definitely a nice commodity.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Penn State has the best facilities including the HUB or student union which houses the multicultural center available to everyone, fast food joints easily accessible between classes, and weekly activities which add a excitement to the class-filled week.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Parking is always a pain but it happens to be like at most place. You just lean to deal or walk.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: No one dresses up for class. You will rarely see someone not in sweats or pajamas for class. When people go out, there are a lot of "slutty" outfits but many choose to cover up a little more. There are so many people that it is easy to fine an attractive person.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The freshmen dorms at Penn State are average. Most people only stay on for the first year. Many move off campus in their sophomore year. It is completely tolerable and you get use to it very fast. You have to keep your stuff in order though otherwise there isn't much room to move around in the rooms. The bathrooms could be updated a bit. They are quite old and could use some renovations but they are fine after a while.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Drugs are rarely ever seen. Alcohol is a large part of the life but you do not need to drink to be involved with everything on and off campus. It is what you make of the situation.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: I received financial aid but I'm still in need of some more money. It has been a long process. The Financial aid office has been very helpful with helping me step to step but it has still been a long process.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Alcohol and drug policies has been getting strict over the past years

4 College Junior

Parking: Parking is pretty decent. You can park in the parking decks on campus.

2 College Junior

Weather: The weather at my school changes everyday. Just this week the students walking on campus were able to just wear a sweatshirt. The next day we had to wear coats, gloves, and a hat. Also, when it hits spring time it rains here constantly.


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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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