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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4 College Senior

Campus Dining: Many of the dining halls have been recently updated making it more modern for students. They offer a wider variety of organic foods and try to monitor portion control.

4 College Senior

Campus Strictness: The Penn State campus had rules and regulations, but being a public school, it is not as strict unless you live on-campus. You have more enforced rules if you're in a dorm.

3 College Senior

Scholarships: Its has been touch to receive financial aid but became easier over the years. Its more beneficial to meet with someone who has done the process, who is willing to offer guidance.

5 College Senior

Athletics: At Penn State athletics have become a symbol of school pride. There have been many outsiders who have tried to break Penn States spirit but in the end the athletes at Penn State have rallied the community, making this a distinguished place that prides itself on success with honor! WE ARE...

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There is a reason why it is called happy valley. It has the classic feel of a college town with enough to do that one won't be bored but not so much that it is hectic.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: There is almost nowhere to park. You might as well just take the bus and save the hassle.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: There is some strictness, but it's not that tight. Police are mostly on campus to bust parties and under-age drinking.

4 College Junior

Greek Life: In my opinion, Greek life at Penn State is mostly focused on partying. The only things I've heard about Greek life here, are associated with parties. I have not seen anyone in Greek life do anything else.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: You may get aid, but not a lot. You have to get your own scholarships and grants to apply for, because financial aid will not help you.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I think that the campus housing is okay. Depending on your building, elevators may or may not be new, or the bathrooms may be newer or not. Overall, I think there aren't many bad things about the housing here, but you will definitely want to live off campus next year as an upperclassman.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Penn State is definitely a preppy/fratty school in terms of attire. Boat shoes, north face jackets and uggs are the norm. Penn State is a huge party school which means the girls are out in the small party dresses every thursday, friday and saturday night. The are tons of hot girls at penn state but they can be kinda cold since you're one of 40,000 students competing for a date.

2 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Penn State is officially a dry campus, except for the Nittany Suites, 21+, which is very selective (so, forget about it). RA's are not lenient and each strike you get, you must take a course on drinking (will run you about $300). If a State College cop gets you (on campus), it'll be an on-campus and off-campus violation, (about $650). Police and RA's are very strict and not reasonable. This is due to Penn State's old party reputation which they've been trying to eliminate. Academically, there is very little leniency and deadlines are usually pretty strict. However, attendance is not mandatory many times, due to big lecture halls.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: As frat parties can be fun from Thursday-Saturday night, they only allow in a select few, whether you are in a frat or have some good friends in them. Basically, this tempts every frosh to join a frat/sorority. Sorority girls are hot, but tend to stay in the Greek life for friends and "partners". Bar scene ONLY for 21+ as no fake ID can work, including ChiefID. Overall, not accessible enough.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: There is great school spirit, kids go out to every football game and get wild. Very successful sports teams all-around and a new Division 1 Hockey Team and New Arena

4 College Junior

Nightlife: There are a ton of bars in downtown. The most popular are Bar Bleu, Lion's Den, and Gingerbread Man (G-MAN). Nightclubs include Indigo and Levels. The night clubs sometimes offer things for 18-20.

5 College Junior

Diversity: You can find anything here. There are over 44,000 students. I have seen all ethnities and races. They are very LGBT friendly because they have their own office in the Bouke building. There are different clubs for political beliefs: College Democrats, College Republicans, Young Americans for Freedom, Young Americans for Liberty, etc. Same goes for religion. You can find just about anything here.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Dining: The dining is amazing. At the HUB, there is Sbarros, BK, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Panda, etc. If you live on-campus, there is a cafeterias in some of the buildings that have all type of food.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: The amount of hot girls are limitless. They are friendly and are open to conversation. No one can complain about the lack of hot girls.

Being a large campus (44k), there are all types of people. No matter your race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. you will find somebody that is like you.

2 College Junior

Greek Life: The Frats are pretty exclusive. It's very hard to get into one.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: The drug scene at Penn State isn't huge, but, depending on who you associate with that might be different. Alcohol and other drugs do not have to be a part of your life if you don't want them to be.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Penn State, especially with all of the things that have been going down, has been cracking down on students. They have been enforcing policy heavily. However, be smart and you'll be fine.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: In general, Greek Life on campus doesn't affect non-Greek students unless they choose to be affected by it. Some of the girls are snobs and some of the boys are bro's, but I have tons of friends who are in Greek Life who are completely normal. They throw "okay" parties and there's typically enough alcohol to go around.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking at Penn State puts students in tricky situations. Though it is possible to park on campus, the closest parking lots and ones that are available to students are WAY FAR AWAY from any classrooms. Be sure to get on campus super early. Also, parking down College Avenue is an ABSOLUTE nightmare and you must pay for it by the 15-minute interval as well. State is not a car-friendly/parking-friendly campus.

4 College Junior

Majors: I'm a adlt college student at penn state york. I'm a human development and family studies students. I have alot of my own experiences with this. with the classes that i'm taking is not that hard for me to experience in the classroom and the real world.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: There is a bit of over drinking but it happens at every campus. There are buses that run on and off campus and there are security poles if needed, campus security and the campus is well lit. They university is quick to send out alerts if there are problems or suspicions.


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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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