University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4621 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Junior

Majors: I didn't encounter any challenges with getting into my program and I was really happy about that because I heard of other students having a slight problems in dealing with their problems.

3 College Junior

Majors: I have not gotten very deep into my program so I'm not sure how much or how little I will like it. I'm sure since this is what I want to do for until I'm able to retire that I will enjoy the program very much. But until I do, I'm going to go off of the classes I've had already and so far its pretty good.

3 College Junior

Majors: I haven't really gotten into my major very deeply but i can't really complain thus far. I'd really like to find an internship or job that would pertain to what i want to do so that i can have some experience in the field before i graduate.

5 College Junior

Majors: I haven't had one but would like to and PSU has many available

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There are always apartment parties going on, if you know someone who has an apartment. Greeks always have parties going on too, mostly Thursdays and Saturdays. The bars are packed all weekend as well... lots of options too. You can always find something within walking distance.

2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Penn State rarely gives out merit scholarships. They are usually awarded through the honors college or the college in which your major is in. You do not have to apply for these. However, within every college, there are additional scholarships you can apply for through organizations and individual donors. These are relatively hard to get as well.

1 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Sororities live primarily on campus and take up prime real estate. The on campus living is awarded through a lottery to everyone BUT sororities and it's just unfair to all the other students here for an education. The girls in greek life are also very ditzy and annoying. You can always point them out walking around. The frats are just as annoying... typical frat guys looking at women like objects, wearing pinnies and flat brims. Something I would not want to be a part of, especially here.

5 College Junior

Computers: The computers are always top-notch. They are never outdated either. Sometimes it's difficult finding a computer to use because of the number of students, but if you know "secret" places, there are always computers available there.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Very helpful for the most part. As long as you have an academic plan, you're set.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Penn State's athletic program is extremely great and versatile. There are basically any sports that you can think of for either gender and most of them have both basic teams and varsity sports. The teams all perform as one unit and have very good friendships with each other. When it comes to football, the fan support is unbelievable as well as school spirit.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: At Penn State there are so many different type of people that there is something for everybody. There is always a group of people that you can find that share the same interests as you. There are attractive people everywhere so if you are interested in a relationship, you'll be fine, there are a ton of them.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: The weather is very clear most of the time that it isn't winter. But when it is winter it does snow quite often, which makes for traveling being arduous. Seeing as it usually isn't a short walk to all your classes, this can prove to be annoying seeing as classes rarely are cancelled.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Facilities: Lots of improvements better cafiteria food, non smoking in front of the doors

5 College Junior

Drug Safety: They have action teams on campus they focus on drug education

4 College Freshman

Diversity: There is literally every type of person at penn state, even beyond just cultural diversity. I personally have two roommates from Malaysia.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: Parking is horrible on campus, bring your car if you want but youll definately walk to every class. You can get a bus almost everywhere so youll be fine without one.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: The campus is very safe. There are cops riding around occasionally but nothing ever happens and even when you go downtown you feel safe. There's so many college students and just State College residents around it's almost impossible to be alone.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Majors: My program is very challenging to get into, but I didn't have any problems or challenges myself. Your SAT score is important but also your extracurricular activities.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Majors: I'm in nursing and so far I like it. I heard all the majors offered are good and challenging, so everyone really is learning and advancing their plans for the future.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Health & Safety: You'll find crime at any university, but on campus is usually pretty safe. All of the dorm buildings require you to swipe your id to get inside, and all of the individual dorms, of course, have a keyed lock. Auxiliary police walk the campus regularly, and if you find yourself alone at night and want someone to walk you to your dorm, or even if you and a couple friends are feeling worried about walking from downtown to your dorm, you can call the Security Escort number (814-865-9255), and they'll come pick you up and take you wherever you're going. They generally get there within 15 minutes, depending on where you are, and they're very friendly. There are also a number of sidewalk lights throughout campus, so it's easy to avoid the dark alleyways and things between buildings.

3 College Senior

Computers: There are a number of computer labs throughout campus, and at least one computer lab at each dorm area (East, North, West, Pollock, South), numerous labs throughout campus buildings and classrooms, and several labs throughout the library. One of the fancy new additions is a digital display in the library telling you how many computers are available, and where they're located. The commons generally have wireless, but it doesn't usually go beyond the building, and the dorms aren't wireless, so make sure you bring an Ethernet cable. Most people do bring their own computers, but you can usually find an open computer somewhere on campus, assuming it's not near midterms or finals.

3 College Senior

Diversity: While the majority of people at PSU are white and straight, there's a decent number of people here from other countries, LGBT, or of other ethnic backgrounds. PSU makes a big deal of being proud of their diversity, as well, and has added a Sorority dedicated to women of other cultures or backgrounds. There is also a lot of support for the LGBT club, and there are a number of religious clubs, as well as a Democrats club and a Republicans club. No matter what your background, religion, or political affiliation, there's any number of clubs you can join.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Senior

Drug Safety: A big thing at Penn State is alcohol. While there are plenty of activities on campus to keep you busy on the weekends, PSU is known for its parties, and depending on who you make friends with there can be a lot of peer pressure to drink. The dorms are dry, even if you're of legal drinking age, but it doesn't necessarily stop people. Depending on who you hang out with, you can see a lot of weed, but there's virtually no hard drugs in any visible sense.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The best thing about this university is the school spirit. I've never seen so many people have such a huge amount of school spirit. The atmosphere is also very studious and is a great place for college kids.

4 College Freshman

Computers: The computers are decent. They are not all brand new, however there are a lot of them available. They get the job done.


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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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