University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: There are people from all over the world at Penn State, and they all bring something very interesting to the table.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Expensive and sometimes I enjoy the food, while other times I do not.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I appreciate how patient and well spoken the financial aid advisors were. It made the process smooth.

2 people found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Drug Safety: I currently reside in Washington State, but am attending online classes through Penn State. Therefore, I am unable to provide an accurate answer.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Nightlife: If you want to trust me, you can go out every single night of the week. I know this because I do. Wednesday-Saturday is obviously more crazy but lets be real we got 40,000 kids

2 College Freshman

Drug Safety: don't let anyone fool you, the other people that are posting in this know nothing. Penn State has lots of durgs, I've mainly seen drinking, smoking, cocaine, xanax, and adderall all of which have been seen pretty frequently. While no one is dumb about it don't dare believe that at a school of 40,000 you're not going to run into the hard stuff

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Penn state has a beautiful campus, with hundreds of activities and events to keep students entertained. School work is manageable and worth it. Tons of fast food eateries around for ones enjoyment. State of the art facilities and areas for working out and studying.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Penn State's policy is there to ensure the safety of it's students and well-being of everyone on campus.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: I think there is a reasonable level of institutionalized control that insures student safety and comfort within the parameters set forth. While those who attend college to drink and party freely away from their parents are always going to be in conflict with regulations regarding conduct, there are plenty of students who show up intent on a quality education and safe living environment.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: At Penn State, you will find a large student body consistent from all walks of life. That is probably the best thing about Penn State, the diversity of students. To be specific, the girls are mostly party and sorority girls who only seem to care about their social life. When meeting girls in classes though, you are able to find genuine scholarly girls who would make for really great friends. As for the guys, there is also a huge amount of frat guys who are only interested in partying but they can also be academically focused at the same time.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The freshmen dorms at Penn State are average. There is a wide variety of freshmen dorms to choose from but the majority of them are congregated in the farthest corner of campus, making the trek to and from classes a huge hassle. The dorms, as a whole, are okay. They don't have air conditioning which is a burden, specially in August through October, when the cold weather still has not kicked in and you have to study in your dorm. I will definitely try to steer clear from freshmen dorms my sophomore year and attempt to get a dorm in a more centralized area.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: I did receive financial aid but it was not enough to cover a large part of my tuition. I went to the financial aid office several times and made multiple calls to receive more information about what loans to apply for but I never got clear answers. It felt like every person I spoke to gave me a different answer and I could never get a clear response on what steps to take. I suggest trying to speak to one financial aid representative each time or having a personal financial aid officer if your college allows it.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: If you cheat, you will regret it. If you get caught more than twice with alcohol and your underage, they'll suspend you, or kick you out of the dorms so you have nowhere to live. Just be smart, and youll be fine.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Penn State is known for being a bit of a party school. Alcohol is definitely visible. As for drugs, thats less visible. You might see some, but it's not as frequent and there's not really pressure to try them.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: You have to start looking for housing off campus early. If you wait until second semester, chances are youll get stuck in a place that's more expensive than its worth. Live close to campus because its convenient and not at the housing that's further away. Parkings doable, its just expensive to get a parking pass and safety is pretty good. I've never had a problem and my friends haven't either

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: So Much to Do – Penn state has a bunch of on campus activities as well as outside activities for every student

5 College Junior

Computers: Penn State has great resources and excellent upgrades on technology around campus

5 College Student

Athletics: Nothing better than a football Saturday in Happy Valley, bowl ban or not, the support and intensity is unmatched. White outs, gameday chants, and the student section are unbelievable. Other teams get huge audiences as well because students love to come out for something to do, and to unleash the PSU pride. Besides football, Penn State boasts ranked soccer teams and lacrosse team, a volleyball powerhouse, and a NCAA National Championship wrestling team.

5 College Student

Local Atmosphere: Atmosphere Is Incredible – Nothing beats State College, PA in terms of atmosphere. An absolutley beautiful campus surrounded by people who live and breate Penn State. Saturday football games are unlike any other, you need to see it for yourself. There's something to do for literally everyone.

3 College Student

Diversity: Better Than My Highschool – At my highschool we were 98% white, and it's great to see the world open up a bit and meet new people at such a large place

College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I Don't Live Off Campus, but – the houses vary depending on where You want to live, some spots are really decent (kind reminds me of my hometown, Erie PA) It depends on the location or neighborhood

College Freshman

Parking: Parking varies depending where you park, parking near dorms is like parking in your garage, but some parking spots have limitations depending on the color of the parking sign, (for example: yellow means reserved parking for staff)

2 College Freshman

Computers: windows computers are alright, (except the neglected updates like java and flash for example) But the macs are SUPET SLOW, I takes me 5 min to log on.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Being in the middle of no where has its advantages and disadvantages. The cost for one, in some places is a little crazy, while others are reasonable. Living on-campus the convenience of down town is being able to go out and not finding a way back off campus. Some places to check out would be Indigo, one of the good clubs and Bar Blue they have good discounts.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: It is a very clean environment, if there is anything broken it gets fixed quickly even by the next day. Construction is quick and usually takes place over the summer. People are helpful for the most part and very nice to strangers. Feel very comfortable walking home by myself even at the wee hours in the morning. People steal bikes like its nothing though so buy a lock. You hear of one or two thefts but not enough to lock your door every night. Police are there to help and prevent aggression and they ignore the drinking.

1 person found this useful Report

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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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