Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4679 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: I didn't get all the financial aid I was looking for, so I think there could be a better process to receiving financial aid. The whole process confuses me, so I have to ask for a lot of assistance to understand everything.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I feel completely safe on campus. Partly because this university is not located in a big city with crime. We are a town full of college students who have the same goal of getting our work done.Campus security keeps things pretty quiet.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: The facilities at Penn State are most all updated, being updated or planned to be updated soon. Some of them are way too hot in the winter or way too cool in the summer, but overall the building's architecture are very nice. Buildings like Old Main are very beautiful and iconic to Penn State.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The food around campus is great. If you don't like the dining halls, other eateries are open. All sorts of food are available. The food can get old but they do switch it up. Pricing is decent too. Pollock and West are definitely the best dining halls.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: My first week here there were a few sexual assaults, which was disconcerting. Yet, all of the resources to stay safe are there. We have security guards on campus that will walk you anywhere you need to go at all hours of the night. University Health Services is also top quality. While I was here there was a hate crime, and it was handled perfectly. There was a mandatory dorm meeting, it was talked about, it was not hidden from the students as to what incident took place, and as a community we work to make sure it doesn't happen again. Hate is not tolerated here.

5 College Freshman

Academics: While the classes are relatively large, there are always resources available to go to and get one-on-one attention. There are so many opportunities available here, and academic advisers are extremely helpful.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Downtown has a ton of places that are fun to go to, and everything you could need is right there. There are always parties to go to, Thursday-Sunday, and if that's not your thing Penn State makes a great effort to have fun things to do for those who don't. Late Night at the HUB is every weekend, they get the newest movies to go see for free, the other day they even had laser tagging! It's a really safe and fun environment.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greek life is very prominent on campus, but not overbearing. If you are not interested it is easily avoidable, and parties are always available to go to if that's your kind of thing. If you want to be a part of Greek life, this is definitely a good place to be.

3 College Freshman

Parking: To have a car on campus is $700, that's a lot of money. However, due to this, there are enough parking spaces for those who choose to have one. Honestly, you do not need a car if you live on campus, CATA bus will take you anywhere you need to go around State College, and buses like Greyhound and Megabus will normally take you close to home.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: The academics at Penn State are great for any student not wanting to major in Liberal Arts. It's not that the Liberal Arts programs aren't good, but I feel that they're better at a Liberal Arts school.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: I am in the college of Engineering and I'm pretty satisfied with my education thus far. However, I feel that some of the requirements for Engineering majors are a little ridiculous. All of my professors thus far have been very experienced in outside applications of their classes which makes them easier to learn from.

4 College Junior

Transportation: There are many transportation options at Penn State, and the free campus buses run from 7 AM to about 3AM often there are close to 8 buses running at a time.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: The police are very good at their jobs, and do not fool around. They will punish you if you get caught doing something illegal, they are especially strict with underage drinking.

3 College Junior

Weather: Generally nice weather, but a little bit too cloudy on most days. It snows a lot which is great.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Weather: It rains alot but winters at Penn State aren't too bad. Autumn is the best season here.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Athletics: Penn State is huge on athletics, not only for main sports teams but for club sports as well. There's always a sports club/team that you can get involved with.

3 Recent Alumnus

Computers: Penn State has a large number of computer labs available throughout campus, but be careful! First and foremost, they can fill up pretty quickly--especially at the "popular" locations such as the library. Also, a lot of these labs are reserved for class-times so be sure to check the schedules to make sure they're available. Because of this, a lot of people find it more convenient to bring their own laptop, but it's not necessary. As long as you're familiar with the lab locations, finding an open computer shouldn't be too difficult.

1 person found this useful Report
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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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