University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4696 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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
4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Penn State has a reputation for being a party school. It's definitely true--there is a lot of drinking during events and weekends and things can get rowdy at times. However, as long as you exercise common sense (such as keeping an eye on your belongings, keeping your dorm/apartment secure, and travelling in groups, especially late at night), there's no reason to feel unsafe. Campus Police generally does a very good job at keeping things under control. There are also various "call-boxes" located throughout campus; by pushing the button on these call-boxes, you can notify emergency services should the need arise.

If you find yourself needing to get home at a late hour but feel uncomfortable, there are also escort and taxi services available.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Public transportation at Penn State is decent, but it's not the greatest. You will have busses that will take you downtown and to different parts of campus as well as busses that will take you to the surrounding areas where a lot of the apartments are located. The busses usually arrive on time but the problem is they fill up quickly, especially during events or when the weather gets bad. On a brighter note, the busses that run on campus and into downtown are free of charge and run pretty late at night.

If you don't feel comfortable travelling late at night or need to travel a bit further, Penn State also offer taxi services that aren't that expensive.

4 Recent Alumnus

Majors: I had absolutely no difficulty with getting into the English major. All I needed to do was take two required courses and announce my intent to major in English at the end of my sophomore year. There were no tests or essays involved in the decision process--you just needed to pass the required courses.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: The State College area is really great for dining because of the wide variety of restaurants. There are many types of ethnic food places, including Chinese, Korean, Mexican, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Thai, Italian, Austrian, and American, just to name a few. There are also some newer cafes that have great vegan or vegetarian options. Many of the restaurants are reasonably priced and there are many options for dollar pizza or fast food as well. Likewise there are some nicer dining options such as The Tavern, Allen Street Grille, Mario's or Facia Luna's if you don't mind traveling off campus a bit. Some more moderate places with drink options would be The Corner Room, The Deli, Rotelli, Inferno or Noodles & Co. Really you can find just about any type food to satisfy you as well as specialty places like Kiwi Frozen Yogurt or Indulge Cupcakes.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Transportation: There are 2 bus systems for transportation at our school. One is the on campus system where there are 2 bus routes that loop in opposite directions to get students from one end of campus to the other, stopping at convenient locations. On the weekends one of the loop routes is available until 4am. This system also has two more busses that only run back and forth on the busiest road during the busy times of day. This system is also free for everyone
The other system of busses travels to various location off campus and costs $ 1.50 each way. Students who live off campus near to one of the bus stops can purchase a bus pass. These busses usually arrive on schedule and make it easy to travel to the store, the mall, and even to the movies or bowling. However, these busses do not run as late as on campus busses so you need to pay attention to the schedule.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Diversity: Most people I've come across here at Penn State perfectly fits a certain stereotype.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Penn State has the most average looking people. They're neither ugly or superb, so you wind up settling for what's okay.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Nightlife: If you're under 21, the only thing to do around here is to go to apartment parties. They're all the same. After you become of age, there isn't much of a selection of bars to pick from.


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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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