University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4200 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Facilities: Professors and learning support teachers are usually eager to help.

1 College Junior

Academics: Not Available – Many HD FS courses are not available on a consistant basis for adult learners at the York Campus.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: There have been some burglaries in the community around the school but very few at the school itself. Police are very involved.

2 Recent Alumnus

Weather: The weather at State College is very cold during winter. It is extremely windy since the location is at a high elevation. School is always open even during snow storm and cold weather. During summer, the weather is excellent for people to go out.

4 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Penn state offers a wide array of facilities for students. The PSU Paterno library is the center of learning. There are many buildings for student activities such as White Building which includes basketball, table tennis, swimming, weight room, volleyball, etc... In general most students are free to use these facilities depending on what you use. Penn state has a public gym but there is a membership fee a student must pay to get into the gym.

There are several athletic centers for students to play sports such as soccer, football, golf, and tennis. Campus is fairly clean and there are staffs cleaning the walkways, rooms, hallways, and roads. During snow, Penn state worker cleans the snow immediately and school is rarely closed even during snow.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Computer Engineer Student – My workload consist of writing programs, researching, as well as testing and debugging code. I did internship at Applied Research Laboratory at Penn State for 7 months where I worked with colleagues programming and managing the database. My workload progressively increased as I took higher level courses. Teachers were helpful during office hours as well as TA. They came in handy in our senior level classes such as Algorithms & Design, Signal Processing, Operating Systems class.

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Security on Campus – I am not aware of the campus security because I attend Penn State through an on-line program.

5 College Junior

Campus Housing: Great Social Atmosphere – Living on campus is living where all the action is; your friends are just a step away!

4 College Junior

Computers: Need for Personal Computer – It is absolutely necessary to have your own computer, there is so much work you are expected to do online. It is vital to succeeding at Penn State!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Academics: The Penn State University Park curriculum is unparalleled. So much is offered; there is something to satisfy everyone's interests.

5 College Student

Overall Experience: So Ready! I am a senior in High School going to attend Penn State in the coming fall. I have visited this school so many times that I feel I am already apart of the community. This school has so many great things to offer students and the essence of the campus is so inviting that you have a smile on your face whenever you walk on. I would choose this school for anyone. It is the perfect place to be if you are unsure what your future holds or you know exactly what you want to do with your life. All I know is that Penn State is the college for me.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Student

Computers: Fast Lab Internet – Penn State has many computer labs for students to choose from. Being that the campus has too huge libraries for students to go to and some computer labs in the specific schools, there is no reason for a computer not to be available. As for internet access, the school is now working on making the entire campus WiFi accessible, which is amazing since the school is so big. But rest assured, there is a plug in cable in every room for internet and the hub (huge student mall/hangout/food court/awesomeness)is wifi accessible.
At Penn State you are allowed 200 pages of paper to print and 400 if you print double sided. ;)

4 College Student

Local Atmosphere: Happy Valley – Penn State University Park is the main campus of the Penn State schools. It is located in a more isolated part of Pennsylvania but has a lot of charm. The school used to be one building with a nice town called State College around the block; but now State College has been overrun with college students and is filled with shops and places to eat. Being on that campus really makes you feel like you are living on your own in a big city. The best part of Penn State would definitely have to be the ice cream. It is so rich and fattening that they cannot sell it in stores because the fat content is too high. :)
C'mon, you choose a college based off the ice cream...

4 College Junior

Weather: The weather in Northeastern Pa is bizarre at times. It could be sunny, rain, and snow all in one day. But for the most part campus is pretty cold because the campus is located in the woods. We also have a problem with flash floods in the area but not specifically on campus. During the summer and the weather is beautiful, students will be playing sports on the fields or reading books in the grass.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: You Won't Get Bored – This branch campus of Penn State is located in Dallas, Pa. Dallas has a huge lake which is the main attraction in the warm weather season. Often times students enjoy free time hunting, fishing, and also shopping at the local malls. There are plenty of places to eat out at and enjoy a night on the town.

5 College Junior

Academics: Best Education for You – I am a Criminal Justice student at Penn State University and am very pleased with the education I have recieved so far. My professors are experienced in the field of study and therefore can present real world examples. Each student has a specific program attached to them in order to complete school with out taking unneccesary courses.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: You'll Find Your Pair – You find all sorts of guys and girls here at Penn State-fun, outgoing frat boys, hot sorority chicks, the studious, pretty girls next door, the sensitive, intelligent, slightly nerdy guys...and everyone in between. There's a huge party scene here where it's easy to meet people, if you're into that, or you can just approach people after class and say hello--people here are generally welcoming. People here generally have a fairly active social life, too, so once you get out of class you'll probably head over to hang out with your friends at his place, to the movies with your roommate, or to grab a cup of coffee with the girl you met in class rather than just heading back to your dorm.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: Fairly Diverse – On a campus this big, with 40 000 students, there are lots of people from all over the place and everyone can find their niche. There are clubs for just about anything you can imagine, and some things you'd never think of. There are a lot of locals who go to Penn State, and a very large percentage of the student body is from within Pennsylvania; however, there are also tons of people from all over the world, and people here are very easy going and accepting of everyone. It's very easy to make friends wherever you go, and the entire school has a community feel to it, despite the large student body.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: No Problems – I have never felt unsafe on the University Park campus. It has the small town feel, and the crime rate is extremely low in State College. Of course, there are petty thefts and the like everywhere, so be careful with personal possessions, and if you're into the party scene, ALWAYS be careful and use the buddy system, because when people start drinking at a party school, there is always a risk factor. But as far as violent crime goes, University Park seems to have a very good safety record. Penn State also has a Campus Police Escort service available, so if you do feel unsafe at any time walking somewhere alone, you can just call campus police and they'll send someone to escort you where you need to go.

5 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Haven't had any nagging issues. Just helpful in keeping things going - encouraging.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The guys are nice and mostly good looking. A ton are in frats, which isn't my thing but whatever.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: It's not so much hard to find off campus housing as it is hard to get. The dates of being put on a wait list/being offered an apartment overlap between different realtors and you can get stuck in some pretty inconvenient situations. Probably the only complaint I have about Penn State besides the cold.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I Love My Campus – Penn State may be a rural town but I wouldn't give it up for anything. Downtown is close and student friendly with plenty of options (there are a ton of food options on campus too). If you're a freshman, you have to live in East, if you're a sophomore, West or South, if you're a Junior or Senior you should be living off campus.

2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Takes Time to Complete – It takes a lot of time to complete the financial aid forms and you don't end up getting very much in the end.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of Choices – But apartments are REALLY expensive. Yes, a lot of them are right downtown, but you'll be paying for that location. Some are cheaper farther from campus, but then it's a pain to get on campus.


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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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