Location
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$29,566 ($16,992)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4776 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Nightlife: If you like getting belligerently drunk, this is the place for you! If not, choose your housing carefully. Try to avoid big apartment buildings

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: There's such a wide variety of people at penn state that it's really easy to find somewhere to fit in if you want to. Most people are friendly and open if you are. I've found that there are much more judgmental girls than guys and it's easier for me, as a female, to have a lot of platonic male friendships. People in your classes are generally friendly and helpful and if you want to find someone to study with it's easy. I came into Penn State already in a long term relationship, which is out of the normal for most students, and I've never had any problems with people disrespecting that.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Penn State is an amazing school academically. As a premedicine major I've taken a lot of difficult science classes so far and almost every professor I've had has been enthusiastic, engaging and well informed. There are tons of free and paid resources for getting help including guided study groups, penn state tutors, learning assistants, office hours, teaching assistants, review sessions, etc. Workload varies wildly by course but I've never felt like it was more than I could handle. Generally, the more credits you have the earlier you get to schedule which means you're likely to get into the classes you want at the times you want. If you have any AP credits I recommend getting them transferred, which is an easy process, so you get an early class registration date.

5 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I really can't afford Penn State on my own, even as an in-state student. Thankfully I've been awarded many scholarships and grants through the university that I didn't even have to apply for! Also in my freshman spring semester I was having a really hard time finishing off my tuition payment and the university gave me a loan without any hassle at all.

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I've never been a victim of or witnessed any serious crime at PSU. It feels incredibly safe even walking around downtown at night. On campus at every corner there's a "blue light" where you can call the police if you feel unsafe and they will escort you.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The housing process is incredibly easy to figure out and if you have any questions there are a lot of people willing to help any time you need it. East dorms are incredibly small and old but the environment there is great. You get to meet a lot of awesome people and there's always something going on. The cost of housing really isn't bad in my opinon and it's generally cheaper than living downtown. Pollock dining is delicious and the pollock dorms are pretty nice. If you can live somewhere other than east, especially in North, you'll have more space and better amenities but you'll be further away from all the other freshmen.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Once again I'm online at Penn State, but in each incident of living off campus dining was good quite a few places to choose from.

3 College Senior

Transportation: I am no longer on campus or at the commuter campus. I take classes online. As far as commuting the transportation was convenient. Living on campus you needed a car.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Off-Campus housing is expensive especially if you want to live close to campus, but Penn State does a good job helping students find a place to live.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Smeal College of Business provides immense opportunities for students. With so many alumni and prestigous faculty, it is easier to find internships and obtain full time jobs.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Lots of different places to go to. I never really feel bored because of the many opportunities for meeting others, activities, clubs, things to do downtown,etc.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: The Cata bus makes it very easy to get around both campus quickly as well as the surrounding area. You really do not need a car!

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Penn State has quite the campus. With plenty of things to do and tons of resources (both from professors, research labs, 2 central libraries and plenty major-specific libraries), Penn State gives opportunities like no other and for that is an amazing university

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: State College, Pennsylvania was just rated one of the safest cities in the US. There is a strong police presence and the dorm security is great!

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Living in west halls is probably the best on campus living. The food is great and the rooms are fairly spacious. However the housing contract process is a bit annoying following freshman year.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: At Penn State no one judges anyone and if some sort of incident occurs it is taken care of immediately! There are groups that speak out and help and support others. Along with different organizations and clubs that allow you to interact with others from different view points to your own.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: For the most part the atmosphere is such a positive experience. There are always events going on whether its a THON event, an athletic game, or community builders. The shopping downtown is convenient and most stores aren't too pricey and since it's a college town the locals support us 100%.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: At Penn State Greek life contributes to THON a large bit by the money they raise and the amounts or sororities and fraternities that are here. Besides that they're there for mostly parties and social events. It's not a huge deal if you're not a part of Greek life because there are so many clubs and organizations you can join to meet new people, and try new things.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of great places just a walk from campus that take Lioncash so you don't have to carry money. Or you can take a taxi or bus to locations that are a little further that also accept Lioncash and have great atmospheres along with amazing food. You have so many options as well anywhere from Chinese to all American or some very high end dinning as well.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Already mentioned. Challenging courses, heavy workload. It's hard to manage five classes at once.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Movies and sports games on most weekends. FUN. Everyone outside in the nice weather.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Tough courses. Interesting content. Approachable instructors.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: While there are many restaurants downtown, a lot of them serve the same type of food (take-out or fast-food like). Restaurants that aren't take out are often on the pricey side. However, these restaurants are very well liked. There are few chain restaurants near the campus; to get to a chain restaurant you need a car or need to pay to take the bus.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: The only decent amount of financial aid I received was through the government. With a very high GPA and high SAT and ACT scores, I only received one scholarship through Penn State and it was only through the school of Arts and Architecture.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: The sororities don't have houses of their own and therefore have to partner with a frat to do any sort of hosting or social event. I don't think the sororities should have to rely on the frats. Although there are some faults, the Greek Life does a lot of fundraising and awareness for Thon and other charitable organizations.

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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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