Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4655 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Girls Are Gorgeous – I don't know what it is about PA, but the majority of our females are drop-dead beautiful in every aspect of the school, atheletics, sororities, even ENGINEERING ladies are serene. The guys probably could use a bit of make-over, since most quality guys (like myself *cough* :P) tend to be studying late into the night and prioritize our academics over looks. But who cares about the guys when you've got bodacious gals tromping around the school all day?

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Amazing Variety for Small Town – I come from a surburban community outside of D.C. in southern MD, and I was shocked to see how a town smaller than my own boasts extreme selection and goods that rival that of much larger locales. And most are located only minutes away - walking. You've got your staple fast foods, your pizzarias, your coffe-shop sandwich places, your fancy dining on the Corner, your mongolian stir fry, your italian, mexican... the list goes on.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: We Are...: the Greatest Student Philanthropists – Penn State is a wonderful place. Academically challenging, especially for technical engineering majors (I'm BioE, Chem opt.) as well as athletically supercharged and service-oriented, Penn State is frothing with all sorts of opportunity for the young adult. Events like THON are year-long huge endeavors that symbolize the commitment our students make to progress in their own lives. And as dusk approaches, the night life is wild and entertaining, to say the least. I love this place, the town, the pastures, the old buildings. But Penn State has always been, and will always be a construct created from its people and community.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: If You Can Get It, Get It – Dorm life in college is one of the biggest changes for most students coming in, and East Halls have some of the largest bouts of brand new freshmen -- a fantastic opportunity to meet TONS of new people in a very short amount of time. As a new student, shoot for East. However, only freshmen are guaranteed housing -- all other classes put in a lottery submission to try to grab a contract. There's no real gaming of the system; luck of the draw. :/ As an upperclassman, "West is Best", and Pollock/South is smack-dab in the center of campus and houses most sororities. On-campus beats off-campus mainly because of convience in getting around campus and FOOD IS ONLY 50 YARDS AWAY!

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Everything's Within Walking Distance – You can walk from one end of campus (IST/Engineering >> Stadium) in about 15 minutes at a brisk pace. All outlying areas of prominent State College locals seem to spiral out from campus, with high density in the surrounding few blocks, which are again accessible within about 5-10 minutes depending where you are. In addition, 4 constant bus loops zip around campus arriving every 5-10 minutes to transfer students around campus/downtown. Really shouldn't be a problem -- I personally suggest walking to keep you in shape and interested in the college scene. You miss a lot on the bus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It's big and lonely at first but everyone seems to be there for the same reason and have a lot of pride in the school it's like a big family and it gets even closer if you're in Greek life

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Typical Asshoe Frat Guy – Not gentlement they're all asshoes and tools typical frat guy , a lot of northern people

3 College Junior

Weather: Snow, Wind, and Sun – Penn State University is in the mountains, so we do get a lot of snow and wind. However, when it isn't winter season, we have some nice warm and hot days with a lot of sunshine.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Diversity: A Lot of Everything – The diversity on campus is huge. There are so many different groups of people, like Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Australians, White, and African American just to name a few. We accept all types of people no matter what the color of their skin is, their sexual orientation, political beliefs, and religion. We have a LGBTQ program for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, and questioners. We have political campaigns and meetings for elections. We have religious clubs and a few churches.

3 College Junior

Athletics: Sports Are Fun and Important but Not as Important as Academics – Sports, mostly football, is huge at Penn State. Basketball and volleyball are probably the next biggest. Even though we have been dealing with the Sandusky situation, we were always big and focused on academics. There are always job fairs, career options, internships, and opportunities for academics.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Labs Are Everywhere – More than enough free prints are given to you at the begining of each school year. The computers have the most up to date technology.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Good Personalities – There are a ton of different individuals at PSU. Everyone can find a good friend in the crowd.

3 College Junior

Diversity: It Could Be More Diverse – Penn State does a lot to try and promote diversity, but in reality, there isn't much at all. We do have a lot of international programs and international students, but they are outnumbered by the white Americans.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Buses and Walking – Penn State is a large campus where the majority of students walk, even if they live downtown. The campus itself is beautiful and I actually enjoy walking. But there is a great bus system called the CATA that is free and loops from downtown and across campus. It takes you to places as common as Allen St, to as far as Beaver Stadium or the Bryce Jordan Center (just not on football gameday). If you live farther from campus, there is a system that you can pay to use, also. You can use it to go grocery shopping, walmart, or even the mall.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: For a Small City, a Lot of Choices – Maybe it's because I'm from a small town, but for such a small city, there are a lot of options. There is a variety that ranges from nicer dining, such as The Allen Street Grill, to the cheap $1 slices of Canyon Pizza that attract hundreds of students late at night. There's also a website called lion menus that lists all the local and delivery capable restaurants in town. Personally, I love the Corner Room. It's not very expensive, simple, and is a classic in State College with a great view of the Campus.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Some of the Best – I've visited many other schools in the region and no school offers what Penn State does. Many buildings on campus are up-to-date and modern with the exception of a few. Check out buildings like the IST building, Millennium Science Complex and the Business Building for good examples. There's also the HUB which is in the center of campus and features not only the bookstore, and restaurants, but great study areas, organization headquarters, and just some good places to relax. Lastly there are the athletic facilities. Many know about Beaver Stadium, but the Bryce Jordan Center and baseball field are amazing as well. We're also in the process of building a brand new hockey complex, too.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: No matter What everyone here is like a huge family everyone is friendly and nice. After a big game day you can feel the mood of the entire campus

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: No Two People Are the Same – There are 40,000 kids on campus and no one is the same the vast number of kids from everywhere promotes an environment where there is no pressure to conform. rather diversity is a good thing it defines you and sets you apart from the 40,000 other students

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Always Somewhere to Go – The off-campus dining at Penn State is excellent. For the most part, the food is affordable - especially if you seek out daily specials! Restaurants line College Ave (right across from campus) and there are many places farther away from campus, as well. Many places accept LionCash, and the variety is impressive. LionMenus.com allows you to order delivery from almost any place in town online. Check out Champs for nachos and wings ($1.00 nachos on Tuesday nights and 35 cent wings Mondays and Wednesdays!) and hit up McDonald's on Wednesdays for hamburgers on the cheap.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Many Ways to Get Around! Penn State has great transportation options for students. I have my car at school, and I have always been able to find parking spaces. (I do not park on campus, though - I park in lots very close by. The parking rates are affordable at around 75 cents an hours!) If you do not have a car, the CATA buses service both the campus and the surrounding community. Fares are $1.50 per trip, or you could purchase a monthly, semester, or yearly bus pass. If you take the CATA just around campus, though, fares are free. There are also a few taxi services in State College, and the town is extremely bike-friendly. You will have no trouble getting around!!

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I've visited many campuses and none blew me away as much as Penn State did. The mixture between modernized and traditional buildings is perfect, and everything around you is just top-notch. I also like that there are seasons there

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Nightlife: There's plenty to do at Penn State during the nighttime. There's a lot of food places and parties. There's also a whole lot of drunk people stumbling on the sidewalk which is great to see if you're people watching.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Athletics: Love Sports – The athletic program is extremely prestigious at Penn State.

3 College Junior

Parking: It's very expensive to keep your car up at school. I'm not bringing my car for this very reason. It's also pretty hard to find a spot. The bright side is that I'm going to have to walk to classes which is good exercise.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: With the recent scandal at this school, it's hard to give Penn State a high grade in health and saafety. But now, I can say it will be safer than ever. The president of the school has recently made the health and safety of students the prime focus of our school.

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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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