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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4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Penn State is the best college to attend. Even with the most recent Sandusky scandal, it gave the student body the opportunity to unite. I see so much pride while walking around campus. Because of the current hardships of the football athletic program, students are more than ready to support the upcoming football season and the team. I've always known I would apply to Penn State. My family has a history of alum that attended this school, so my heart always chose Penn State. And I can finally say that I am a Penn State Proud student.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Mostly Sunny – During the summer, it's been mostly sunny, with only a few days of rain as well as warm. I'm aware that it gets colder and a little grey, but for the most part, it's typical deciduous forest climate weather.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's Everything – greek, other parties, clubs are okay. as far as transportation post-party, the cata doesn't run, so you have to walk. if you don't know where a party is, and you're walking around, it might be a hour/two-hour walk until you find something in the *summer*.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Let's Be Real. 80-90% of all students on campus are moderately attractive to really attractive. As per usual, there's still some weirdos, but there's still a lot of beautiful people. Everywhere.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Pretty Normal – the dorms are older, and it shows- no ac, no wifi but remembering the dorms that i saw at other colleges, it's really normal. they do give you a microwave and mini-fridge, and you bring a ethernet cable, cable (for tv), blu-ray player, tv and you're set. would also recommend a printer. the best are considered North because they're big and have a/c- mostly special living options and suites. the south halls are being renovated, and look like they're going be sweet, and relatively good location (near downtown, and hub). the pollock dorms are weird in that they have beds arranged like a L which makes it awkward to split the room in half. closets are decently sized, and there's room for storage under the beds and closets. rooms also include five drawers for each person in a built-in dresser. very small desk (2 1/2 ft.) but you can study other places. socially, i've found people who go out friday, saturday and then drink sundays and people (like me) who'll just go out occasionally. 1/2 of the students move out of housing at the end of every year b/c there's only so long you can stand communal living.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: As a Girl, I Feel Pretty Safe – As a girl, I feel pretty safe around campus walking alone and what not no matter what during the day to late night. however, i'm not a partier and i travel in a group mostly if i'm going to a party, and that would be the only time i didn't feel 100% safe. there was a incident earlier in the summer that happened at 3:30 am, so lesson: don't stay out later than like 1/2 am. there's blue lights over on east pollock and the road where the library is. if you're going to party, designate a sober person so they make sure all of you get home, or trust the person you're going home with (i.e. you've met when sober, and feel like they're a nice person). use the walking service if you don't feel safe.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There's a Reason We Have So Many Supportive Alumni – downtown relies on mostly student business and students are generally very supportive of each other and the school

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Not Great, but Still Not Dining Hall Food – It's great going downtown every once in a while, and the food is going to cost just a few dollars more than the dining halls typically. I haven't found a place that's super amazing or anything yet, but it cuts down on the monotony of dining hall food for sure.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Computers: Computer labs are plentiful, and not hard to get to at all. You get 110 free sheets of paper at a lab per semester, and that gets used up quick, especially if you print in color (color counts as 3 sheets). It's worth the investment in a printer for your dorm. The network is really fast, and the 10 gb limit for downloads isn't used up quickly unless you stream the Olympics, for example. If you go over, the internet slows considerably. Consider buying a wireless router if you don't want to deal with a ethernet cable or you want to go to a different room on your floor to use your laptop (the 10 gb limit still applies for a wireless router) Wireless is good throughout campus, except near and in dorms. Also: go to RESCOM for any tech. issues, because they'll solve it for you. It's located in the commons nearest you, and free- useful particularly at the beginning of each semester.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: From a Future Lion Ambassador – The gym for regular students (I'm not a Varsity athlete) is very nice- with tons of weightlifting equipment, elliptical, bikes, gym classes (yoga & power remix are amazing!). All the buildings on campus don't have the same look, but it's a nice mix of modern (see: Millennium Science Building, IT Building, new Law Building, Creamery, HUB) and traditional (Willard, Old Main, any other buildings) in an non-offsetting kind of way. I wanted a blend, and it's a blend. The library is divided in different areas (study, chill, computer lab, stacks) so you can always find a place where you feel comfortable. By far the best place I've found to study is Pollock Commons, with a quiet room and a hang-out room with TVs, billiards and air hockey. If you want to go be alone to study, go to the Alumni Center. It's very quiet, because people think they can't go into the building.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Not for Freshmen – I only received a minimum amount- about $5000/yr coming from a middle-class family. I've heard that although there's not a lot of freshmen aid, there's scholarships you can apply for during and after freshmen year.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Athletics: Still Going Strong – Even with all the drama concerning Sandusky and the fallout over that, all the student body is determined to support the football team even more so than the past, especially the incoming class of 2016. Generally speaking, as a legacy who has been coming to sporting events at PSU since I was a baby, the students are always supportive of the athletes, and that's not going to change. Pretty much everyone who's not a athlete is sporty/preppy enough to still go spend a night cheering on one team or another.

3 College Freshman

Parking: Not Worth It – Parking spaces are limited with a rather expensive price tag attached, so students mostly walk or use bikes, which is a lot more convenient (with bike holder things in front or on the sides of every building). In the summer, it's easy to have a bike with the extremely reduced student population. In the fall, it's going to be a hassle with so many people and the sidewalks filled.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: The diversity at this university is definitely existant. As an asian attending this school, I mostly have asian friends. This is not to say, that I usually only have asian friends--actually all my friends back home are white. The HUB, which is the center of the university, can give you a clear view of the diversity at Penn State. There are definitely more races at Penn State than just one.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Transportation: Easy to Get Around – The transportation at Penn State is very accessible and helps you get around everywhere. It is not hard to understand and even in the winter the lines are not long and it is easy to get to class and anywhere you may need to go in downtown. The buses are the best option and every now and then I may have used a taxi.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: I'm currently in a sorority in Greek life at Penn State. I would say it definitely is a big part of my experience at school and there are also many other organizations to get involved in. Being in Greek life allows you to have weekend plans and also provides activities to be involved with during the week, when you are available. It also opens you up to a network of other Greeks within Penn State and makes the transition into college much easier. I would definitely recommend joining Greek life, it has been an amazing part of my experience at Penn State.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Parking: Great If Youre a Full Time Student – Parking is plentiful and cheap if you live on or right off of campus

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: School Orientated – most girls on campus are aimed at a good education. Don't get me wrong you have your rich girls there to gossip and party but over all everyone is classy and there to learn first and foremost.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Pride and Spirit! Penn State is filled with so much pride and spirit it practically flows in the drinking water!

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Tons of Help, Tons of Pride – I love being in my major at PSU. Everyone in the advising department knows their stuff. They seek you out and let you know about things that would interest you such as clubs and internships. They know exactly what classes to advise you to take and they understand all of my concerns. They are also extremely Penn State Proud!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Great Food – The food is better at PSU than I have had at any other college. Their is a ton of variety and there are dining halls and places to use your meal points all over campus.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life at Penn State is very influential, almost 20 % of the students are involved in greek life. The Sororities live on their own dorm floors and the Fraternities have houses that members can live in. Most greek organizations are very involved socially and most participate in the huge charity event called THON, which raises millions of dollars for pediatric cancer.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: CATA Buses Are Great – The Penn State bus system, CATA bus is extremely helpful. Buses are available to take you on-campus for free, or off-campus for $1.50

2 College Freshman

Weather: Weather in Happy Valley isn't always very happy. LOTS of rain and snow, and usually happening at random times.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Quite a Few Off-Campus Options – There are a lot of off-campus housing options for upperclassmen, but some of the better ones and ones closer to campus can be hard to get or pricey.

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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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