Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Love It! Penn State is an amazing school who's reputation graduating top notch students is unsurpassed. I love the online courses that I'm able to take and the flexibility it allows me as a returning adult. I would choose Penn State over and over again.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Majors: Returning Adult – The process was a bit more difficult than I originally thought, but I've been out of school for many years and I realize that things change. The most important criteria for my selection of colleges is the reputation they have in the job market, along with the availability of many courses to take relevant to my degree.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Drug Safety: Walking around Penn State in the evening you would see many students drinking. The drug scene did not seem too overwhelming. If you saw someone taking drugs it would mainly be smoking. Drinking is definitely present at Penn State

3 College Junior

Majors: Biology Love – I love learning about everything we have thus far in Biology class. I am not pleased with some of the Chemistry courses. I do not see a problem finding a job in the Biology field, but I feel that it is quite absurd that we have to take just as much Chemistry as Biology courses. I thought I was a Biology major the last time I checked?

4 College Junior

Majors: Awesome Experience – Overall I would say that I had a wonderful experience at Penn State so far. The Professors that enjoy teaching their subject definitely go above and beyond. The workload can be overwhelming at first, but I know it will pay off in the end.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Small Town – University park is a lovely area. The town is small and quaint, without much noise, traffic or congestion. However, the state college area doesnt offer as many attractions or nightlife activities as some other more urban schools. Most students are limited to campus parties or a few downtown bars, but the atmosphere is not too small to feel bored.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Rainy Fall – I was looking forward to a breezy, beautiful fall; but instead autumn in state college is more rainy and grey than anticipated. Although we do have some nice days, state college is frequently wet and chilly in the fall and spring.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I Love My Major – I absolutely love my major! I am working towards earning my master's degree in speech-language pathology. My dream is to work with children someday! The professors are great and very knowledgeable in this field! They inspire me and make me want to pursue my dream of becoming a speech pathologist! The job opportunities for this field after I graduate look very favorable!

2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Off-campus housing is expensive, inconvenient, and hard to come by! Parking will probably be an issue, and getting to class can bemore difficult. Some people live several miles away from the school and have to take a bus every day, and sometimes several times a day just to get from their apartments to school and back to the apartment!

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Computer Labs – The computer labs are up-to-date and efficient at Penn State. However, some labs get very over crowded with people due to the capacity of students in need of their use. The internet speed could be improved, and it would be great if there could be wireless connection in the dorm rooms.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Penn State has a great variety of academics! The professors are very learned in their fields of study. Students need to pay attention in class though so that they understand the material because it may be difficult to arrange a student/professor meeting due to the sizes of some classes. Some popular study areas at Penn State include the Business and Engineering programs.

2 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Penn State is known to be one of the largest party schools in the nation. Sadly enough, this doesn't give our school the greatest reputation. I have had friends tell me their roommates or other friends were caught using illegal substances on campus such as alcohol and drugs, specifically weed. I really believe stricter policies should be implied and sought after so that Penn State can be a safer place.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I love Penn State!! And I will always be a Nittany Lion fan forever! I enjoy attending this university because it has so much to offer! I love the classes I am enrolled in, the campus is beautiful and easy to navigate, and I joined several different clubs and made countless new friends! I take my studies seriously and pay close attention to the excellent teachers and staff!! Penn State has countless oportunities; one must be willing to find them!

5 College Freshman

Scholarships: One thing that is great about my school is that when you apply for FAFSA they automatically enroll you in any and all of the scholarships and grants that you are eligeable for and that makes it super easy and nice. This takes a lot of pressure off of the students and allows us to focus on our workload and other valuable items. I also was surprised to receive in the mail two grants in the past two years from the school that really helped out with my finances.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Its Ok – Maybe because I am a college student, but I tend to get sick of the food after a while. It's great in the beginning but they serve the same type of food everyday.

4 College Junior

Computers: Pretty Good – The computers are very up to date. There is an option of of windows or apple depending on your preference. There is a computer lab within 5mins no matter where you are on campus.

4 College Freshman

Academics: When I began 3 years ago I had no idea where to start. The school really works as a team and guides you through every step of the process. I began registration with one of their career counselors and quickly found out that I could just as easily speak to any one of them and they were all on the same page and all worked as a team for the students to have the best experience and help possible. I was able to begin with ease and certainty.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Too Many People – When you have housing that is a very good thing. I go to a school whose campus population is about 40,000 students. Not everyone is guaranteed housing except for the freshmen.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Human Development and Family Studies – This program is really catered to the specifics of the field. The classes all coordinate with each other and they set you up in the order that helps to really build upon a foundation and allows you to excel and succeed. They also help with future prep such as internships and grad programs and prep for the work environment.

2 College Freshman

Computers: There Is Only One Lab. There is only one computer lab and classes get scheduled in that room, so it is virtually unavailable if there is a class in attendance when you need a computer. Also there are only approx. 20 some computers and if you need to print something it is 10cents per page and 20cents if double sided which makes it very expensive when constantly needing to print power point presentations.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Maintain Good Grades and Good Credit – For most scholarships in my department, you need at least a 3.0, which I currently do not have. Had I maintained a 3.0, I'd have a lot less trouble trying to finance my upcoming semesters in college. Not to mention the fact that my parents having bad credit affected my chances of getting a PLUS loan. Ultimately, I was denied the second time that I applied because their credit, which seems unfair since I would be the one who will pay for the entire loan.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: The Corner Room Is Amazing – All of the restaurants downtown are affordable, and definitely provide great food. You can go to Cozy Thai to fulfill your hunger for Asian cuisine, or visit The Corner Room for some great American food, a personal favorite of mine. Or you can try the fantastic dining service at Chili's. Most restaurants are but a five minute walk from the edge of campus that faces College Avenue.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Mechanical Engineering Is Manageable – Since I enjoy math and science, I find it very easy to remain interested in the courses. The workload can get big, since most engineering is heavily science-based. But, staying focused and working in groups can really help knock down the load. One unique aspect is entrance into the mechanical engineering major means 24/7 access to the Reber Building, which is dedicated to mechanical and nuclear engineers. The curriculum deals heavily in physics and mechanics, which prepares you for jobs in the automotive industry or robotics. It can even lead to opportunities dealing with medical prostheses.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Mechanical Engineering Is Great – Although it was not my intended major, which was biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering will still lead me down the same path as long as I complete a minor in biomedical engineering. The basic requirements are very similar, but the major classes focus on very different topics. Either way, the classes will be both challenging and interesting. If given the choice, I would definitely start over so that I could meet the biomedical engineering GPA requirement. My career goal as of now is to become a biomedical engineer at a firm or hospital. I want to work on improving the artificial spine and other prostheses. Biomedical engineering is a relatively new field, but it is an expanding field. My biggest concern is if employers focus on my GPA from my freshman year and think that I am only capable of that kind of work, when I have actually improved way beyond those mistakes.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: At Penn State, you get 100 free sheets each semester, and the computer labs have room pretty much every time you walk in. There is only limited, if not any, space in the labs during midterms or finals, so get there early if you do not own a laptop. I didn't own a laptop for my first college semester, but I spent enough time in the labs to make up for it. So, I'd say a laptop makes life a lot easier, but it's very manageable without one. The network is very reliable and is very fast. Wifi access is virtually everywhere on campus, except some dorm rooms. I was lucky enough to get wifi in my room, while most of the guys on my floor didn't have it.

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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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