University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4649 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 Recent Alumnus

Nightlife: I love the campus because of the nightlife, there always seems to be something to do even if you go out everynight. IF you are over 21 then there are a ton of bars for you, personally for a chill night I like to go to the hookah bar, have some food and relax with friends. There are also a ton of frat houses that constantly have parties. This is why I rate Penn State and A+

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Depends on Professor – The academics are hit and miss depending on the type of class. I like to be able to communicate with my professors but with huge lecture classes like Intro to Econ, it is more often that we will be dealing with the student assistant. However, some of the student teachers are very helpful and knowledgeable. I transferred from Behrend and honestly enjoy the academics there more. Penn State does have a wide seleection of classes to choose from which makes it very helpful.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: Severe Punishments – The campus police can be a pain to deal with and they are quite inconsistent. I have had friends being cited for activities that other friends have gotten off the hook for. They can be quite helpful at times however, and they were helpful during the riot.

1 College Sophomore

Athletics: Too Football Oriented – Penn State is way too football oriented of a school. The whole school revolves around the football program and nothing else. Their football games aren't even fun.

1 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Not Worth Going Here – The education that you are getting here sucks. The teachers don't care about teaching you the material, they only care about getting good reviews at the end of the year so they keep their job. My freshmen year I didn't learn any new information. They give out a ton of extra credit so that it makes them look like they are a good professor. Most students that go here are the typical dumb sorority girls. There are a ton of hicks here that don't know anything. The social life on campus sucks, all people do here is drink alcohol. There is nothing to do around the campus. Weekends here are very boring and get very repetitive. Coming from out of state this school is not worth $40,000 plus a year. Attending this university was probably the worst decision I have ever made, I regret going here. Having the recent news of the sex abuse scandal is definitely going to tarnish the schools reputation even more. As a student, I am very embarrassed to wear my Penn State clothes out of my house. The school is way to oriented around football. Football games here aren't even fun. I am definitely transferring next semester.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Apartments Galore – There are many opportunities for students when it comes to living off campus. There are dozens of apartment complexes and even houses are available for rent. The farther from campus, the lower the cost. The only downside is you have to act fast! For example, by October of my freshman year I had already entered into an agreement for an off campus apartment for my sophomore year.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: At Penn State, there is something for everyone when it comes to the nightlife. There are Frats, house parties, apartment parties, clubs, and bars. Even if you are underage you will find something fun to do. Buses running to 3 or 4 am on the weekends offer students free and safe transportation around campus, to the downtown area, and back to the dorms. Taxi services are also available.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Old Buildings – The buildings are old ivy league style dorms that are very small. The proximity allows everyone to get to know each other.

5 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greeks Are Cool and Help the School. Greek life is for parties but we can have fun without joining a frat or sorority.

5 College Sophomore

Transportation: Get Where You Need to Go – Penn State has constant bus transportation available for both on and off campus needs. It also runs around the clock so you never have to worry about "being left out in the cold".

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: It Is Good to Feel Safe – I feel that the law needs to be strict in order to ensure the safety of the student body as well as the faculty on a daily basis and it seems Penn State has it down to a science how to make sure that we are able to go about our daily routines without much fear of what may happen.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: A Diverse Selection – The campus has many different kinds of restaurants from breakfast to dinner that are in walking or bus distance.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Seems Easy Enough – Although I have not yet applied for admission to the Smeal College of Business, all of the qualifications I must have are easy enough to obtain. Through the end of my Sophomore year, I must sport a GPA of 3.2 or higher, have passed a number of required courses, and submit an application. I am not able to declare until after my Sophomore year however, so I still have 2 semesters to go until I must undergo the application process myself.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: Great, but Could Fit Me Better – Penn State's Smeal College of Business is one of the top in the country, and Penn State is the #1 corporate-recruited school in the country, so my post-college job prospects look very promising. However, I recently found out that you cannot mix Marketing and Advertising/PR majors, which is what I wanted to do (double-major in Marketing and Advertising). My career goal at this point is to find a job in the Sports Marketing industry, preferably with a Major League Baseball team. Although my program doesn't allow for exactly what I want, it is still a well-respected, competent college that I have full faith in. If I could do it all over again, I would have liked to know my major before I entered college so that it would be easier to plan around roadblocks like the one I encountered.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: I personally haven't had one but I know a LOT of people who have. I haven't because it's still a little early for my major, but I know people who are researching at John's Hopkins or working with MLB.

When you go to the career and internships fairs, there are a TON of options. They usually pay $15+ (depending on your major) and are often part time during the semester and full time in summer.

1 College Sophomore

Majors: Very Competitive – Nursing is THE most competitive program at Penn State. I heard they are changing the program so that if you aren't accepted from high school then you can't get in (before, if you didn't get in you could go pre-nursing and then apply for the spots of people who dropped out in January).

You need a high SAT, high GPA, a lot of school activities and experience working in a hospital or doctor's office setting if possible. Even though it isn't required, an awesome essay and some amazing letters of reference definitely help.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: I Would Do It Again! I absolutely LOVE the Nursing program. All of the instructors are very nice and helpful and everyone in the program is great. Nursing is a small program so people are pretty close knit (study groups!) and it makes it easy to get help from an instructor. I would do it all again if I could.

Nursing at PSU is one of the best in the country. It is the most competitive program they offer. When I was accepted, only 90/1500 applicants were accepted. If you are applying out of high school, high GPA, high SAT and experience in a hospital or doctor's office are key!

3 College Sophomore

Weather: It definitely gets cold in the winter, but I am from one of the snowiest cities so it isn't too bad for me. Get a nice pair of boots, jacket and hat/scarf. When it's nice, everyone is outside. Classes are rarely cancelled and sometimes walking across campus in the freezing cold is bad. You learn which buildings to cut through pretty fast, so really it isn't terrible.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: I love everything about the Nursing program. The instructors are very helpful and care a lot about your success. It is one of the best programs in the country. However, it is very competitive to get into. The year I was accepted only 90 were accepted of 1500 applicants. If you are applying from high school, I recommend you have a high GPA, SAT and get experience in a hospital or doctor's office!

5 College Junior

Campus Strictness: At my University it is crucial for students to maintain a certain GPA while attending.

5 College Junior

Transportation: Public transportation in University Park is excellent. Student can get around for free on the buses that are provided through the University and it is always running.

5 College Junior

Overall Experience: The Perfect Campus – I cannot complain about Penn State (Main Campus) at all. From academics to extra-curriculars to the social scene, Penn State has it all. The campus is absolutely beautiful, and has plenty of great places to hang out, study, or just relax between classes. Many students attend the campus, so if you hate big classrooms and crowded sidewalks, this may not be the best campus for you. The courses and professors are excellent and you can get so much out of them - that is, if you honestly put the work in to them. Downtown State College and the surrounding area are filled with things to do, and the town is very affordable (be on the lookout for specials)! If you're looking for a great education, a place to make a difference (THON!), or a place to make friends and have fun... Penn State is the place for you.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: I have not had one yet but as a psych major I know there are many options for me to choose from. I will def have one soon as I am going to be a Junior. I have no worries about finding a good one.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life is mostly known for their great parties and campus activities. I have nothing against them, I think they are a great way to network and make life long friends. That may be hard for some people at such a big school so it really helps. They also have to do community service so I think they are great for college campuses.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Weather: From October to March/April it is COLD. This past year wasn't bad at all though in terms of coldness. However, it rained a lot.

Class never gets cancelled due to snow, so don't count on that.

On nice days, everyone is outside though!


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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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