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

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3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Upperclassman Dorms Are the Best – The freshman dorms in East Halls are a bit small. However the maintenance crew is extremely nice and you will be able to meet a ton of freshman just like you.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Not Too Difficult – I received minimal student aid, but thanks to some outside scholarships and in-state tuition, I was able to afford my first two years so far. Although I had to take out a few loans, I haven't had to put myself too far in debt. It is a fairly pricy university at Penn State, but the university is by far worth it. It really isn't difficult registering with them, as you just turn in your federal loan files and forms, and they pretty much receive them automatically from FAFSA and whatnot. Overall, not too rough, but fairly pricy.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Fantastic Assistance – I'm in the business college at Penn State, which is regarded as one of the best amongst the nation. The recruitment rate is very high, because of the standards set by the business college. There is a job fair that comes to our university twice a year, looking to recruit people from every business major for internships and possible jobs outside of graduation. The networking is outstanding, and the Greek Life at Penn State also helps with job recruitment and networking. There are various opportunities to network and establish your resume, and it's really up to you where you want to go with your major, and after that all you have to do is contact some professors in the business college and they'll assist you the best they can.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Penn State is a fairly diverse school, especially for the size of the university. We have a great deal of international students, especially from the Southeast Asia areas, who are studying international business and engineering majors a majority of the time. We also have students from Europe as well, and in terms of minority diversity; it's not a lot, but it isn't negligible either.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Variety and Proximity Cost! With the wide range of close apartments, prices can be seen going through the roof! Although right around the price for on campus dorms, you will have to pay year round for the apartment lease, and it is relatively expensive for the size of some of the apartments. However, they are closer to some campus buildings than the dorms themselves, so it isn't a losing situation. You are also right downtown, which makes it convenient on weekends and whatnot for going out.

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: State College is actually the gloomiest area in Pennsylvania, but nothing stops people from their plans. The buses are very convenient but classes rarely get cancelled. During the summe, I really appreciate the heat lamps located throughout the side walks!

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+

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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!


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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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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