Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4228 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Greek Life: What a Mess – Greek life is pretty big at Penn State, although the vast majority of students aren't in a frat or a sorority. They tend to be exclusive and over the top. If you're looking for something interesting to do, there are plenty of other places to look.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Lots of Fun, If You're of Age – If you are a guy and a freshman, it can sometimes be difficult to find something to do on campus at night. The university offers a lot of late night programs at the HUB, but that can get a little old after a while. If you are of age, the scene is pretty interesting. There are plenty of places to check out downtown.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Night Life – The night life of Penn state is for student that are of age and like to party

5 College Freshman

Computers: Computer Labs – The computer labs in Penn State are very usefull i could walk into any computer lab and find a free computer

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: It is so easy to get off campus food! We have anything a major city would ask. It is right across the street and many off campus students walk by them to get home everyday!

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4 College Freshman

Facilities: The facilities i have access to are outstanding! It seems as if once one thing seems to get old a new facility appears and I exploit it. The Hub is a great recreational center, commons always have computer labs, and workout facilities are scattered around campus. Although we live in happy valley and the weather can get out of hand it is easy to gain access to any facility needed.

5 College Senior

Athletics: One of the Top Athletic Departments – Although I am not an athlete, I know our athletic department is top notch at Penn State. Many athletes that play here go pro and love their time here. People from all over come to play here and see the greatest games.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Friends Are Forever – There are so many people that attend Penn State. More guys than girls, however, everyone is friendly and you find your lie long friends here. The social atmosphere is amazing. There are a plethora of clubs to join that fit your character and plenty of Greek organizations to pick from. Along with a huge hub center for everyone to meet up with friends and enjoy their time.

4 College Senior

Academics: Job Opportunities After School – Penn State is well known for its athletic division. However, what many don't know is that Pennsylvania State University is one of the best schools to recruit from and for students to end up with a job after graduation. The huge alumni network Penn State has acquired also helps with this great asset. This is one of the greatest advantages of being a Penn State student.

1 College Freshman

Parking: Expensive, difficult parking. Few options for guest parking.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Not Too Strict – Police aren't looking to get you in trouble they're making sure everything is safe. If they come across your party they're more likely to tell you to keep the noise down than bust the whole thing.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Very Safe – A always feel safe on campus, there is very little crime the only thing that isn't completely safe is the traffic that goest though campus.

4 College Freshman

Weather: Central Pennsylvania – The weather in central Pennsylvania has your typical 4 seasons. The fall was rainy and boots, umbrella and poncho are a must. This will be my winter on campus. The sidewalks are heated to keep them clear and easily accessible.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Dry Campus – Penn State had a reputation of being a party school. The administration has taken numerous steps to combat this. There is a dry campus policy. As freshman, we were given a lecture about the rules and consequences.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Penn State is very diverse in each category. These is numerous clubs to support and entice what ever your political, religious or sexual orientation is. The racial and ethnic culture is extremely diverse.

College Junior

Facilities: with a double major, I don't get to use a lot of the facilities I'm in class or studying or computer research. I could use more quiet space from roommates in supplemental housing.

3 College Junior

Diversity: I Don't Care, I Just Want an Education – It is diverse and it is 'in your face'. The fashionistas travel in herds in their northface coats and leggings and uggs. They are loud and expect others to step aside. Same with the black girls, loud and shoving their ethnicity down your throat and expect everyone to tolerate their inconsiderate obnoxious rude behavior or they play race card. (this from experience with black roommates). The majority of the rest of the populace seems to consist of the biggest group which is drunkards.

2 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Fairly Strict – The campus police can be very strict about underage drinking and the punishments can be over-the-top. Usually you won't run into any trouble if you don't cause a scene. If you do, however, expect to be scheduled a mandatory alcohol awareness class, which is added on to your tuition bill

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: The night scene is unlike anywhere else. It's easy to get where you need to go. Apartment parties and house parties are your best bet. Sometimes the frats are fun, just difficult to get in to if you don't know someone inside

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Great Quality and Many Choices – The commons, Pollock and West especially, have a great variety of food and it is all very good. There are also general store-type places all over campus if you're looking for something quick and easy

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: HUB Party – The facilities at Penn State are really good. There are different gyms on campus for basketball, volleyball, and weightlifting-all that the YMCA has to offer-and then some. The student union (the HUB) was newly renovated a few years ago and is very modern. There are fast food joints, places to study, convention rooms, an art gallery, and a record-breaking fish tank. It's a very popular hangout.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Local Area – During the school year, there is always something to do in town. May it be for sporting events to concerts or casual downtown restaurants. During the breaks, it becomes a small town giving off a relax feel.

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Can Be Avoided – There are drugs everywhere, including on and off campus. There is very little pressure about it. Either you choose to do it or you don't. No one forces you. As for alcohol, the campus is a dry campus now, but you can still smuggle alcohol on it as long as you're not stupid about it. There is a large amount of the student body that doesn't drink, and no one pressures you about it.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: At Penn State, you can find anywhere to go whether it be a friend's apartment or and organization social. I recommend that you get to know a lot of people so you have options. Some of the fraternities are picky about who they let in, so I suggest getting to know someone in the Greek system. There are plenty of bars to go to and the buses run very late on the weekends (2:30 am). No under 21 clubs.

2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Get on Apartment Searching Early! If you plan on living off-campus and want to live close to the school, make sure you start searching early (i.e. September the year before you live off-campus). You have to remember that you're competing with around 28,000 students, and if you want to be close to campus, for a low price, apply EARLY. There is a housing fair in October that the school hosts, but I began my search on my own. You have to put yourself out there and research if you want an apartment.

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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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