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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College Senior

Nightlife: i dont really go out. i wasnt 21 till a few months ago. and i prob still wont go out. i have been through town on weekends and it seems like a lot of ppl go out and have a good time

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: I Love Off Campus – being off campus is great. i never wanted to live in a dorm so im going to say its better. you make more friends in a dorm but ill make friends on my own time

3 College Senior

Drug Safety: at psu i have never been pressured into anything and i have never seen trouble around. but it is a drinking school but that scene is really for the 21 and over crowd. the farther you live off campus is quieter it is.

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3 College Senior

Transportation: CATA Will Be Your Best Friend – CATA buses at Penn State are your best option to get to and from campus and the downtown area. The LOOP is free and pretty much circles campus and downtown. If you live farther away from campus, you will have to pay for a bus pass, but I don't think it is too pricey. Bring a bike if you can because you do a lot of walking otherwise due to the campus size. Overall not too bad, but parking a car is a pain and expensive!

3 College Senior

Campus Dining: Lots of Options – There are TONS of options for dining on campus. There are pretty much dining halls at every end of campus and in the middle. Some offer more healthy options, like Simmons, while others offer more fine dining options like Rigatoni's in North Halls. There are also many convenient stores for quick snacks and essentials. The HUB has many chain restaurants, mostly fast food like Panda Express, Burger King, etc....and it can get pricey if you eat there everyday. Best bang for your buck would be a meal plan if you are on campus, if off, I recommend just using regular cash.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: Decent Housing, Hard to Get – On-Campus living at University Park is hard to come by after your freshman year. For most students, if they wish to live on campus post-freshman year, they must enter into a lottery system. If you get chosen, great, upperclassmen places are nice! However, with 40,000 most people opt for downtown apartments which can be expensive, but also fun. Freshman dorms aren't all that exciting, and most rooms are pretty tiny, but you will have better dorms if you are in the Honors College.

4 College Senior

Facilities: Student-Friendly Campus – PSU's University Park Campus is state of the art and continually being updated. Students have access to a variety of libraries, computers, and study centers and lounges. The recreational facilities are also very well-kept and accessible. If you are looking for some good eats, PSU and the surrounding area (State College) has every type of cuisine imaginable. It is really a big campus with a small town feel

5 College Senior

Weather: The weather only makes the campus experience more enjoyable. This place is beautiful rain, snow, or shine! Granted when its cold it is not ideal but I'll deal with it to have the memories of how the place looks in different seasons.

5 College Senior

Computers: IT Gets It Right – The computer systems and network at PSU are great. They have ample computer labs with amazing connections. You will not have to worry about losing data because of having a bad signal and since the computers are not part of the stone age you can rest assured they are reliable.

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: Advisors Are the Foundation! Navigating your way through college is difficult without an advisor that cares. At Penn State, the advisors are amazing! They are invested in your success and are there for you at all times. No question is too trivial for them to help you with or answer. Having experienced some fairly terrible advisors at my former college I can appreciate the effort and personal care they put into helping me attain my degree. If you want a college committed to your success just as much as you are, Penn State is where you need to be!

3 College Junior

Parking: The parking is ok. I just hate that you can't park close to where you need to be.

4 College Junior

Majors: I am so happy with the program I chose. i am hoping to do some interning doing some counseling and hopefully that may lead to a full time job. I would like to be close to the Pittsburgh area. The only problem is will there be work when I graduate especially in this economy.

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Best Place to Be! There is so much to do around State College. I love all of the places to eat and there are so many places to shop. it is such a dream place to be!!

5 College Junior

Majors: My RHS program is really easy to get into. All I needed was a 2.0 as well as getting C's or better in some important classes. I don't feel that any major is hard to get into. They offer so much, that if one doesn't work out there are plenty of other options.

4 College Junior

Computers: Computer Hit or Miss – At Penn State we have good computers. The only problem is that sometimes they wont let me log in. Another problem is that sometimes when I am trying to use wireless I seem to lose it right away. Other than that the computer availability is great and there are always people there to help you.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: The Food Is Alright However, It Is Extremely Costly – The food has moments of being amazing but it is generally gross and expensive.

4 College Junior

Facilities: The Libraries Are Phenomenal. The Libraries on campus are amazingly well staffed and stocked

1 College Sophomore

Scholarships: You have to to almost all of the work if you want to get any financial aid.

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5 College Senior

Academics: Professors Are Wonderful – I am very close to the professors in my major and they are willing to help me with anything from class work I don't understand to advice on where to attend grad school. The academics at Penn State are wonderful which is why we are one of the top job recruiting schools in the nation.

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Its the Best! Penn State main is full of things to do! There is never a dull moment

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Strict on Gamedays – The police force is pretty strict when it comes to underage drinking, especially on football Saturdays. Anyone holding a red cup or a beer can WILL get carded and get a citation if they are underage. Other than that, I think the campus police and the RA's are very helpful and always supportive of the students.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: So Much Variety! Although I'm biased because I worked there, I have to say that campus dining, especially Pollock, is awesome! It's really great that Penn State has so many (5!!!) dining halls on campus to accommodate so many students. Not only is there quantity, but quality of course.

Pollock dining commons is pretty big and has an Asian station, Pizza/Pasta station, paninis, two salad and fruit bars, a bar to get made-to-order subs, and an entree station. It's amazing because there are so many healthy choices like constant fresh fruit and veggies.
South is more of a pick what you want kind of place. There is an all-you-can-eat buffet station, but most of the commons area is smaller takeout stations of all kinds of food, like Asian, Mexican, American, etc. I LOVE paninis from South. They really do them right.
West, hands down, has the best cookies on campus. Everyone who goes to PSU knows that. The cookies are JUST baked to gooey goodness and left on a warming tray so they're perfect. Also, west has great seating and amazing food as well. It has a Tex-Mex bar, two entree stations, a salad bar, and a pizza/pasta area. There's not much fruit, but the entrees are great.
I've never been to North but I hear it's pretty good too. Not many people live in North so it's a very chill environment, and generally keeps up with the menus of other commons.
East dining is half great, half meh. The Big O has the BEST pizza. I know some residents of State College who actually order pizza from there to pick up. The Big O has mostly fried or quickly made things, but they're all so good. The dining hall upstairs is less popular, but it has entree stations and a salad bar and whatnot.

Overall, good dining, but I guarantee you'll be tired of it by the end of the semester. The menus are kind of the same every week, but it's good dining nonetheless and as long as you don't eat the same thing every day you'll be okay!

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Penn State is so welcoming and amazing, i transferred to the main campus freshman year spring semester and i have no problem making friends. Everyone is outgoing and willing to meet people. You can talk to anyone, ask anyone anything and not feel weird. The tricky part is balancing social life and your academics. There is so much to do and so much opportunity once you maintain balance you can go and do anything. You need to apply yourself at Penn State to do well, but word hard play hard. Its amazing here.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: This school is truly one of a kind. I have never heard anyone say a bad thing about it or that they did not enjoy their experience. It is a big school but it feels like a small one. Students are friendly and treat each other like true nittany lions, at this school you really feel like you are apart of something. Downtown their are restaurants, clubs, and further frat life. There is so much to get involved in and work with its amazing.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: DUS All the Way – My advisor was very helpful in the college major search. I met with advisors from several colleges, and they provided me with quality insight. I decided I was on the right path as a Management major in Smeal.


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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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