University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4696 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Senior

Overall Experience: Thousands of students apply to Penn State every year. Applying here I knew they would look at me as a number, but sitting in the student section at a Penn State football games makes all of that fade away. You're a new number: one. One team, one school, one family. It's amazing the sense of community that has been built over years and years. My freshmen year was the whole "Joe-Pa" scandal. Many people thought this would change my mind about the love of my school, but it did the opposite. I wouldn't chose another school if my life depended on it.

This may sound a tad over dramatic, but seriously, come sit with my at a football game. And I don't even LIKE football.

2 College Senior

Drug Safety: It's Penn State.

We're THE party school.

This is both good and bad.

5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Yuumm. State College does it's food very, very well.

Especially late at night. $1 pizza can't be beat.

During the day there are a vast variety of options from various asian cuisine to more wings places than you know what to do about.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: While it's great to live off campus it also kinda stinks.

There are plenty of realtors but they know how to the game is played.

Prices are jacked up, and even worse is the parking. Parking is almost never included and the cheapest spot you can normally find to rent is around $50 a month. With that it's probably no where near your living space.

All of the apartments are pretty beat.

With that being said, the apartments and houses are what make Penn State, Penn State. They're worn, but you don't have to worry about ruining them with the parties that are bound to happen.

5 College Senior

Campus Dining: There is food everywhere you look, and it is all very tasty and tempting.

The problem is that it is very expensive. Without a meal plan it's around $12 to get into the commons. Outside of the commons a simple sandwich costs around $6.

If you have a meal plan, it's great! Swiping in is no problem.

But having a meal plan off campus is just way too much money.

2 College Junior

Weather: The weather sucks beyond suck sometimes but it doesn't affect the campus at all things keep going school, parties they all happen just put on a coat and get through it

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: There is just too much to say it's a pretty great place that you have to see for yourself

3 College Junior

Transportation: It's there but sometimes hard to get to or a little pricey if you don't have someone to ride with

5 College Junior

Facilities: Academically our school is great the facility is great and the variety of classes are amazing there is so much to offer

5 College Junior

Facilities: There is so much to do its almost overwhelming you will never be bored

3 College Junior

Diversity: Its a bit diverse as in almost not at all the majority of students are white but there are international students as well as other races. Generally people are very accepting of who you are whither that is color wise sexual orientation wise religious wise but there are always a few simple minded people

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Pros they are very convenient to campus and for the most part clean and nice looking but cons are not very safe or strict they will let people do anything the cost is pricey and they fill fairly fast

2 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Not a lot of places to shop. Many of the locals are older and very apprehensive/suspicious around black people-- as are a lot of the students. The campus is safe.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: There is always a way to get somewhere around campus. The bus system is great.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: have not had experience with off campus housing..ratings based on what I have been told

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: a lot of option, delivery, and take student lion cash, which is handy

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: sometimes need to wait for bus in out of way places on campus...i.e., radio station

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: greek life important on campus but non greeks get along with greeks

College Junior

Parking: I take all of my classes online, so I don't have to worry about parking!

4 College Freshman

Computers: Usually you can get a computer if it's not finals week. Printing pages given are usually sufficient, and, if your computer can connect, the network is pretty fast.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Nightlife: A ton of drinking; you can't walk anywhere on a Friday or Saturday without running into drunks, people going clubbing, and a ton of shouting.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: This winter was bad, but normally not as terrible. So much rain. Get rain boots. Nice days are fantastic, though, and not that rare.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Feel safer walking around campus than almost anywhere else, police have the walk system that's really nice

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: No pressure to do it, more alcohol abuse than drugs

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: You get what you pay for - it has a great education system. The campus gets a little boring since it's such a small town, but it makes up for a lot in what the school offers


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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