University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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1 College Student

Weather: Randomly will storm, a lot! Weather is usually cold and rainy. Winters are dreadful, summers are really hot. Spring is really nice but those spring showers happen often.

4 College Student

Academics: Professors can be iffy but the academics are perfect! Everything you can possibly want is offered, although some classes can be very challenging- especially the weed out courses (large freshmen classes- usually sciences and upper math levels that require a C or better for certain majors such as engineering or other medical fields)

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Campus Housing: West Is the Best, East Is the Worst – I was lucky enough to live in west which is right next to the library and close to many classes. The rooms are the largest and the quad is beautiful! East is home to all the freshmen so it is very busy and the rooms are cozy, but still a decent size compared to other college dorms I have scene.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Student

Academics: Challenging Yet Fun and Worth the Hard Work – I'm In Architectural Engineering. This is a very hard major that only takes a certain number of students and is a rigorous 5 year program. The classes are very challenging but if you know you want to go into it, I have herd it is well worth it in the end. TAs and teachers are helpful, and some of the architecture classes can be very small so you get to know everyone well.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Athletics: We Love Sports!! Sports are very important at Penn State especially football! We have great school spirit and there is always a crowd to cheer whatever team on. The facilities are also wonderful, we have three gyms to work out in. All the sports have pretty great success either varsity or IM.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Computers: Labs Are Good! The computer labs at Penn State are very good. They really only crowded during midterms and finals week but we have many, many computer labs so you can almost always find a spot. You get allotted a certain number of sheets being allowed to print for each semester but it's actually a lot and going over isn't really a problem. The speed and wireless connection is alright but you can only receive wifi if in the common areas. Having a personal computer and printer is a great idea!!!!

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Stop by the Corner – The Corner Room is walking distance from campus right on the corner of East College Ave and South Allen Street. It is a great place to eat that is not fast food yet still very affordable. It has everything from big juicy burgers to delicious pastas and soups. My friends and I loved going here to take a break from on campus dining yet we didn't break our banks. It has a great atmosphere and great staff. Definitely a restaurant to check out when visiting State College.

1 College Freshman

Scholarships: The school sponsored scholarships like most schools, is very slim.
The biggest (only) real hope is the Bunton Waller scholarship, which has a salary cap. It is also restricted to underrepresented minorities.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: It All Depends on the Residence Hal. Best - Worst

West, South, North, East.

East Halls Suck. Overall, they're quite fair.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: The girls out here are great. Forewarning, you'll find basically every kind of girl out here at Penn State. Take that with a grain of salt ;)

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: A Variety of Options – There is a variety of options. There are fraternities, apartments, houses, sports teams houses; bascially, name anything and you can find it. Greek life seems like a big part of campus, but you don't have to join it to find something to do.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Scholarships: It Might Just Be Me – I desperately need financial aide and don't receive any. I also feel that since it is such a large school, scholarships are hard to find.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: The Unknown – The weather is absolutely unpredictable. One day it could be snowing, and the next it could be 70 degrees. It rains a ton.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Amazing College Community – There are six different dining halls to choose from, as well as a variety of "to-go" options. I never found myself running out of options for food choices. Many restaurants and fast-food places are also available downtown. They range from very classy, to cheap and inexpensive.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: If You Can Pay, You Can Live Pretty Well – As far as housing goes there are different levels of dorms. Some are amazing and some are rather average and all of that depends on a few factors. Usually if you want to pay a standard amount you will get decent housing unless you dont receive a housing contract within the lottery. But if you are willing to pay more money you can be put within the really fancy places.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: We Stay Pretty Safe – On a college campus many things can happen just with the nature of what college is at its core. It is a very large campus and sometimes students go a lot further with things than they probably should. But its important realize that is not a very big population of campus and this happens at schools across the nation. It is important to have strong police, security, and public safety guards for when bad things happen and i feel we have some of the best.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: We Are Sports – At penn state sports are a big deal and that goes for everyone. It is very rare you find a student not involved or interested in any sports at penn state. If we arent playing sports we are watching sports and it is a way of life. Through sports we connect as a university and we carry that strength into everything else we do.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Great Experience – There are so many options to get involved around campus- it is really what you make of it! Like most schools- some teachers are better than others but I have really learned a lot. I would never change my decision to come here!

5 College Junior

Weather: The campus looks great all year round- from seeing the leaves fall to when al the flowers and trees bloom. The winters have been rather mild, rain fall is normal, and definitely sunny weather here too.

2 College Junior

Parking: Be Ready to Walk! Finding a spot to park is not a problem- but the hike to all the buildings isn't fun! Make sure to give yourself a good 5-10 minutes to get to the buildings.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: Nursing Major – Penn State's Nursing Program is one of the best programs at the university. There's very few of us, and I'm very happy to be one of those few. Nursing is a very good major to choose as well because of the demand right now for nurses all over the country.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Punishments Are Mild – Penn State's police force can be tough but generally if you get caught underage drinking for the first time they'll usually let you go with a warning but have your name in the system. Then if you're caught again it gets more serious with possible loss of extracurricular activities, housing, and even expulsion.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Walking More Convenient – The public transportation is good at Penn State, they run constantly throughout the day but nothing is running at night which can be really inconvenient. It is usually easier to walk to get around on campus unless you live far off campus, then you have to take a bus, but even then the buses come around on all different times, and there's a big chance you'll miss it or not need it when it is coming.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: At Penn State drugs aren't that common, you see more people drinking than using drugs.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Represents Everyone – The campus is pretty rich in diversity. It is very celebrated at Penn State. There are a lot of clubs that celebrate different backgrounds and sexual orientations. All of these clubs can quite openly celebrate what they are about without having to worry about a lot of criticism. It is a very open and accepting environment.


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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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