Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Penn State is known as a party school. The school is pretty lenient because the kids are good with keeping up with their party/academic responsibilities. Ultimately, its up to the student to determine how there going to be socially. The school just want the school to shame the school publicly.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Computers: There are several places where you can use computers. There are several labs available with computers. There's also bountiful amount of computers in the library. Anytime you need help, whether it be help with citation work or how to use a particular software, the staff is always there's to help you or there's a live chat program on the computer you can refer to which is very helpful.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Freshman Dorms – The dorms at Penn State are great. They are very clean and relatively close to classes or transportation. The internet is very fast as well.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Student

Local Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Penn State in general is so lively! The people are so friendly and welcoming. I am going there from Virginia, but it feels just like home. I will be living close by campus which is also close to another university in York which means there are a lot of students that make up the community.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Student

Diversity: It is one of the MOST diverse campuses i have ever seen in my life! There are even flags out on campus that represents the students ethnicity.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Buses Are Ok – Busses come every 8-10 mins during classes, every 15 other times. We just got new busses

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Big school, a lot of attractive people, a lot of unattractive people too

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Very Safe – Crime is rare and the campus environment is safe. You can walk around at night by yourself on campus or if you don't feel safe, call for an escort. Security guards are constantly walking around at day time and night. Of course, robberies and vandalism have happened, but as long as you don't put yourself in an obviously dangerous situation and walk alone then everything will be fine. Personally I feel very, very safe wherever I am.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: College Town – If you are looking for a relatively quiet college then this is the place go to. The surrounding town is pretty quiet when the students are not here, but once the year starts the whole campus is bustling with activities. You can't get bored because there is always something you can and go on campus. Buses can take you to a mall and Walmart, basically anything you need you can get. If you like the city you might find it a bit boring at first but it's definitely less distracting than somewhere like NYC (4 hour bus ride away).

5 College Senior

Facilities: I was able to join a research lab as a freshmen and just submitted my thesis a few weeks ago (I received grants to fund a study that I designed). Almost every week when I read the New York Times Science Section I read about research done by a professor at Penn State.

5 College Senior

Academics: Penn State (University Park campus) is a great place to get an education. I am a graduating senior and loved every moment of my 4 years at Penn State. PSU offers the best of both worlds: PSU is a powerhouse in academic research and also has great school spirit and active alumni. As an out-of-stater who did not know much about the school before applying, I am glad that I chose Penn State because I have never seen more school spirit or tradition. I am grateful that I was able to be an involved student and a leader on campus. We have been through a lot this past year, and we are all proud to be Penn Staters. It is true, we do bleed blue and white, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

2 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Hookup Central – I am two years older than my average peer, so the girls and boys seem to be exactly that: boys and girls. It is difficult to find steady, serious relationship because everyone seems to find it more enjoyable to hook up. It is frustrating and upsetting.

4 College Junior

Diversity: A Sea of Beiges and Browns – Although the statistics state that there are 10% individuals who are people of color, it seems to be more than that. I am generally impressed because I had always been the token in my high school! There is much stress put on general diversity. It is not just about race but disability, non-traditional students, sexual orientation and more.

4 College Junior

Academics: World of Self-Discovery – I entered the Pennsylvania State University because I am a second generation college student looking to better myself. The Penn State community is very vast and it is easy to get lost, if you would like as well as it is easy to become a recognized member of the community. There are activities and organization for anyone and everyone. There are always ways to connect with peers, faculty, administrators, other Penn State employees and alumni. This is a world of self-discovery to figure who you are and want you want.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: It gets pretty cold and rains a lot. You can wear shorts the first month you come back in the fall semester, but then you usually have to wait until the final month or so of the spring semester. People usually start wearing shorts when it is 50 degrees out in the spring. This year it was in the 80s in March, but then it hailed/snowed in April.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Apartments Are Everywhere! Most people can't wait to move off-campus after freshman year. There are some within walking distance and some farther away that you need to take a bus or drive. There is an apartment for any budget.

5 College Student

Facilities: The facilities at PSU are great. There are so many campus activities alway going on. The library is very big and has everything you need. The general campus is beautiful and in the middle of State College, with everything you need close by.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Financial Aid is pretty slim. But sometimes you can receive a random scholarship through your academic college without even signing up. Alumnae and trustees donate to our school so there is a chance you will receive aid if you are in need and you have a good academic record. Other than that, the financial aid office is helpful as well as officers in your academic college.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Alcohol and Other Drugs – I do not believe that the drug scene is very active at Penn State. However I do believe that it depends on who your friends are and if they are involved in drugs. Alcohol seems to be the most commonly widespread issue relating to drugs.

5 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Penn State is a very safe campus. The police are very strict when it comes to Drugs or alcohol.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: I want to join Greek life next year. If you want to go Greek Penn state is the place to do it. Greeks alway have something going on in the community.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: I love Penn State night life. The Campus always have nice things to do. Down town is very nice. You don't have to be 21 to enjoy night life in Penn State.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: The weather at Penn State is very crazy and random. It can be beautiful some days, and then very cold the next day. For the most part, it is average Pennsylvania weather though... 60-70s in fall/spring and 20-30s in winter.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Extremely Diverse – Penn State is an enormously diverse place, collecting people from every background imaginable. I have friends from all over the WORLD, and you will undoubtedly see people of all places, shapes, colors, etc. everywhere you go. It's amazing to think that Penn State attracts so many students from places other than our own.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Great Place to Live – Penn State is a great place with a great atmosphere. The campus generates a huge feeling of belonging, and provides a great sense of community. Also, downtown State College is a great, humble place filled with many small shops and restaurants specific to State College.

1 person found this useful Report
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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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