University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4655 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Freshman

Diversity: Very Accepting – There is something for everyone. Whether you want to be involved in sports, clubs, or greek life there is something for everyone to do!

2 College Junior

Scholarships: It's a Pain – There is a lot of aid available, supposedly. But you will spend the rest of your life applying to scholarships if you want one unless you are in a a special program such as the honors college.

4 College Junior

Athletics: Lots of Gym Classes and Club Sports – There are tons of club sports and we have a bunch of gym classes such as Zumba. The only down side is gym memberships cost $100 for the school year and the equipment in some of the facilities is dirty because they don't provide adequate towels and cleaning solution or require people to wipe down most equipment after use.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: There are plenty of cute little shops downtown. As far as night life goes there are tons of bars, only 2 dance clubs but both are exceptional. The area is very safe. The food options are endless.

5 College Sophomore

Parking: We have 3 huge parking lots, giving the students very adequate parking. I believe a parking pass was either ten dollars or less, and it lasts for four years. A student will only get a ticket for parking in a teacher's spot.

College Sophomore

Nightlife: Commuter Campus Style – Considering Brandywine is a commuter campus, there is no night life around here.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I feel safe walking and being on campus especially at night. If I ever feel unsafe walking alone I know that I can call to be escorted to places on campus no matter the time.

1 College Senior

Weather: Its central Pennsylvania.. and that is the weather you get. Most of the year is pretty miserable but State College is beautiful in the spring/summer.

2 College Senior

Diversity: Lots of White Students – Penn State is mainly white students, though there are special housing options for diversity groups. Find your niche.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Move Downtown – Most people move down town by time they are juniors because it is cheaper than living on campus. However, I live in Nittany Apartments which is on campus and I love it. It is like having your own apartment except it is on campus and I still have a meal plan.

4 College Senior

Majors: Very Easy – To get into the Public Relations major, or any Communications majors for that matter, you must have a 3.0 after your second year and all you do it declare that is your major. As long as your have a 3.0, your accepted into the major.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Something for Everyone – After the first year (or two if you are lucky) students are required to find off campus housing. The apartments are filled with students and have a wide range of prices so everyone can find what they are looking for.

4 College Senior

Computers: Find a Computer Anywhere – For how large Penn State is, it is always possible to find a computer somewhere on campus with printing capabilities. If there is not room in the library, there are a ton of computer labs that are open to all students in classroom buildings.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Self Explanatory – Everyone knows about Penn State football, there is a basketball team (although you might not realize it while you're here). Basically, huge school with every major sport, you could find a sport to follow or watch most days of the week during every season.

2 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Not Enough Housing, Administration Cares More About Building Unnecessary Reasearch Buildings – The actual quality of campus housing is basically what you might expect. The rooms are small, some are bigger than others but basically the same no matter where you are. If you are a freshman, I definitely recommend East halls. My first year I lived in a special living option (stay away from these unless you are 100% sure) and ended up in a basement with two neighbors and a supply closet across the hall from me. Also, housing isn't guaranteed after first year which I found out the hard way by not getting a contract and ended up having to live about 2 miles off campus with a full year lease, for 9 months of school.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Be Smart and You Will Be Fine. The campus police officers have cracked down as of late on "drinking holidays" such as State Patty's Day. As long as students aren't being overly rowdy they will not be actively targeted out of nowhere. RAs and CAs are understandably strict about enforcing drinking policies, so obnoxious students typically don't get away with it. The guest policies are also a little bit strict due to the fact that guests must be escorted everywhere by their hosts, even the toiler or shower.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: On the Outside, Looking in – The Greek life is very prominent here at Penn State, with almost all of my friends being in or being close friends with someone in a sorority/fraternity. There is a street known as "Frat Row," a.k.a. party central for the freshman and other socialites. Although I personally don't participate in Greek life, it is something that is widely accepted here at PSU.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Stereotypical Freshman Dorm Experience. Living in the freshman East Halls was just like I expected it would be: a mix of almost as many downs as there are ups. Living on campus is very convenient for transportation purposes, especially the free CATA Loops/Links. There is a large variety of good food in the dining commons, as well as the typical abundance of pizza, soda, and hot wings. The students often click into small groups and meet up inside the dining commons. Cost seems excessive for the smallness of the rooms, but the price of food with a meal plan is very reasonable. Perhaps the best part of living on campus is the interaction with RAs/CAs, namely the community builders we take part in.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: A Lot of Options – You can basically travel anywhere with the bus service. On campus the routes are frequent, but outside campus it can vary up to an hour. There some really cheap options to travel by bus to the major cities around State College

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Open Community – In general people are very social and hard working, as a graduate student should be.

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4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Good and Affordable – If you know the right places to go off campus, you can eat fairly inexpensively, and the food can be very good. Pita Pit, Indian Pavilion, The Green Bowl, and Jersey Mikes are among the favorites downtown. Also using lionmenus for delivery options is a great idea.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Enough Options and Choices for Everyone – With 5 dining commons on campus as well as multiple other on-campus dining choices across the University, there is always a way to get what you're hungry for. Some places are a little better than others, but for the most part the food is very good.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Top Notch – The courses here at Penn State are very challenging and geared toward preparing the students for their life post-graduation. I never worry that I'm getting anything less than a quality education here.

5 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: There's Someone for Everyone – With so many students on campus, you will find a person of every type. There are good looking girls and good looking guys, and then you have some not good looking people (it's life!). Some dress up for classes, while others roll out of bed with their pajamas still on. Penn State is very oriented in its social life; I've never gone a weekend without having plans, but it's definitely something that adds on to the experience and the people that I have met throughout my experience. I love it here, and the relationships that I have made with people are impacting my life every day.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: There is plenty of diversity on campus at PSU; I have no trouble becoming friends with people of all different races. There doesn't seem to be any kind of problems facing the diversity of the school. Not only does racial diversity exist, but PSU offers a variety of clubs, organizations, and such to meet the needs of all students. In terms of religion, we have at least two or three churches on campus, an organizations for catholics and jewish students as well. The LGBT group at Penn State is very involved; i know that I always receive emails about certain functions and workshops that they are holding. PSU really does a great job at meeting the diverse needs of students.


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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