Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4655 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The "town" was basically built around the campus. There are so many apartments and houses that go up for rent, and the price range goes from extremely affordable-luxury living. Your best bet is to look into getting an apartment for the following year early on; I think I had my apartment plans for next year set back in November! It was definitely worth it though; we got our top choice, the price is reasonable (475/month/person) and we do have parking. Almost all apartments off campus are just a walk away from campus and your classes; some of the most convenient apartments are the ones located right downtown or in the middle of everything going on. Finding somewhere to live at Penn State is no trouble at all.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Small Town Is Safe Generally – the campus guards are bastards but the safety is not bad since it is located at a very small town

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: What is there to be said, it is PSU. Everyone hears the stories and for the most part they are all true. There is always somewhere to go to party every day. It is good for students that enjoy that type of life

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are tons of little restaurants off campus down town for students to go to. They don't really give out discouts, but some accept ID cash to pay for meals which is convient when you forget your wallet.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Penn State is a huge school with thousands of kids. Kids that make questionable choices and never follow rules. The security system is in place to keep us safe, and everyone would be safe if people would be considerate. I personally have never been robbed of frightened of walking the campus alone in the dark. But others I know have had these things happen to them. Overall it is a relatively safe campus, people just need to learn not to let random people into the buildings.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Not That Strict – Besides being a dry campus, Penn State is not very strict.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: More Than Enough Dance Clubs, Not Enough Music Scenes – State College is full of dance clubs, all of which cater to modern hiphop/dance music. Any alternative spots are two or three bars, which does not provide many options. The music scene in State College is horrible, so if you're interested in an active social life, be ready for a lot of frat-culture.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: You better get used to walking in the snow or crowding on the bus because it snows a lot and classes will not be cancelled. If you have early classes be careful because the ice and snow will not be cleared yet. It rains whenever its not snowing until towards the end of spring semester. But when it is nice out people crowd everywhere to be outside.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Buses Are Best – There are multiple buses that are constantly running around campus in every direction. The campus and Off-campus direct loops are great and stop everywhere you need them too, they're free and come every 10 minutes. During crappy weather though they get packed and go a lot slower so plan ahead or you might be late taking it to class. There are also a lot of cab services when you need them, but late night they get busy so there is a lot of waiting time.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The nightlife at Penn state can be fun for everyone. There are plenty of great bars around to fit everyone's taste, and they hold specials and events on different nights of the week to keep people coming and there are a few underage clubs as well. When clubs/bars aren't your scene there are always plenty of parties going on everywhere. Greek life parties have become more strict but if you're in one, its a great time.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: So Many Options – Campus is big, but not too big that walking to class is impossible. If it's a nice day, walking is your best option. On rainy or cold days you may decide to take the bus but, depending on what time it is, it may be packed to capacity with students.
Transportation is reasonably priced here. Loops and Links are free and buses that travel off campus cost a nominal fee. Taxis are busy on weekend nights, but plentiful throughout the week. There are so many ways to easily get home for a weekend with buses that travel to many centralized locations near your hometown. Long-distance transportation is also reasonably priced, especially the Mega Bus which can sometimes cost only $1 a ticket. There is also an airport in State College that students who live more than a bus ride away can return home at their convenience.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Frat's Aren't Everything – Greek life at Penn State is pretty big and as a freshman, frats seem like the biggest deal. However, once you've been to enough frat parties, you actually start to get sick of them. There are enough apartment parties and bars/clubs to go to that you realize you have so many other options besides frats.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The housing available to freshman, East Halls, is definitely close quarters. However, living in East is definitely the perfect freshman experience. You may be in a small, cramped room, but you ultimately don't mind. You're too busy having fun meeting new people, getting involved, and going to class. All other housing on campus is great, upperclassmen definitely get the best deal. Pollock is slightly nicer than East Halls and closer to campus and downtown. North is nice, but comes at a bit higher cost. West and South Halls definitely have the best locations, West being close to the library and South being close to downtown. The commons for each Hall cluster offer many dining options at reasonable prices, especially if you have a campus meal plan.

2 College Sophomore

Weather: You Never Know What Yer Gonna Get – State College weather is pretty much unpredictable. Make sure you got sandals, sneakers, rain boots, etc and jackets to match. And make sure you can walk in them. Comfortable shoes are a must.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: Depends on Where You Live – If you live off-campus, then you'll have to get a pass for the BJC, which for a year will cost you about $90. Then once you're parked you're pretty much guaranteed to need 20 minutes to get to class. If you live on-campus, well since it's so big, you can get a parking spot at the edge of each dorm area, I don't know how much they cost, but no matter what you still are gonna have to walk across campus to get to class. A lot of walking.

3 College Sophomore

Parking: There are lots of parking options, but they are very far from where most events and classes are held. It's not that bad if you like to walk, but in the rain it sucks.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: As Safe as Needed – The campus I and enrolled is very small, but I feel safe when I'm there. Campus security is always patrolling and they are eager to help.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: The news has been full of bad happenings at State College, from the criminal activities allegedly committed by Sandusky to the failure of staff to respond. But since the grand jury released it's indictments, the board of directors has been responsive and considerate of student concerns. This is still a strong school and we will weather this saddness.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: Anyone who has been to Penn State knows that the winters are long and cold. However the faculty on campus will always readily clean up the roads so you will never have a problem getting around during/after a snowstorm. Also worth a mention is that the spring, summer, and fall seasons at penn state is absolutely beautiful.

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: As a freshman you are required to buy meal points which makes purchases on campus really cheap, you can use it at any convenient store and commons. The commons serve amazing food and the students have a wide selection both within each individual commons as well as all across campus. The food served at each hall is different and you get late night foods in East and South.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Valuable Education! I've taken a couple classes at Penn State now and they have been fantastic, the classes may be on the larger side but the professors are definitely willing to put in the extra effort to help their students succeed. Overall, I've enjoyed the classes and professors and can confidently say I've learned a lot over the last year!

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Gym = Pure Awesomness – I love the gyms at Penn State! The only downer is that the people working there aren't cleaning them from time to time. There have been various occasions where my skin has reacted to some sort of bacteria on the machines. I ask for my own spray bottle so i'm fine, but overall they're great! The libraries are great but they're really crowded during finals week. And the HUB is awesome too!! However, there's no discount. But seriously though...PENN STATE IS THE BEST SCHOOL. EVER.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: Study Hard, Party Harder – PSU gives students all the opportunities in the world from good academic programs, networking, student organizations, nightlife. PSU has it all and it has been an amazing experience here getting a good education and an overall great college experience. I know I can party hard, but in the end graduate with a good job waiting.

2 College Senior

Weather: The Valley Is Not So "Happy" – The weather in State College is not the best. It is rather cold and seems to rain or predict to rain a lot. It could be sunny one moment, then raining 20 minutes later. During the winter it is also very cold. When it snows though, don't expect to have off from classes...not going to happen at PSU.

3 College Senior

Diversity: Diverse Student Body – PSU is a school that has a lot of diversity not only in their student body, but faculty as well. As a student, I have not seen any severe instances of discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. As with any school, this diversity is not always accepted by all and constantly needs to be worked on. We are a large school, therefore we should be a role model of what diversity should be and how it should be accepted by all students.

1 person found this useful Report
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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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