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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3 College Freshman

Scholarships: You Need to Stand Out – While the general scholarships are lacking in quantity, there are many generalized scholarships that each individual college or program has, but you need to stand out.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The Dorms Are Okay – The dorms at Penn State aren't the best in the world, but depending on where you're placed, you can have easy access to pretty much anything. East Halls, which are mainly for freshman, are small and cramped, but it's a great area for socializing and hanging out. Pollock and South Halls, which are right next to each other, are located in the center of campus, and the Pollock Commons was recently renovated. North halls are peaceful and quiet and offer selected suite-style housing. West Halls have spacious rooms and the commons is known to have the best cookies anywhere! However, you are only guaranteed housing for one year because there are so many students, and there is the chance that you may end up in a supplemental room (4-7 people in a room) or not be able to get a contract at all.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Penn State has literally everything. There are several different athletic and activity centers, places to study all around campus and downtown, and the huge library is currently undergoing construction to make room for new study areas.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Computer Labs – There are many options when it comes to computer labs they are in most educational facilities and in the commons of each residence hall.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Cata Is Best Option – If you live semi-far off-campus, then you definitely need to get a CATA bus pass. Most apartment complexes come with one, and it is seriously the most convenient way to get to campus. The buses go all over campus and downtown, so you are pretty much always guaranteed to get dropped off close to your class. And the free campus loops are amazing too, since campus is so large it's awesome that we have the free bus system.

1 College Junior

Parking: The parking situation at PSU is awful. Commuters have to park all the way out at the BJC, which is very far away from all class buildings. There are multiple parking decks on campus, but students aren't allowed to park there until after 4. I'd be willing to pay more for a commuter pass if I could park in those decks.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Safety on Campus – I always feel safe on campus. There are very few incidents every year, but you can't completely stop things from happening. All over campus are "blue boxes", which have phones inside in case of emergency, and are lit up at night so you can find them. We also have a "walk-home buddy" program, where you can call and have someone walk you home if you are feeling unsafe on campus.

1 College Freshman

Scholarships: Unless you're Asian or Black, you're not getting a scholarship. Even if you are brilliant.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: Get to campus early if you ever need to park, and a student parking pass is over $1,000 per year. Abysmal

2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Not a Huge Fan – Apartments (some) are near frat row but they're all very old and need redone. Cheap, though.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: Aid Is Minimal. There isn't any financial aid easily availble through the university, some of the colleges offer some scholarships, but not many.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Computers: Computer Labs – There are multiple computer labs all over campus, and they are frequently used. The university internet works ok, there is wifi in almost every building. Having your own computer makes things much easier.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: We Are...A Community – Penn State has this great feeling of community, everyone is connected. It's a really close-knit community. State College is a small town, but there's always something to do. Any Penn State sport is fun to watch, and there's lots of social opportunities both on and off campus.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: There is a lot of diversity at Penn State when it comes to style. There is everything from typical sorority girls, to athletes, to nerds. Some people dress as if class is a fashion show, while others look like they didn't even get out of their pajamas. There is also a lot of variety in the types of activities people are involved in here. There are so many options for people to do because it is such a large school.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Since there is such a large number of students at Penn State, there is not enough housing on campus for everyone, so the majority of students move off campus after freshman year. The apartments in downtown State College are extremely expensive and very poor quality. We either have to pay way too much to live in crappy apartments, or go so far away from campus that you have to drive or take a bus to go anywhere.

3 College Junior

Computers: For the most part the computer access at Penn state is good. There are many computer labs around campus that usually have availability. The internet access works well. It would be nice if there were more color printers on campus and if we were allotted more printing pages each year.

2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: It is hard to get in-state financial aid at a state school, and there's hardly any scholarship money. I'd apply to the SChreyer Honors College. It's competitive and you will have to work hard throughout your years here, but it's definitely worth it: nicer dorms, you get first pick on your classes, and best of all, $4000 per year towards your tuition.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Penn State is like a big family. There's just no other way to describe it. It's a complete college town..everything is pretty much directed towards the students. There's just so many things to get involved in, and they're so easy to become a part of. And although everyone is different and there's so many people, you get to experience everyone coming together for things like home football games, or THON. It's an amazing place, and if you attend, you'll truly know what I mean when I say I'm proud to be a Penn Stater.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Living on Campus – Live in East your freshman year. Yes, its the farthest away from everything, and the rooms are tiny and the food is the worst on campus, but none of it is unmanageable, and you will have the best time of your life. East is 100% freshman besides the RA's, and you will make a TON of friends. Plus its the best for the penn state football games.. closest residence halls to the stadium! If you want to live on campus again after your freshman year, I'd recommend west..definitely the best food and a great location, right next to the library, a 3 minute walk from downtown, and bus stops right at your door.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Transportation: It's Alright – There are buses running all the time but there aren't many helpful routes they take. The white loop and the blue loop are your best bet to get around campus. And I would definitely get the CATA app so you can see exactly where they are

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Diverse Community – There are many people with different races and religions at PSU but I don't see them interact as much. I always see them in "cliques" like black people hanging out with only black people and asians only with asians.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: I'd Bring Your Own Printer – There are so many computer labs and places to print on campus, the network speed is great for wireless access unless you have used all your bandwidth.. I would definitely bring a personal printer if you have one because it's just so much easier to print in your room than to go to one of the labs... plus it costs twice as much to print in color.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Fun, Nothing Too Crazy! I'm not sure how the bar scene is here at Penn State because I haven't been to the bars yet but I heard they're just "alright", nothing too amazing. Frat parties are always overcrowded but they're still fun, and I definitely enjoy the apartment parties! Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. As for transportation, it takes a while for the cabs to get you so you would have to call 30 minutes ahead of time...especially on weekends.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Athletics: There are so many clubs and teams you can join here at Penn State such as ballroom dancing, hip hop, lacrosse, volleyball, figure skating, water polo, fencing, etc, you name it! We've got everything. And there is no better school than Penn State for school spirit. The football games are wild and super fun to go to!

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Not Bad at All – The dining halls aren't bad at all, they all have something different to offer so if you get bored of your dining hall, you can go to the other ones. The hub is great, it has Sbarros, Starbucks, Burger King, Panda Express, The Mixed Greens, etc. It is a bit pricey though.

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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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