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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5 College Junior

Athletics: PSU relies on the income of it's variety sports.

5 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Lots of young people, lots of places to meet people.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Applying for loans is never fun.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Academics: PSU is an elite university.

2 College Junior

Parking: There is one location during normal business hours to park. On the up-side, there are free Cata bus lines that drive through campus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: Penn State is known for it academics. Courses can be tough.

5 College Junior

Majors: Penn State Kinesiology is one of the top programs in the nation. I wouldn't expect it to be anything less than challenging.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Tons of bars, great night life, lots of places to eat.

5 College Junior

Computers: It is the first university I have attended, but UCLA is hard to top, so PSU comes in second.

3 College Junior

Computers: You'll have access to macs and pcs almost any lab on campus. Labs are conveniently located in each dorm area and in most class room buildings.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Like any college campus, or any adult environment for that matter, drugs and alcohol are very accessible. It is up to you to use your better judgment! Many people drink and drunken antics are very visible, but it is also worth noting that it is very possible to drink responsibly. Peer pressure isn't bad as long as you make the right friends!

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: There are various types of dorms for varied costs and convenience. Some dorms are very spacious and clean, but will cost you more.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: I have personally never had an issue with Campus administration. Dorms are patrolled by security guards and RAs at night to ensure that no one is committing a misconduct, but otherwise there is not much other regulation. Our downtown police are much stricter though, and they will enforce noise violations and party violations on behalf of the apartment realtors/landowners quite frequently.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The local community of State College and Centre County is very welcoming and open to the student body. The Penn State community interacts with the local township regularly, and it's a wonderful place to be a student. The farmer's market that comes out downtown during the warm season is one local attraction that you don't want to miss.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Penn State has been a great environment. I'll admit, with so many things going on, the campus community can be a source of distraction, but I appreciate the busy atmosphere. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn't mind choosing Penn State, but I would be mindful of the types of student organizations and classes I join.

4 College Junior

Transportation: The Cata Bus Service is the local bus company that serves the State College community. There are 4 campus lines that are completely free: the Blue Loop, the White Loop, the Red Link, and the Green Link. There are usually about 3 or 4 loops that are active at the same time during the busy hours of the day. Other community lines that will take you off-campus charge $1.50 per ride. You can pay in cash, buy tokens, or load a bus pass.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I've personally had varied experiences with the off-campus housing here. If you're trying to get an apartment that's within close walking distance, you NEED to start your search as soon as possible. I had to rush and sign a lease for my apartment in NOVEMBER for the next Fall Semester (move-in August). If you're not trying to get an apartment close by, your search will most likely not be very difficult. There are many choices off-campus that are easily accessible through the local bus system.

3 College Junior

Academics: Workload depends on each class, but the class room is definitely a productive environment for you to excel in, if you desire to do so. The quality of your academic experience is up to you. Most professors are willing to be helpful, but they will not reach out to you first.

The political science department is filled with some very brilliant minds and some very good educators. Sometimes those two qualities are not found in the same person though. You will have to be careful as to how you approach some of your classes. Some professors who are very intelligent may not be the best teachers. Go to office hours and stay on top of your work!

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Every weekend there is always nightlife to enjoy, whether it be at Frat houses, clubs, bars, or apartments. If the night life is something you're looking for, you will never have an issue finding it at Penn State.

4 College Junior

Greek Life: While it is true that Penn State's Greek Life is central to the party environment, I truly appreciate the Greek life here because of all the good service that comes from it. Fraternities and sororities are two of the most active student organizations in community service at Penn State. Academics are well-maintained as a requirement also, so Greek Life is conducive to becoming a well-rounded person in a great community.

Only flaw is that the party environment does get a bit overwhelming.

4 College Junior

Scholarships: Get good grades! This is the best way to get scholarships.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Health & Safety: Campus is relatively secure with emergency phones in various locations, and the streets are well-lit. I do wish I saw campus police more often. But our downtown is literally only 1 street from campus, and downtown does not feel very safe at night. Some roads are not well lit, and there are no emergency phones nearby. We have had reported instances of kidnappings and assault in the last year in our downtown area and in parts of campus which are closer to the downtown area.

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Penn State is just the best. It is such a fun atmosphere and you can be successful here.

2 people found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: There are tons of things going on on campus every second of the day. There are fun events all the time. The most popular are football games and thon.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Computers: The computers are a little old but that's okay.

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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