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 Junior

Nightlife: Penn State nightlife is paralleled to things you see in movies. You have bars if you are 21+, frat parties, hookah, movie nights, game nights, off campus parties, and great food places. Just get your closest buddies together and your sure to have a good time.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Local Buses Are Helpful – Penn State has many free local buses shuttling students around its large campus. There are also buses available for a small fee that go into town. However, longer distance buses are expensive due to Penn State's remoteness.

5 College Junior

Athletics: At Penn State, sports reign supreme. Whether it's an autumn football game or a winter basketball game, Penn State has no shortage of school spirit. Facilities are top-notch and athletes are celebrities.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Dorms Are Lackluster – Penn State dorms are not the greatest. Most are old and dirty, particularly in East and Pollock. Make sure you try for dorms in North or West.

5 College Junior

Campus Housing: The cost of living is very fair as I reviewed the cost of housing at some surrounding places, it saves you a bundle!

3 College Junior

Academics: Registration Process – It's a bit tough to do it on your own but I contacted an adviser who thought he was helping me and changed my whole schedule without asking me when I was available for class. A for effort but F because he messed up my work schedule for the semester.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: A Bit Confusing – I received a good amount of financial, but it definitely went quicker than I thought it would. Keeping up with all of the papers and emails was a bit tough and confusing but worth it in the end.

2 College Sophomore

Weather: The weather changes all the time. In the summer its great, always warm and sunny! However, Fall through Spring is a whole different story. It could be freezing one day in the middle of fall and hot the next day. Winters here are pretty harsh, lots of snow and super cold temps. Walking to class in the snow is never fun but once its gone the walk to class is beautiful.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Good Living, but Expensive – The off-campus housing is great, however prices are high. All housing is close to bus routes or in walking distance to campus. There are tons of apartments for people to choose that best fit their interest. Overall, the off-campus housing here at PSU is wonderful!

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: Its Ok. The cost is not that bad because its in state but it could always be a little cheaper..

2 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I'm at the altoona campus and its very open. Anyone can walk onto the campus grounds. I feel safe but not at night sometimes.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: All of Penn State's facilities are generally excellent! We have 5 different exercise centers, a beautiful HUB student center to grab lunch or study in, a huge library to cram for exams, and so many more places and activities to choose from and hang out in.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Animal Science Major – I love my major! I love animals! I worry about getting into a vet school!

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4 College Freshman

Computers: All of the Above – Computer Labs are crowded! There is a need for a personal computer

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: All Dorms Vary – The freshman dorms are the oldest and most out of the way in comparison to the rest of the campus, but the experience of no one but freshman around is a fun, great experience. All of the other dorms vary in size, setup, and they all have their own pros and cons.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Fairly Average – The dining hall food at Penn State ranges in different dining hall areas on campus. Some are great, some are just average, but all are great about anyone with a food allergy, such as myself. They are helpful and clean, but the food has given me stomach issues since I have attended school.

2 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Good Ole State – The housing isn't the best and could definitely use a facelift. As in, some of the dorms need to be completely torn down and re-built. East Halls is definitely part of the "freshmen experience" however, I decided to live in South halls my freshman year. I have a ton more space and the location is great. In the end its all what you make of it! I think everyone should experience dorm life at PSU before they are subjected to the over-priced apartments downtown

2 College Junior

Facilities: Gyms Are Great. Library Needs a Massive Improvement – we have 4 buildings for physical activity purpose and obe big library which in itself speaks volumes about what the school is about

4 College Junior

Academics: Feel Free to Be Educated – most professors have a if you want to learn you will and if you don't you wont attitude. they provide as much help as you ask for if you dont they may inform you overall about interships or job but for specifics you have to ask

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Chose and Pick – Its a nice place to be for almost anything. its a perfect place for college sport events. based on where you live you can be either school oriented or into the party scene.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Busses Everywhere – The transportation system ON campus is pretty awesome. There is a bus line to go almost anywhere you need near and far, and they come pretty frequently. Personally I now have a car so I do not have to use the busses as much anymore so I cannot shed more light than that.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Labs Everywhere – honestly there are plenty of accessible computers in campus, whether it be in the labs or in public areas like our building called the "Hub". Printing, or using the internet is not too much of a hassle if you do not have a means to do it on your own. On campus the internet is a little bit spotty in the dorms but its definitely accessible.
GIven that there are so many computers, sometimes during exam weeks they are a little bit crowded but for the most part students can also opt to use the internet in their living spaces.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: The Land of Precipitation – Penn State is known for its meteorology program, and I think that is for a very good reason. At Penn State you get pretty much every type of weather, sometimes all in one day. I always make sure to keep my summer stuff all year round because you never know when you are going to get a random 70 degree day. Penn State also gets a lot of snow, but it is manageable because of the heated sidewalks. After being at school for long enough, you don't even think about the weather anymore other than when your face is cold while walking to class or when you forget your umbrella and it randomly started to rain.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Cata Buses – The Cata buses can take you pretty much anywhere on campus or around State College. I think it is great that the buses on campus are free and I feel that those are the ones that get used the most. I is also nice that there is a bus that goes directly to the Walmart, which, because most students are on a tight budget, is a hot spot for all of the students' needs.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Our football team is the source of a lot of our school spirit. It is what brings almost everyone in the school together. Even I, who doesn't even pay attention to football, make sure to wear my Penn State gear on the days where there are football games. I think that the football atmosphere brings a feeling of togetherness that is important on such a big campus.

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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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