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 Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There Are a Ton of Restaurants Downtown – Many places take lion cash and offer discounts for using your student i.d. card.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Team Spirit – Everyone identifies with Penn State and regular chants.. "we are!" "penn state!" are the norm

5 College Senior

Academics: Many Amazing Professors to Learn from – If you are interested in something, then finding knowledgeable professors and asking for their time is extremely easy and beneficial

4 College Freshman

Athletics: There Is a Sport for Everyone! Football is king! Although we offer a wide varierty of sports. Support for the womens volleyball games is HUGE!! For those not playing varsity sports but want to play competively can play club sports which allows you to practice and play against other schools. IM program allows everyone to participate in sports in varying levels of competition.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Not a Lot of Options for Healthy Eating – There are definitely plenty of options to chose from and they all are resonably priced with the campus dining plan. But for someone looking to eat healty the PSU dining does not offer a suffient amount of options. I rely on the deli to provide me with the best options for healthy eating.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: I Love State College! It's a small town that lives and breathes football! The closest major city (Pittsurg) is a three hour drive. But there is always something going on in State College. Everything from concerts, museums and great dining.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Most of Penn State's attractions are the nitnay lion shine and the foot ball stadium, as well as the beautiful build buildings around campus. The shopping is phenomenal with every shop on each block of college avenue. The sports are competitive and award winning. Every student has their PSU pride worn on their sleeves.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Something to Do – I am in a Fraternity and it is great because there is always something to do socially/service wise but I have many friends that are not in Greek Life and they always find someway to do those activities. So not being Greek doesn't limit you. On the other hand being Greek does get you more involved. I would have given it an A+ but the Sororities don't have their own houses they live on wings of dorms

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I Mean Its Nothing Special – The rooms are small and just your classic dorm room. The annoying thing is in about almost every single buildings of on campus housing there is no Wifi and you have a data restriction on how much internet you use when you are plugged in with an Ethernet cable in your room per week. But on the rest of campus there is wifi mostly everywhere else like in class rooms, study lounges, and such.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: So Many Options – There's a lot of options. If you're looking for fast food they have it, but also they have many ethnic and local restaurants so there's always many options

3 College Freshman

Parking: I Don't Drive – I believe it's easier to get around camppus via walking or their student shuttle services.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Campus Food – Overall, The campus food is good. Anyone will get tired of it though, wanting a homecooked meal. Once you hit that stage you just have to try something new. There is plenty of variety from main courses, to snacks, to coffie stands, to even franchise places like Burger King. Also, all students with meal plans get a 65% dicount at the dinning halls which definetly come in handy. You can't really complain after all.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Division of Undergraduate Studies – As a student exploring my choices of major, I'm having a great freshman year so far. Based upon my academic interests, my advisor helps me schedule classes that would help me in the long run. There are many informative sessions on campus also that I've attended that described the different academic programs the school has to offer. Besides my advisor, I have a team of counselors, mentors, and professors that want nothing but the best for me.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The campus is awesome the scenery is great and there are some friendly people.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Sports Spirit – Sports is a pretty big thing at Penn State, especially football. There is definitely school spirit. Everyone on campus wears a Penn State t-shirt to show their support. The team itself performs very well in any sport.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There are many clubs and student activities on campus. Each club has its own personality. You can join a club depending on your major, background, or even political beliefs. Either way there is a club available to be part of.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Campus Life – The facilities are Penn State are excellent. There is always somewhere to go for anything. The gyms are excellent. Innumerable food places to try new things. Also, multiple libraries to concentrate on your studies.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Nicely Done – Major changes are very easy and getting into your desired major is no sweat at all.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: There are so many different kinds of people at Penn State that it's possible to meet someone from any background, ethnic/race, political belief, religion, and sexual orientation. Penn State is a very tolerant school.

3 College Senior

Majors: Hard Work Really Does Pay – Here's the real deal:
The academics at Penn State are tough. As a Japanese major who aced every Japanese class at my community college pior to coming to Penn State, I found I struggled with the strict grading system of Penn State's Japanese program, the amount of material I had to learn prior to class, and the lack of open enthusiasm other students seemed to have for the subject--everyone felt stressed!

But the good news:
If you are willing to give your all to your chosen classes (in any major), get the quiet people sitting next to you to open up (form a study group!),and talk to your professors or get a tutor when you are having diffiulty, you will learn an incredible amount and get an EXCELLENT education. I know that when I finish at Penn State, I will have the skills I want to get any job.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Academics Have to Be Honest! The academic honesty policy is strict at penn state---and not in a bad way! Teachers will warn and educate students on the dangers of plagiarism, which the school takes at a zero-tolerance level.

4 College Freshman

Majors: The Premedicine Advisers Have Been Great – All of the classes at Penn State are high quality, as are nearly all of the professors and advisers. The premedicine advisers are easily accessible and they know all about the process of getting accepted to medical school because they work on the Penn State Hershey Medical School advisory board!

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There are plenty of clubs and bars for students who are over 21. For the under 21 crowd, many free entertainment opportunities are offered by the university. Every weekend there are countless apartment and house parties as well as parties at all of the fraternities and sororities. The CATA buses run until the early hours of the morning for easy transport.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Interning through Penn State's Business program is made more accessible once in the SMEAL college. Once one is a student of SMEAL, then they have access to a website where they can post a resume and hope for an offer from a company for an internship or even a job. Penn State has a great business program which many students become successful after, so I have no worries in finding a job.

2 College Sophomore

Weather: It's Chilly in Happy Valley – It gets pretty chilly here compared to other places, and it gets chilly a lot sooner too. Once the girls break out the UGG boots and North Face jackets, everyone knows that it is time to prepare for winter.

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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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