Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4696 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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.

3 College Senior

Majors: Internship Availability Depends on Major – Career Services holds a job and internship fair each fall and spring that attracts thousands of employers (and big name ones, too, like Boeing, Deloitte, etc). Most of the companies at these fairs are interested in engineering, business, or IT majors. For liberal arts students, like me, it takes additional effort to find an internship. There are additional fairs, like the non-profit fair, that have other opportunities. I have volunteered with a local women's resource center that has helped me develop professional skills in counseling.

3 College Senior

Campus Dining: Great Food!!! There is a wide variety of food options here at Penn State. Sometimes the dining halls can be repetitive, but with such a wide variety of foods offered, it's easy to have something new every night of the week. Food is expensive without a meal plan though. If you live off-campus, it's not necessary to have a meal plan. It's definitely a lot cheaper to cook for yourself than have the meal plan.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Very Safe Campus – I have never felt unsafe on Penn State's campus. Take common sense measures, such as locking your dorm when you're not there, but other than that, you should be fine. Even walking back from parties late at night, the campus is safe; just keep to yourself. Although campus is large, the main paths are well lit at night. Campus security has auxiliary officers that patrol at night. All on-campus dorms and apartments are dry, so keep your drinking games quiet.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Off Campus dining is quite wonderful at Penn State. I have Celiac's Disease (gluten allergy) and terrible acid reflux. Even with these two dietary restrictions, I still find it easy to eat healthily and properly at my university. There are always so many options and different restaurants downtown that I can make selections for meals.

5 College Freshman

Computers: There are a variety of different brands of computers, Dells, Macs, and larger presentation computers which are located in the library and different commons throughout the campus. There are also always computer faculty on staff to help out with any questions or problems that arise.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: Night Prowler – There is ALWAYS something going on at Penn State, ALWAYS. The frats can suck if you don't know anyone in them because it's all frat brothers and sorority girls. I am not in greek life and i love it more than people like it IN greek life, so frats and sororities aren't everything. The bars are fantastic. Everyone has so much fun and they are all in walking distances (rather safe than sorry)

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Happy Valley – I am in love with State College. The town is amazing, it is every college students dream from paths to run on to buses at every corner for assistance. Everything is very close together but not too close. You have just enough room to be comfortable but enough room to get a good exercise from point A to point B. There are so many cute shops and it always looks so homey and nice around town. I loveee itttt.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Process Success – Penn State does a great job with organization. Financial aid went well and I couldn't be happier. The only sad thing is they do not offer financial aid for studying abroad and I find this very frustrating. I would make appointments with financial aid officer they are extremely helpful.

4 College Junior

Campus Dining: Dining Halls – Penn State has the best food ever. There are cafes all over campus and the dorms have great dining halls. They even had a thanksgiving dinner and a late night dinner for finals week. I think they did a great job with food on campus.

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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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