University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Very Safe at Night – There has not been a day that i havent felt safe walking around campus or on any transportation source on campus. Its not scary at all either.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Having Trouble in Class – As evrybody knows classes are not always easy. They are not comapred to high school either, but we have enough or more resources in our hands to use at our own advantage. Meaning there is no way a student cannot get help to overpass an obstacle they might have in class.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Nearly Impossible to Be Bored – Nightlife at Penn State is full of activities. The campus offers many activities as part of their "Late Night" events at the HUB. These can include featured performances, movies, games, etc. Best part is that all of this is free!

There are also a ton of parties that happen up here. These can range from huge frat parties to small, more intimate apartment parties with a few good friends. Many of the fraternities will host something almost every weekend and you don't have to be a brother to attend (just pay a small cover fee and/or BYOB). If you do decide to drink underage, police around here are not ridiculously strict on the issue. Parties are more likely to be stopped due to noise violations and everyone else can just leave provided you don't act up inappropriately. The risk is yours to take, but there are plenty of opportunities to ensure you have enjoyable nights.

4 College Freshman

Academics: School of Music Is Fantastic! The professors in the School of Music are extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. They are very passionate about what they do and it shows in their work. You learn a lot in every class, and its knowledge that you will actually use in the field.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Easy to Get Around – The CATA buses are definitely your best best. There are two loops that go between campus and downtime and two "links" that go across campus that are free to use. These run until about 2:30 AM, so you can safely get back home if you've had a little too much to drink. There are many other buses available at $1.50 a ride with options available such as a card that is good for the semester. If you can't get a bus, there are many taxi services that can take care of you.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Stick to North or West – If you have the opportunity, stay in North Halls. Although it may be more secluded, it is the most quiet of all the dorms on campus and gives you a better environment to focus on studying. The dorms there are also suite style, so you get a small living room, a bathroom with shower, and two bedrooms that you either share with one person or have to yourself. They also have carpeting and Heat/AC.

If you can't get in North, try West. Its in the middle of campus and is rather equidistant to most buildings. They may be your typical dorms, but they have the best dining hall on campus.

4 College Junior

Majors: Being a student at Penn State is something that can only be described once you are a Penn Stater. I'm currently in the Smeal College of Business studying Supply Chain Management & Information Systems. They offer a very challenging and well ranked business program for its students. The amount of work and exams are not easy and you will need to put your time in if you want to succeed in any of the classes, but that is what makes Penn State the accredited school it is. The class sizes are very large, sometimes breaking the 350 students barrier, but professors will make the time to sit down and talk or help you. The program is structured very well in that all classes you take mesh into each other making the subjects flow as opposed to it being choppy. Penn State was ranked #1 with recruiters and their Career Fair is no different. During my time at Penn State I was able to complete two co-ops and two internships with Fortune 500 companies. The university offers two extremely large career fairs, one being in the fall for all majors and the second being specific to your business major. Being a supply chain management major we have a supply chain management career fair with companies just looking for students in our major. This makes it very possible to find an internship or full time job because of the universities program.

2 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: State College has been notorious for their extremely expensive housing, regardless of whether you rent a house or an apartment. For being in the mountains, not not a major city such as New York or Boston, you would expect to have reasonable housing options. There are a handful of realtors that own almost all of the apartments at State College and charge unbelievable prices for what they offer. Many of the buildings are extremely outdated and in need of serious repair. For the price you pay to live close to campus you need a job. If you want to pay a reasonable amount for off-campus housing you'll have very muscular legs from all the walking you'll be doing.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Many Options of Food Available, but Carry a Not So Friendly College Student Price Tag – University Park has a vast selection of dining option closely located off campus. Most of the restaurants available to students provide a diverse selection of food from many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. At any point you can go downtown for Indian, vegetarian, or even Thai. Thai Noodle is a small Thai place located further off campus that has great food for a reasonable price. Some of the restaurants are student price friendly but some bear a heavy price tag that doesn't seem fair to a student budget. When it comes to State College food, you get what you pay for.

5 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: Every type of restaurant you can think of exists in state college, many along the streets adjacent to campus. There's upscale dining, to upscale chains, fast food, and local restaurants, ethnic restaurants etc. You can always find something you want. too much to choose from!

4 College Student

Local Atmosphere: College Community – The college is immersed in the community. There's always something to do on campus, as well as stuff to do off campus. Every type of restaurant and store you can think of--state college has it. The relationship between the students and the community is one of positive interdependence.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: If you want housing close to campus you have to really proactive. However if you want it there are lots of options you just might have to live far away sort of.

5 College Junior

Health & Safety: Penn State is more on top of everything then you know. They are prepared for any issue and can handle things quickly and correctly. Crime generally isn't very high.

4 College Junior

Academics: If you want help you can get help with whatever you need. If you want to just do your thing you can do your thing.

3 College Student

Transportation: Lots of Buses – I can catch a bus just about anywhere I need to go. No complaints. The mega bus is cheap and gets me back to pittsburgh when necessary

3 College Student

Parking: I am on the East side of the campus, we really don't have a parking problem.

2 College Student

Nightlife: TO MUCH PARTYING – Everyone at the school only want to party and get drunk. Penn State sets up evens for students to attend but they bomb out because students just want to drink

4 College Student

Campus Dining: Dining halls at Penn State are kept clean and orderly. The menus cater to all kinds of eaters, including Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan options. The campus meal plan allows students a 65% discount on all food items, which allows students to maximize their plans and eat well. The HUB Dining option allows students to eat at fast food/ restaurants when campus food becomes mundane.

4 College Senior

Nightlife: The nightlife at Penn State, as many people know, is amazing. For the freshman and the people under 21, the Frats are a great start. They usually let Freshman in without much of a problem and they serve an adequate amount of alcohol. When you meet people though, the parties eventually move to apartments and house parties. Then when you turn 21, there are many bars that people can go to, which is a big part of campus life.

Transportation is also really easy, as the busses go deep into the night.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Lion Menus – Penn State features a great online service called lionmenus.com. It's great for late night snacking and many of the places that are featured either include delivery or only charge a small fee. This is good for all types of food including sandwiches, Chinese, Italian, burgers, sushi, etc. etc.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: I have always felt safe in and around Penn State's Campus. There are always auxiliary cops stationed around campus, even late into the night. Around campus there are also places where there are phones just in case something happens. Many people are also out during the night so you never have to feel like you're walking down "dark city allies" or anything even close to that nature

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: PSU contains a wide variety of sororities, and fraternities for anyone interested in joining. Some of the greek sororities/fraternities have their own housing, and some do not. Its pretty rare not to see someone walking around with a sweatshirt displaying their greek life.

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5 College Freshman

Diversity: Penn State University is a world renowned school, that contains almost everyone from around the world. The school contains lots of different races, religions, beliefs, and sexual orientation. Everyone gets along with one another like a giant family. Its enforced prejudice free-zone creates a comfortable environment for anyone to attend.

1 College Freshman

Weather: Weather on campus can only be described as unpredictable. Due to Penn State being located in a valley, it's weather seems to change dramatically throughout day. For the last three months, we have only had rainy days. The sun has shone only a few times throughout these long rainy months. Weather is always destined to change. Even though it maybe sunny out in the morning, its always best to bring a umbrella, and jacket just in case.

2 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Campus Policy – During each students freshmen year, they are to complete a survey/information video on PSU safety, and being aware. Some of the topics include the basic rules, and regulations that students are to follow accordingly. One of the major topics include alcohol consumption on campus. Due to Penn State being one of the top party schools in the country, many students tend to have drinking problems. The PSU aware shows the statistics of how many students drink on campus, and the consequences that come with it. The rules are strict but easy to follow. Number one: Do not drink under-age. Many students on campus are caught each weekend for violating this rule, due to busted parties. Police forces are every where around campus, and every Thursday- Sunday police are ready to bust a party at any moment.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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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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