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

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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.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greeks are highly involved in THON, which is a philanthropy at our school that inspires many to donate millions of dollars to kids with pediatric cancer. Greeks are one of the many organizations/clubs that get involved.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: Somewhat Diverse – There are a lot of different races and religions on campus, but everyone normally just sticks to their "groups."

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of Options – College Avenue has plenty to choose from, whether it be fast food or high-end.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Wireless Access – The wireless internet in the common areas normally has a fast speed, but there are times that it is very slow. Also, not having wireless in the dorms is often a hassle.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: State College is awesome. Anything you would want to do is here for you and its all set up college students.

2 College Freshman

Campus Dining: food is average and is pretty repetitive. needs more variety and better quality

4 College Freshman

Majors: Not Bad – It wasn't too difficult to get into the finance program at Penn State, but once in, you are required to maintain a 3.5 GPA because the major is so popular. You don't get to take any finance courses right away because the college of business makes you take classes in accounting, supply chain management, and a few others first to make sure finance is really what you want to study.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: What a Mess – Greek life is pretty big at Penn State, although the vast majority of students aren't in a frat or a sorority. They tend to be exclusive and over the top. If you're looking for something interesting to do, there are plenty of other places to look.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Lots of Fun, If You're of Age – If you are a guy and a freshman, it can sometimes be difficult to find something to do on campus at night. The university offers a lot of late night programs at the HUB, but that can get a little old after a while. If you are of age, the scene is pretty interesting. There are plenty of places to check out downtown.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Night Life – The night life of Penn state is for student that are of age and like to party

5 College Freshman

Computers: Computer Labs – The computer labs in Penn State are very usefull i could walk into any computer lab and find a free computer

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: It is so easy to get off campus food! We have anything a major city would ask. It is right across the street and many off campus students walk by them to get home everyday!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: The facilities i have access to are outstanding! It seems as if once one thing seems to get old a new facility appears and I exploit it. The Hub is a great recreational center, commons always have computer labs, and workout facilities are scattered around campus. Although we live in happy valley and the weather can get out of hand it is easy to gain access to any facility needed.

5 College Senior

Athletics: One of the Top Athletic Departments – Although I am not an athlete, I know our athletic department is top notch at Penn State. Many athletes that play here go pro and love their time here. People from all over come to play here and see the greatest games.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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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