Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4621 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Senior

Drug Safety: Beer Valley – I've never seen any hardcore drug usage. There are some students who use marijuana, but most consume alcohol.

2 College Senior

Diversity: A Predominately White Institution – White students of the middle and upper-middle classes make up the bulk of the student body while there is a fair amount of international students. Diversity has improved in recent years but there is still a noticeable divide between the ethnic/racial groups.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: A True College Town – Penn State - University Park has a large campus that offers many student-centered activities and clubs. It is a place where the students work and hard and also play hard.

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4 College Junior

Academics: Everywhere you go you hear about Penn State, whether its for Sports or Academics. The teachers care despite the large class sizes. People don't rave about happy valley for nothing.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: True College Town – Penn State's main campus is in State College PA, which I feel speaks for itself. The whole town revolves around Penn State and the events that are going on with the University. It is safe and there is always transportation available. Honest A.

4 College Senior

Majors: Find What You Like – The admission process for my major is not difficult at all and there are only a few requirements that have to be met. These requirements are GPA, First Level classes completed and show an interest in the program. I then went to an adviser and he put me in the system right then and there. I would assume that other majors are similar and willing to work with the students and the best tip i can offer is to talk to an adviser and figure exactly what you need to do.

4 College Senior

Academics: I enjoy being the major of Hotel, Restuarant and Institutional Management. It is always graded at one of the top majors in the United States and it is a lot of fun to be in. The curriculum is friendly and structured to teach everyone the essientals. The facilities are very nice and up to date. And your workload is usually pretty reasonable with the help of your advisor(s) who are all great. The amount of jobs and internships or just opportunities are very plentiful and the networking is very good. I enjoy this major so much and can't wait to get back to classes and the professors this fall as they are all very helpful.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Penn state is a very active university. There is always something to do or go see. There are multiple concerts being held, plays, football and basketball games.Tailgating is huge for the football games in the fall and the town is super busy. If you don't want to stay on campus that is fine because you can always easily walk right across the road into downtown state college. You can go eat, go shopping, go see a movie, go to a party or anything else you can think of. The nice thing about Penn state is that there is always something to do outside of classes and school work and the town is very friendly so there are multiple places to go. The Atmosphere is great at Penn State and always active.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Tons of Variety – There are a wealth of majors with notable professionals included in each as both teachers and advisors. If you don't like what you start out doing you will haven no issue switching your major.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Public Ivy – Penn State academics are notably good, it is no wonder we are considered to be on the of the public ivies at a top 15 public institution.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: State College has a wealth of opportunities for shopping, eating and everything else. Arts Fest is the best.

2 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Penn State is in a very isolated area. However, it is a small city with plenty of things to do. If you live in an urban area I would say Penn State is not the school for you.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: School Spirt – everyone is so into their school pride not a day goes by where you dont see a person proud to be there. I transferred from a different college and its an actual college atmosphere compared to previous experiences.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Always Somthing to Do – Theres always a party whether you know them or not theres tons of frats always having something on the weekends. The transportation is great and runs throughout the night.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Easily Excessible Yet Pricey – Finding housing is really easy but you have to apply early for it which is sometimes an inconvenience. The cost is fairly high for college students but usually the payments have everything included. A lot of the housing also includes the transportation so in the long run cost balances out.

2 College Junior

Drug Safety: You can find whatever it is that you want, but you might get caught.

5 College Junior

Campus Dining: So Many Options – There are enough choices on campus to keep you from getting bored with the food.

4 College Junior

Computers: Good Labs, Bad Wireless – During normal school hours, most computer labs are pretty busy. You can almost always find a spot in one of the commons, but you will have to wait in line or get lucky in the library or the business building. The wireless network is strong is some buildings but unreliable in most places.

4 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: The free loop buses are great and go to a lot of locations both on campus and in the main downtown area.

2 Recent Alumnus

Parking: There are lots of places for people to park on campus, but it is very expensive to get a permit, so there are advantages and disadvantages.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Many of the professors are experienced in the advertising field and are able to share stories and prepare students for careers after graduation.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: College Town! Its great theres so much to do, its a college town though i wouldnt really live here unless i was a student or a professor

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Laid Back – Penn State is a party school, everyone parties here. People sometimes get caught, but if you don't do anything stupid you won't get caught at a party, unless your driving under the influence. Just be careful at the tailgate parties, the campus police will bust you for underage drinking, they check everyone's ID.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: House Parties – Penn State University Park is rated number seven in the top ten party schools in the U.S. The clubs are fun, and downtown State College is right next to campus, but the house parties are way better, and they're usually free. We Are Penn State!

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Very Secure – Penn State University Park is a very safe campus. The Auxiliary Police force is quite good at making students feel safe on campus. They even escort students who don't want to walk around campus at night by themselves. But be careful at the football games, they check everyone's ID for underage drinking at the tailgate parties.

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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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