Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4655 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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2 College Junior

Weather: From freezing cold temps and high winds to non-stop rain storms, some of the worst walking weather can be found in State College. Unless you're staying here over the summer, be sure to pack your bags HEAVILY with Alaskan-style hiking gear and rain boots.

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: No one expects you to live on campus, in the same area, in the same building, for three years straight. But when you are living in the lap of dorm luxury in North Halls, it's hard to break away. Spoiled with carpeted rooms, private bathrooms, centralized A/C and heating, and wireless internet throughout the building, residents of Holmes Hall live like kings.

5 College Junior

Academics: The HRIM major at PSU was a fallback after realizing the marketing wasn't for me. I'm so glad I made the switch. While there are some classes that are unavoidable and entirely boring and torturous, the others are well worth it. A nutrition lab that requires me to make clam chowder and taste test Snickers bars? Yes please! A 3 credit course on planning the perfect menu? Sign me up! For the future restaurateur or hotelier, this is the major, and college, for you!

5 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Guys and Girls – Both guys and girls are different at my school. Everyone are from different places but everyone gets along. The students dress different talk different and even look different.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: The Facilites on campus are always kind hearted and always there for you.

4 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Not a whole lot of parking if you are a student without a parking permit. Parking permits aren't too expensive, but it can be quite a walk to get your vehicle. Plenty of free on/off campus public transportation though.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Lots of opportunities to learn in your major. Professors are almost always willing to help and want students to grow. Decent workload and some tough classes to get through, but I'm very satisfied. Always an opportunity to get involved in something deeper than just general coursework.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: Living on Campus – Definitely a lot of social opportunities and really convenient for getting to classes. A little bit cramped in some dorms, but some are very large. Always close to food/dining and always close to transportation.

4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Plenty of dining halls... a place to eat pretty much regardless of where you are on campus. A variety of ways to use meal plan.. can even use meal plan to purchase things at football games. Good food and so many choices.

4 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Overall a great place to be.. good learning environment, great people, fun places to explore..definitely would choose Penn State again and would do it all over!

4 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Plenty of public transportation..and its free on campus.

4 Recent Alumnus

Health & Safety: Definitely Safe – I don't think I have ever felt unsafe. Campus police are available and there is an escort service that can be used if ever in an unsafe situation. Very little campus crime.. but always keep doors locked anyway.

5 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Penn State has a great range of things to attract students. Its educations is superior, it has the sports aspect (in the big 10- football, and a nationally winning volleyball team), it also has a great social scene as I'm sure you've heard about. However, with events like THON students are able to get together, in a completely student run organization, and make a real difference for not only the surrounding community, but also the rest of the nation. Over all its a great place to be no matter where your interests lie!

3 College Freshman

Transportation: So Much Confusion – The Cata bus system seems like a good idea, but it has it's downfalls. It is very confusing, considering there is nothing telling you where the bus is going. However, it is free around campus which is the best part. If you want to venture outside of campus, you have to pay a fee.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: There is hardly any parking available during the week here at Penn State. You have to use one of the very limited parking garages and pay per hour. During football games, parking spaces are very hard to come by. You have to fight for a spot. It is very frustrating when parents come to visit and they need to pay to park. If they do not have a permit 75% of the time their car will get towed, which is completely rediculous.

3 College Senior

Nightlife: The campus closes around 7, but there are bars, etc in the area

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: i dont know about the public transportation but the parking spaces are limited.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Student Center – i visited one of the student center to make my ID. It was in very beautiful environment. Everything was neat and clean. Faculty members were very kind.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Wild and Fun – Known as a top party school, but it's all about drinking. You also need to be part of a fraternity or know somebody to get in

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Transportation: Campus Bus – The Cata Bus which is the local transportation bus offers free campus bussing to students around campus. There are several routes that reach all areas of campus and run very frequently offering great convenience.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: The Local Police – The local police force in the State College area deal with a lot of student drinking. With that being said, I feel like the are very tolerant of what goes on in the area but at the same time can be strict in terms of what is deemed unacceptable behavior.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Off Campus Apartments – The off campus apartments in and around State College for Penn State students provides decent housing options that are very affordable while being close to campus and offering good convenient access to public transportation.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Although off-campus housing in the downtown area is rather expensive there are still a very wide range of options for students to choose from. Unfortunately the nicest ones that offer the widest range of amenities are fairly far from campus. The ones that are close to campus don't have many amenities and the parking is usually very limited and expensive.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I dont know why people say East isnt pretty to look at or live in. I love my room. Its big, has room for all of my stuff, and then some. The location isnt great, but there is a bus station right at the front of the complex. Plus, its next to the stadium, bjc, the creamery, and the IM building. The rooms may not be as nice as West or south, but they are still nice, sized rooms

5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: I love the food here, I never get bored. I have only been to Findlay since Ive been here (except for my visit last November when i ate at pollock) but the food is awesome. It gets repetitive, but there are som many options. Plus, if you want to get out of the commons, you can go to the Big O, get a 14 inch sub, and a 16oz drink for $2.80, or a $.80 slice of pizza. All in all, between Roxys to the Big O to Fresh Express, all the food (just from east) is amazing

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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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