Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4649 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Junior

Facilities: Best School Ever – For the glory, of old state, for her founders strong and great, for the future that we wait dear old state, dear old state. Sing our love and loyalty, sing our hopes set bright and free, rest o mother dear with thee, all with thee, all with thee. When we stood at childhood's gate, shapeless in the hands of fate, thou didst mold us dear old state, dear old state, dear old state. May no act of ours bring shame, to one heart that LOVES thy name, may our lives but swell thy fame, dear old state, dear old state.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Pretty Good Options – Around the Uni you will find a variety of fast food joints that fits everyone's needs.

2 College Junior

Weather: The weather is difficult to predict and it typically gets cold early and stays cold for a longer time. Winters are brutal, and although heavy snowfall does happen, class cancellation does not. It's a long walk to class in the snow.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Small, but a Nice Community – Let's face it, living in a tiny room with another person is never going to be terribly pleasant. Aside from that, the rooms are pretty clean and have heat, but no air conditioning. The nice thing about living on campus is that it's close to classes and there is typically a nice floor community at your fingertips.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Available, but at a Cost – Living off campus is a great alternative to living in the dorms. It's best found by shopping around at your local realty offices or looking at ads in the newspaper. Unfortunately, it seems like landlords prey upon college students and know that they can lease a crappy apartment for an exorbitant price. Parking is practically nonexistent and if you want a parking space for the year, be prepared to pay a lot.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Since this is such a large school there are alumni anywhere you go and everyone shares the same Penn State Pride that will allow for better networking when applying for jobs or internships.

3 College Junior

Parking: There is limited parking permits available for on campus parking outside of your dorm. They cost about 600 dollars for two semesters. They are pretty strict with giving out tickets which are 15 dollars each and after 3 tickets you will not be able to get a parking pass for the year.

3 College Junior

Academics: Life Science Major – The professors are willing to help as long as you show that you are trying. They will sit with you until you understand something as long as you are not just looking for the answer. They are more about understanding the process rather than always just trying to find the answer.

3 College Junior

Transportation: A lot of people have their car up so there is most likely someone traveling in your direction when you want. there are two buses that run from 20-45 dollars depending on the weekend that go to cities in the all around Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey area. There is a small airport in town that connects to Philadelphia for further flights.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Buses Are Usually the Way to Go – While you can walk, bike, or drive a car most places on campus, it's usually faster to take a bus if you're across campus from your destination. On rainy days however, buses are crowded and hard to get on, and traffic gets backed up whenever there's an event going on. It's a matter of using discretion.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Guys Are Awesome – Depending on whether or not you choose to join Greek life determines your relationship with guys here. Frat guys are respectful and watch out for you when you become close with them. It is easy to become close with these guys through philanthropies and socials.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Endless Options – At Penn State, you can literally get something good to eat at any point, day or night. The main strip in downtown State College is packed with various restaurants, and if you get hungry at 3 am when most of them are closed, it's likely that you can order take-out from somewhere.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Network Speed and Computer Labs – The network at Penn State is very fast. However, in older dorms like East Halls, there is no wireless except on the ground floor. In regards to the computer labs, they are almost always busy and are especially packed come midterms and finals.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Unparalleled Athletic Scene – First and foremost, football games at Beaver Stadium are unreal. The instant friendships that are born through the student body's pride is incredible, and rallying of 100,000+ people behind fellow students is unmatched by anything else. It's not all about football though- volleyball, wrestling, basketball and every other varsity sport experience the same support. Club and IM sports allow anyone to get involved in the thriving athletic atmosphere at Penn State.

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Safe and Secure – Most of campus is well lit with blue-light emergency boxes around, but even in poorly lit areas of campus the surroundings are still secure. Police on foot, bicycles, and cars patrol campus and ensure the safety of students. I have left my room unlocked at numerous times with no problem whatsoever; most issues that do arise involve non-students.

5 College Senior

Overall Experience: WE ARE – There is no school like Penn State. We have the best football team, we tailgate the best, but we also have great students who try just as hard when it comes to classes. There is no other school I would rather be at, than Penn State

3 College Senior

Nightlife: ive never been to a club yet, but my friends love going to them all the time. Frats can get overrated and tend to become boring. The best thing to do is hang out downtown at a friends apartment.

2 College Senior

Campus Dining: Dining Halls – There is usually variation in the daily meals, however, there is always someone who gets a piece of food that is not properly cooked. Also, the dining halls could stand to be more health-conscious, by choosing foods that are better for students rather than serving the students junk food.

2 College Senior

Scholarships: There are so many students at penn state I get that it is hard to give out scholarships. However, I have a 3.91 and I didn't get a scholarship until Junior year (and it was the only one I got) and it was small. They seem to reserve all scholarships for the honors college. And I have better grades than many of those students. I just didn't want to be in the college!

3 College Senior

Greek Life: Good Volunteers Trumps Lifestyle – The majority of greek houses (frats because sororities live in dorms) are disgusting and throw gross parties that mostly freshmen go to. However, the greeks don't look down on you if you aren't greek, and people are ok with greeks in general. The Dance MaraTHON is a huge part of penn state life, and Greeks are amazing participants in this children's cancer charity. It is wonderful of course, but Thon involvement somehow gives greeks a "free pass" to party the rest of the year because they "do so much good."

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Variety but Expensive and Difficult – The off campus housing is such a difficult process because students need to starting signing pre-leases in October for the next fall! this means freshmen that want to live off campus (and most have to) need to know after 1 month of school who they will be living with the next year! There are a lot of options, but not enough parking spaces. Additionally, the year long rents are not practical for a lot of college students. Furthermore, many landlords are making students signs binding legal contracts before the lease itself!

Many apartment buildings are nice, but those are very out of the price range for most students. Location is a big problem for those who don't have cars. Plus, parking on camping is difficult. The freedom is great. There is always an apartment to be found.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Cops usually leave you alone unless you are stupid enough to pee in the street or do something crazy. Just act normal on the streets. DO NOT WALK HOME BAREFOOT no matter how much your heels hurt!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Drug and Alcohol Visibility – I rarely was around drugs at Penn State. I have heard that they are mostly in the frat houses off campus. Alcohol is very visible, as penn state is a party school. It's a huge drinking school but you don't need to be involved in it if you don't want to.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Campus Housing: Social Atmosphere – Penn State university park campus is one big family. There are constantly people around to hang out and do fun stuff with. You never have to worry about being alone or bored.

2 College Student

Facilities: The Dorms in existence are OK. Some are quite small compared to other schools, however, they are reasonably sized considering the number of students who need housing. With that said, there are not enough dorms to house the students. There should be enough housing for at least both freshmen and sophomores.

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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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