Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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."

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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.

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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.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Rain/Snow Is Tough – Rain and snow or any precipitation makes getting around campus on the bus very difficult. If there is inclement weather buses should be accomodating and put a few more on.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Penn State has been more strict due to a student who died due to drinking. Greek life hasnt been as crazy as years before, but things are easing up as every semester goes on.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: Penn State for the most part is a predominantly white school. With being in the middle of PA and located in a suburban area, there is less diversity compared to colleges in the city. That being said, i find that there is more diversity at penn State than you think. people from all over the country and continents come to penn state.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The local atmosphere of Penn State has a combination of the small town feel and a great college campus. Penn State is located literally in the middle of no where in Pennsylvania, but in the city of State College there is lots to offer. the Downtown at Penn State is conveniently located within walking distance of the campus. has a bunch of shops and places to eat. The Greek life at Penn State is very active, although there are plenty of clubs/organizations you can join to get involved. The campus at Penn State is huge, but very organized. It takes about 15-20 mins to walk from one corner of campus to the other. you definitely get your daily exercise, but not to fear there are plenty of buses that run every 15 mins. Penn State in my opinion is one of the safest campuses around. you can feel safe walking alone at night if you have to study at the library.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Campus Life – Every student needs to get involved and maintain a high sense of school pride. There are many things to do, and see all around the campus.

4 College Junior

Facilities: The Penn State Library offers a plethora of resources that a student can use to succeed. They have computer resources, books, and databases that students can access at all hours.

4 College Junior

Academics: Well-Rounded Professors – Penn State University offers a diversity of professors, all of which are willing to help a student succeed. Being a student at Penn State has shown me that no matter how hard life becomes, there will always be a teacher in the world to support me. Professors at Penn State are knowledgeable, respectful, and supportive.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I received the financial aid I needed however if you have to speak with the financial aid office you are in for a nightmare. Due to the fact that Penn State has over 40,000 students phone lines are overwhelmingly busy. My advice for anyone pursuing financial aid is to get your forms in as early as possible and if necessary call the officer first thing in the morning to speak to someone.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Happy Valley – Penn State truly is the happiest of valleys. When choosing colleges I was never certain of a specific school and just wound up choosing Penn State. Three years later I can say it was the best decision of my life thus far. I have made the best friends while obtaining a highly valued education. The football games, parties, classes, I love it all.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: At Penn State there are numerous sororities and fraternities available which offer a wide variety to students. Students who wish to become part of the Greek life have a wide selection of options so everyone can find their best fit. As a student who is a non-Greek I have always felt welcomed by the Greeks and so do my other friends. Everyone hangs out together regardless of the Greek system. As for housing the fraternity houses are very nice and all along one street for the most part which makes them easily accessed. The sororities live on a floor of a dorm building which house very nice rooms. I think the Greek life at Penn State is great and one of the best around.

3 College Junior

Transportation: not bad but sometimes the cab drivers are very unprofessional and rude.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Alchol is a major issue at every college no matter where you go. Espeacially at parties.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: A Lot of the Same – Coming from a primarily white suburban high school, Penn State seems diverse; however, a lot of people complain that there is a lot of the same types of people. While there are a lot of people involved in greek life, there are also so many students that there is every type of person.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: So Many Options – Since State College revolves around Penn State, there are tons of off-campus dining options. A website called LionMenus even helps facilitate the search for food downtown and delivery services. There's a Panera, Chili's, McDonald's, etc. But, there are also some really great diverse places as well including Cozy Thai, Golden Wok, and India Pavilion. Most places are open late to accomodate the partying crowd. Canyon Pizza has dollar slices late at night and is a college essential.

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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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