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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4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Altoona is a small city and there are things to do, but not for college students. The campus is located in a valley, with no room for expansion, although they are trying to. Horse Shoe Curve is an attraction. Shopping is better than University Park in State College. Safety is unheard of. Cops don't have anything better to do than break up parties because most of the students are underage in Altoona. Sports are limited. The campus is located near the outskirts of Altoona, so there are a lot of places to hike and fish and bike. Most of the students I have spoken to can't wait to get out of Altoona because of the small classes and seeing the same people over and over again.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Dining Options and Meals – There are many places to go around campus that take meal points. However in the dining commons they always have the same meals, with the same sides and everything. Once you know the entree you can guess everything else on the menu.

3 Recent Alumnus

Computers: Computer Labs and Printing – The computer labs are nice and updated. Printing is limited to 110 pages a semester which is ok if your classes don't require printing out slides. However, all of my six classes require me to print everything out therefore I find myself buying more printing pages.

4 College Junior

Greek Life: I am a part of the greek life as a member of Sigma Alpha professional agriculture sorority. Greek housing is quickly disappearing,as Penn State continually shuts down fraternities to expand their facilities. Greek involvement is extremely high, and I believe is viewed positively in the community.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: State College is known for its college parties and nightlife. This has its pros and cons. Unfortunately it is costly and disgusting for residents to deal with the excess students go to when partying. Fortunately, it is a major draw for students coming to the university and likely plays a role in keeping enrollment up.

4 College Junior

Athletics: The fan base for major sports (like football) is excellent. The facilities are new and taken care of. Also, athletic facilities for non athlete's are also excellent and they offer a wide variety of exercise classes.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: there are taxi services that go around and the bus service is really good during the day but at night if you need to get somewhere you might be standing at the bus stop for quite a while

2 College Sophomore

Diversity: A Few Main Groups – There is a very large amount of asian students and white students. You will see black students and indian students but not nearly as often as whites or asians.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Easily Entertained – state college is a decent sized college town with a good amount of things to do. Penn state is a party school so a lot of students are busy with that but there is also the annual grange fair not far from here and quite a few local attractions that may require traveling

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Classes NEVER get canceled, so make sure you bring your rain boots, snow boots, umbrella, winter jacket, whatever. The weather is also very, very unpredictable. It can be snowing one day and fifty degrees the next and then back to snowing.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: There are all types of people on campus at Penn State. There is such a wide variety that there is definitely someone for everyone. A significant number of people are in relationships, but there are even more people who are single.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Housing on campus is pretty awesome, it's close to everything- classes, dining commons, downtown. It's clean and well-kept and the staff is very friendly. However, if you are not a member of greek life and you get placed in a building with sororities in it- SWITCH ROOMS IMMEDIATELY. You might think you'll be able to tough it out, but after fall recruitment.. you'll change your mind. They're loud at all hours of the day and night and pretty inconsiderate of everyone else.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Greek Life – Greek life is great there are always parties which are very phone and the Frats always have parties here

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Police here can be strict but online if you are falling on the ground of the intoxication. if you can keep it together you'll be fine

5 College Freshman

Athletics: I Love this place the campus is big but it has a lot of things to do a lot of diversity and you will always find something to do.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Although 99% of Penn State Students devote most of their lives to their demanding academic and extra-curricular lives, the weekends can be extremely fun when free time is available. From fraternity parties, to apartment parties left and right, to the strip of bars down College and Beaver avenue, fun times are not out of the question at Penn State.

5 College Sophomore

Computers: Computer Labs Galore – Penn State University Park has a computer lab in almost every other building it seems. Some buildings are devoted strictly to the computer labs as well. The internet connection is typically 100% wherever you choose to go. Many places have Wi Fi as well, in case you want to bring your own laptop. Some of the labs are even open 24 hours. If you can't afford a lap top, I wouldn't stress. I know I could have gotten by without owning one for the past two years, although it is convenient to have one.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: College Avenue – From fast food to bars to classier sit down restaurants, College Avenue has a variety of options. Most places take "Lion Cash" which is basically State College's way of giving students discounted meals. There are chain restaurants such as McDonald's and Subway, but there are also places unique to State College such as The Tavern and The Inferno.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Penn State does give out a lot of financial aid but being an out of state student with, at one point, two unemployed parents, they made the process extremely difficult and not too helpful.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Drug and Alcohol Peer Pressure – Here at Penn State I have never encountered someone peer pressuring me into drinking or using drugs let alone witness someone else being pressured. Everyone sticks their own business and respects each other. This is only from what I have seen. There are many people on this campus so there could be other encounters that I haven't heard of.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Campus Crime – There's really not any crime ON campus, but everynow and then there's fights or breaking in's to downtown stores.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Too Big – Penn state is nice and normally I like big campuses, but penn state is fairly hectic,huge classes.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life is not my thing, from what i hear most girls and guys enjoy themselves

4 College Student

Parking: There are a lot of parking spaces nearby. Freshmen aren't allow to have any vehicles on campus, so I'm not really sure how much the permit cost or ticketing.

4 College Student

Academics: A Great School With Great Students – I want to go to Penn State University Park because they offer Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB), something that most college don't offer. When I first visit there, my family and I went to the Creamery and the ice cream there was delicious! We were lost on the way to the administration office and a student stopped by and asked us if we need any help. He not only showed us the way, but also gave us an in-depth tour of the whole school. By the end, we end up attending a lecture with him, visited his dorm room, ate lunch, and met a lot of his friends.

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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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