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

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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.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Big Campus, Little Variation – Penn State main is known for being a significantly large campus, although its population is not as diverse as may be expected. There is a very large white population, with Asian (mostly Chinese and Korean) standing in second place. Penn State is also known for being a party school, and drunk frat boys and girls can be found throughout at all times. As such, there is much to be desired in terms of acceptance, because if you're not a buzz-cut alcoholic, there will be people who will try to make you feel inferior.

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3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Diverse but Expensive – The dining commons usually have plenty of alternative choices for students, including vegetarian, vegan, halal, etc. As most eating facilities are in buffet format, students can easily get their fill. Meal plans are very expensive however, and it would actually be more affordable to buy food at the supermarket.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Computer Labs Are Convenient – Compared to other schools, I have found that the computer labs at Penn State are quite reliable and there is a fair number of them spread all throughout the main campus. Every student housing area has its own computer lab, with a few able to be found in other classrooms, so there's a very good chance that there will be free space.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: There is a lot of smoking and drinking, and it is very prevalent here.

College Sophomore

Greek Life: I Think It's Good.. I'm pretty sure Greek Life makes up around 10% of Penn State's student population, but I have no interest.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: International Relations – I just switched into the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State, and I'm really happy in the college. I have the opportunity to mold my own sort of education related to International Relations, but there are many resources to assist me in the imminent job pursuit. I have been in contact Penn State's Peace Corps Representative, which is another rewarding element of being at Penn State. It is also really great to have the opportunity to study at a Political Science Institution in France via a direct exchange through Penn State. The lack of satisfaction in Liberal Arts, therefore, would not be due to a lack of available resources and opportunities.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Ease of Campus – It is not very strict here, which is awesome. It actually feels like a college campus, which is pretty surprising seeing on how small the campus is. Parties do get busted pretty often though, just because the students are stupid.

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3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Life in Toontown – There are lots of parties of course, it is Penn State. But, the nightlife is pretty much non existent in Altoona. We all have to travel to State to experience that part of college. There is bowling, a mall, restaurants, and Walmart though. hah

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Its a pretty small campus so its really easy to get around between classes. The food on and off of campus is pretty good, and there are a lot of choices. There are very nice people here and I consider my friends my second family.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: In general, Penn State is renown by its outstanding facilities. The libraries and athletic centers are incredibly developed to satisfy the needs of the students. Every week there are many activities planned to help and entertain the students in a healthy way. I believe this is a very gorgeous campus.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Excellent Place to Study – State College is a small town but beautiful, calmed, safe, clean and very green. There are a basic number of attractions as movie theaters, restaurants, mall, auditoriums... and Penn State has a lot of activities for students. This is a student centered town.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Canyon Wings – Most of the off-campus has discounts and its very convenient. Everybody goes to canyon pizza and wings. Canyon wings has so much flavors you can get and its cheap.

2 College Freshman

Weather: Too Unpredictable – The weather here is awful. One minute it is sunny outside the next it is a blizzard. It makes it hard to walk to class or even go to eat at the dining commons. Sometimes I want to go have fun n the weekends, but the weather prevents me from doing so.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Buses Are Really Convenient – The buses on campus are on point. I have nothing really to complain about. I only wish that the buses that go off-campus would start taking lion cash instead of having to pay cash. It would make going off-campus that much more convenient. But overall they are always there when I need them and the i Phone app is even more convenient so I know when the buses are coming on my phone.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: It Could Be Better – The security on campus could be better. The only time I usually see them lurking is on weekends and just finding drunk people to fine just to have something to do. I have never felt unsafe, but I feel they could do a better job.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: So parking is extremely limited and EXTREMELY costly. i recommend not bringing cars up ever unless you have to. its just a hot mess. don't bother with it. plus, with the weather here, good freakin luck getting your car out of the ice.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: there are SO many types of people at Penn State since there are 40 thousand of us. everyone dresses fabulously and most people (especially in greek life) are hot hot hot.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Dells and Macs – Every computer area has mostly dell computers and a bunch of macs as well. tons of printers available, color and black and white and first couple 100 pages are free. wireless is awesome too and available almost everywhere

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Penn State offers a wide range of academics and caters to students in hundreds of different majors. Classes are rigorous, but nothing completely unmanageable. Weekends are ALWAYS bustling with activity, and students are constantly on the go. Penn State also has fabulous study abroad and co-op opportunities. Each college and major presents individual and unique work and travel experiences for their students. These hands-on experiences largely contribute to the high regard given to a Penn State degree.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Athletics are a huge part of life at Penn State. Especially at University Park. Nothing compares to your first football game in the student section of Beaver Stadium. There's definitely a reason Penn State has a reputation for being the best student section in the country. There are also many club sports and inter mural activities for students who just love to play and aren't looking for a huge commitment.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The State College area has a wide variety of off campus living options available to students. There are certain setbacks, however, such as limited availability, far distance from campus/downtown, and price. If you look far enough in advance, however, there are many great locations that are actually cheaper than staying on campus itself. Overall, good quality!

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: There is financial aid office and there are lots of different aids if you are interested and go ask them.


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Pattee Library and Mall
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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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