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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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.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: There are lots of different students. The ethnicity is very diverse and people here are very nice. You can learn about different cultures from different groups of people.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Stores Are Convenient – There are lots of stores downtown and you can get lots of things from them. They are really convenient.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: Not Alot to Give – Penn State doesn't give as much financial aid as other schools but the amount if reasonable for the amount of students that attend here.

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Most Amazing Place.Ever – Penn State offers everything you could ever want, and if there is something they don't have, you can create it yourself. The party scene is amazing and there is never a boring weekend. If you keep up with your studies, your time at Penn State will be like none other.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Penn State is amazing! It's really easy to get involved and there is something for everyone here. The football games are incredible - there is nothing like being a part of 110,000 people cheering on the Nittany Lions, especially for JoePa's 400th win!

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3 College Freshman

Weather: Gotta Love the Cold – The weather in the fall is perfect. It's in the 70s and the campus is really pretty. But fall only lasts for a few weeks and then it gets really cold, really fast. And unlike fall, winter lasts a lot longer. It also snows a lot, but the sidewalks are heated so classes are never cancelled, which is unfortunate. But the snow makes for great tray sledding!

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: CATA Bus System – The Center Area Transportation Authority has developed bus routes with consideration to students, as well as area residents. Busses traveling downtown or to campus are free. A one-way bus going into or out of town is $1.50 and the company implements bus passes. Many out of town apartment complexes include a bus pass in their rent.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: State College Downtown Dining – The best place to eat in all of State College is Green Bowl. It is a Mongolian grill where customers choose from of a variety of veggies, noodles, sauces, and meats to be grilled right in front of their eyes. It is pricey, but well-worth it, as the Green Bowl is a healthy food choice and is all-you-can-eat, so you never leave hungry. State College has a mix of franchised restaurants and family-owned, serving foods from all ethnicities. Many have laid-back atmospheres where students can spend lunch browsing their laptops or chatting with friends or professors. Many restaurants utilize "lion cash," an account attached to the student ID cards, used like cash. Downtown grocery stores, like McLanahan's, offer student-focused grocery shopping as well as made-to-order sandwiches and wraps. The Waffle Shop is favorite breakfast stop for Parent's Weekend; the line often wraps around the block, but it is always worth the wait.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Town and Gown – State College borders the Penn State campus and provides a variety of entertainment, dining, and living options. The downtown area is home to a lot of off-campus students. Every block has restaurants, shopping, convenience stores, and entertainment. Business owners are not prejudiced toward hiring students, allowing them to make a little extra cash when not in class. The transportation system is fantastic: an off-campus student can board a bus downtown, for free, and be dropped off on campus at convenient locations. The fee to take a bus outside of the downtown area to locales such as the mall, Wal-Mart, Target, etc. is nominal. State College is continually ranked as one of the safest metropolitan areas in the country. One does not feel in danger when walking alone at night, even in alleyways and empty streets. Penn State is a "party-school," so the only problem with the State College area is the abundance of bars and the loud night-life carrying on almost every day of the week. The streets are often filled with litter on weekend mornings.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Be Poor – If you come from a wealthy family, good for you, but you're not going to get much aid. I live with my dad who has separated from my mom, who works at the university and who didn't go to college, so, on top of the 75% tuition break from his employment, I get a good chunk that usually leaves me with $2000 extra every semester.

4 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Nothing Obvious – I've never been exposed to someone under the influence of drugs on campus. I occasionally see bottles of booze littering the street, but not for long because the campus clean up crew gets right on it. Drinking is a big part of Penn State. As far as illicit drugs go, the only run-in I've had was once when I was walking downtown in the middle of the night and was offered a hit but a club-goer.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: Diversity is a big issue at Penn State. Whether it's helping disabled or support for homosexuals, really the campus is very supportive. I see a blind kid getting out of a specialized van that takes him to class; and there are rainbow flags adorning the Boucke building where the LGBTS club has it's headquarters. I do not see any incidents of violence or prejudice towards anyone here on campus. Even if someone has a problem, they keep it to themselves. The only thing that I oppose is the large number of demonstrations for/against things, like abortion and gay rights or voting in November... they are a pain.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Defininatly Talk to the People – Help is always there, but it's not going to find you unless you seek for it.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Great Environment – Penn State provides excellent social atmosphere to students. The quality of dorms vary depending on where you live. Living in the south does provide convenience since it's close to downtown. The West has good food services, while the North has exceptional dorms and suites. The East is where fun stuff happens.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Drunkards Everywhere So Are the Cops – There are a lot of drunk people during weekends, but the cops here at Penn State do a pretty good job keeping people safe.

2 College Senior

Scholarships: Financial process here is an absolute nightmare. The employees at the student aid office are very nice but they have no idea what they are talking about and are always refering you to someone else. The process is frustrating and can take up to three months to be completed. My advice would be to stay on top of your financial aid and if there is a problem just keep being persistent.

5 College Senior

Facilities: The Ultimate College Experience – According the Wall Street Journal Penn State was recently named the number school for job recruiting, so that should be an intiative for you to apply here! The school has over 150 plus majors to choose from. Many students here are apart of greek life but if greek life isn't for you, don't worry, there are plenty of other clubs to choose from to be involved. Penn State has its annual 24 hour dance marathon,THON, to raise money for kids who are battling cancer. Although Penn State is located in the middle of nowhere the campus and downtown area is big enough for one to forget there surrounding. There is so much to here, one is never bored!

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Frat Guys – Most of the guys that make up that Penn State population are your typical frat guys. If your not into frat boys there are plenty of other boys who all have a pretty atletic build accompanied by their preppy compliance. Overall the guys here are pretty hot.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: Very Little Finacial Aid – Penn state gives out very little money unless you get a scholarship.

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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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