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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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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1 College Freshman

Parking: This is not a driving friendly campus, you always have to avoid hitting people and parking is a huge pain.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Regarding strictness about %50 of classes take attendance, and with alcohol most people get caught at some point but if you are smart you should be fine.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Honors College/Major – The only scholarship I got here was from being accepted into the honors college as a freshman. For that I get something like 3500 a year. However I know a lot of people with much lower GPAs/stats than me who got alot of scholarship money from their major department - I'm undecided so I didn't get anything. Keep that in mind

2 College Freshman

Greek Life: No sorority houses (they live on dorm floors), but there are a million and one frat houses that every freshman visits at the beginning of the year. I rushed the sororities but didn't end up joining one and I'm really glad. The whole greek community is reallllyyy stuck up here and superficial (check out collegeacb.com if you don't believe me) but alot of people love it, so I guess it's to each there own. But at a certain point the frats start becoming jerky to anyone (including hot girls) who is not in one of the "top tier" sororities. So eventually you discover all of the other party options available that are a lot more fun and less disgusting than frat parties. But I do recommend them to incoming freshmen during the first semester - they are fun.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The athletic centers/gyms are awesome, you can get to one from anywhere you are really, the HUB is great and has some yummy food there as well as some nice sitting spots, the library seems really nice altho I haven't spent a bunch of time there, there is wifi allll over campus (except in most dorm rooms), and the campus is really nice. There is always something to do activity wise on campus, you just gotta look for it. I love it here!

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: Easier in State – It is much easier to get financial aid as a Pennsylvania resident. If you are from out of state, it is more challenging.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Go Anywhere – If you're looking for a party, you're bound to find one everyday of the week ninety percent of the time. Most are located at apartments or fraternity houses. If you're not the partying type, you can always go to the HUB (student center) where movies are played during the weekend. There's also no harm in going downtown, no matter what kind of a person you are!

4 College Freshman

Computers: There are a plethora of computers available all over campus. While it can get pretty crowded at the library, one will usually find an open computer or two. Some areas are never crowded, because an overwhelming percentage of students bring laptops to school.

5 College Junior

Scholarships: I have had a very good experience with the financial aid offices. They have helped me in many ways so that I could receive the most aid possible.

5 College Junior

Parking: Student parking is available for everyone who has a car. The only condition is that student vehicles must include a parking permit which is obtainable for free at the security office.

5 College Junior

Academics: World Campus Vs. Resident/Commuter Campus – I think that the world campus is great. In comparison to the other campuses, the world campus offers degrees for nontraditional students, such as those who live outside the USA or working parents who cannot take classes on a traditional campus. However, I do feel that the workload is a little heavier since students do not have classes in which professors can explain the work. Also, a student must be very dedicated because there is only one deadline at the end of the week rather than twice or three times a week.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Good Food in Certain Dining Halls – There are many options to eat on campus. Certain halls are known for their signature halls. One hall has a huge food court similar to a mall so you can get pretty much anything you want. Otherwise, just typical and basic college food.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: Excellent Sports – If you love football, you can't go wrong with Penn State. With the second largest football stadium in the nation, the place becomes a deafening mob of energetic fans during games. While any team has its down years, Penn State is almost always ranked in the top 25 college football teams in the nation. All sports at Penn Sate are Division 1, and some of our other popular top-notch sports here include wrestling, women's volleyball, and fencing.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Easy as Pie – I only applied for financial aid one semester as I was a part-time, distance learner. However, I was able to complete everything online using just a few simple steps.

5 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: Great School Spirit – Great school spirit. Even to a distance learner, I felt that I was part of the community.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Almost Another World – The frats tend to be pretty relaxed. Sure, you get some of the stereotypical frat guys, but with the number of houses on campus, it's hard to find one that you won't like. Sororities are another story, as they tend to be pretty snobby. However, if you have no interest in Greek life, there's plenty of fun to be had outside the Greek system.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Very Gym Oriented – Students like to stay in shape, and it shows. The gyms are always crawling with the stereotypical frat guys lifting weights and sorority girls on the treadmills, but the desire to remain in shape and healthy isn't unique to the greeks.

2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Mostly Need Based – While I received a small scholarship as part of my acceptance into the Honors College, it seems as though scholarships are strictly need based (from the FAFSA), making it very difficult to receive any aid for those deemed "ineligible."

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3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Cops Are Realistic – State College is the quintessential college town and as such, there's quite a bit of drinking. Recently the police/university have been trying to crack down on underage drinking, but it seems as though, for the most part, they realize that it is best to protect students and ensure safety as opposed to trying to completely rid the campus of underage drinking.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Easy Access to Variety – There are a lot of different dining options available, and they offer a wide variety of dining experiences (flavor and cost).

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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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