University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4655 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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2 College Freshman

Scholarships: If an individual is out of state and going to Penn, the financial aid for tuition is difficult to get although you get a decent amount but basically it's based on loans and grants.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Even though there isn't much going on in Reading PA, people are always finding new ways to keep themselves busy with college or managing time doing his/her job. Reading is a nice quiet area where you can exercise in parks or compete on a sport team. The atmosphere is peaceful yet busy.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Apply Scholarship – Apply as many as possible scholarships, the more you apply, the higher chances you can get.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: KSS Banquet – KSS (KHMER STUDENTS SOCIETY)is on of the famous club in Penn State, they offer banquet to the members of KSS students every semester and they also help us with the financial aid.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The library is awesome and big. The library was contributed by the football coach, who is a male has worked for Penn State for more than 40 years.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Alcohol Is a Staple – Marijuana usage occurs here, but I would only say 10% of students use it regularly. The only times I've ever been around it was at frat parties. Alcohol however is everywhere. Bars are on every block, greek life is huge, and students go out every night of the week. There is a lot of peer pressure to drink and it's very out of control. However, if you are responsible and trust the people you go out with, then it's a great place to have a social life.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Variety Doesn't Mean It's Easy – Penn State University at University Park has every possible option for living such as apartments, townhouses, downtown homes, apartments further from campus, you name it they have it. However, that does not mean finding the right place for you is easy. Cost, location, roommates and parking are just a few of the issues that cause problems with students.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: My parents helped me apply for financial aid, but it was all very confusing. We had done it once before with help, but trying to do it on your own can be problematic sometimes. It is very up in the air.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Whats Not to Love – I was very unsure of Penn State when I went because it is such a big campus. However, it is so big you can find your own niche of friends and enjoy every single part of campus. Once you find those friends, it doesn't matter how big the campus is because you have people there with you. I found those friends and my experience so far has been amazing.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Lab Avalability – Penn State has a very large campus. It has close to 40,000 students attending per semester. There are a lot of computer labs; however, when many students need to access the computers at the same time or try to use them during finals week, they fill up very fast. It is sometimes even impossible to find one. Our HUB (union building) is currently undergoing renovations and I hope that it will put in more labs to help solve this problem a little.

College Freshman

Scholarships: Very Helpful – The financial aid office has been very helpful to me and my friend.

College Freshman

Nightlife: Is Very Bored When It Comes to Fun – Schuylkill campus is not a place for fun. Is very bored there. Best place to stay focus.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Freshman Dorms Are Not Very Nice – Freshamn dorms are the worst ones on campus. They are very small but they do come with a mini fridge, a desk and chair, and either a set of drawers or a small closet. Freshman housing is also on the very edge of campus and is a good ten minute walk from downtown and the center of campus.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Very Safe – Campus police are very often seen riding bikes around campus and there are many blue lights around campus that can be used to call for help if needed. There is also a number that can be used to call for an escort to walk you back to your room or building if you do not feel safe going by yourself. Campus is also well light along the main walkways.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Pretty Good! Overall the options on campus for dining are good. There is plenty so it's convenient. The quality of the commons are good too. However the only downside is that the menus are just rotated so after a few months, the food gets repetitive.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Ramsey Student Center – The facilities at Penn State are really good. There are different gyms on campus for basketball, volleyball, and weightlifting—all that Ramsey has to offer—and then some. The student area is very modern. There are nearby dining halls, places to study, and convention rooms. It’s a very popular hangout due its long hours of operation.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: I barely received any and it was a bit of a hassle

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Greek Life: I joined greek life looking for a few things: friends for life (although i had the best friends one could ask for already at PSU), a guaranteed party every weekend, and a way to become involved. When I received a bid from one of my top choice sororities, I was so excited, an excitement that soon turned to dread as the pledging process started. Fortunately, there was no hazing yet we were forced to do various philanthropic and volunteer services programs and were yelled at if we missed too many, even if we had an exam the next day and needed to study. Greek life focuses mainly on the social aspect of college and winning charity events than what the real goal in those events were in the first place.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: East Halls – Although most freshman students choose to live here, the dorms are tiny and difficult to live in, not to mention pretty far from classes. On the upside its easy to meet new people which is key first year.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Athletics: Penn State athletics remain one of most competitive and recognizable brands of collegiate sports in the country. This leads to undying and loyal support from local fans, students, faculty, and alumni. I have the privilege to witness this first hand as a Nittany Lion student-athlete.

3 College Senior

Diversity: Needs More Work – While most people on this campus are pretty tolerant of others, a large disparity still exists between the groups of people. The school is still made up of mostly white students that come from fairly similar backgrounds culturally and economically. There have been strides made in closing this gap, but it still needs more work.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Dont Expect Much – There is nonexistent merit based scholarship. I have a near perfect GPA but get offered nothing. Even financial need doesnt mean much. Myself, and friends even worse off dont get need based scholarship. The only way to get scholarships are to be a minority or athlete-regardless of your need or merit.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Non-Mealplanners Left Out – If you dont have a mealplan you pay way too much for food, over $10 for dinners, whereas those with a mealplan pay around $3

5 College Student

Facilities: Alot of Places to Study – There are plenty of places to study at Penn State. The hub which is one of the busiest places on campus is also home to hundred of people studying for exams. There are multiple study rooms and the Paterno/Patee library is ideal for all nighters.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: The hype that comes along with football games is immense. Home games are completely mind boggling, and no matter what happens you will see something crazy, whether it be people being thrown in the air or riots after amazing wins.


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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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