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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5 College Senior

Academics: I would not be where I am today if it weren't for the education at Penn State. It is unparalleled. Many grad schools recognize the name immediately, and that opens many, many doors. I wouldn't go anywhere else.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: On party!! This place is a party school. Especially on Thursday to Sunday. As the sun goes down, people come out for the fun. In groups as small as two to as many as 10+, they scroll down together to find where the party is at. It is everywhere... you don't have to look too hard. I am not into parties but for those who like the rush of the nightlife, more power to you, and I advise that you go.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: I am kinda of glad I didn't bring a car up here. You are at risk of hitting people or other cars, getting hit yourself, or watching someone else get hit. I just love the rush of watching my life flash before my eyes. I can't help to cover my eyes as the grill of a car halts violently to a stop as a students glares at the driver for nearly running them over. Hell, I wait for cars to pass or dash across the street for good measure. Accidents don't occur everyday! It's just something you have to adjust to... I guess (shrug).

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: College builds character... a slow and painful process. My social experience haven't been what I wanted it to be in the beginning (shrug). I haven't been getting those sparkling grades I am used to getting (sigh). But, the place is beautiful. When my grades start looking better, I will have time to enjoy the place. I might find some nice people to talk to on the regular bases (it took a while for me come around), and my aniexty will decline once I adjust. That's college for you and lifes a b****! I have cried, swore, sweated, spat, cursed, fussed, screamed, and threw down my textbook then kicked it. Once I turn 21, I will chased it with vodka! I will suck it up, dry my eyes, and push forward the next day. I can make from here and you can too.

1 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I have found that socializing and adjusting on this campus is very difficult. I am introvert myself so socializing isn't automatic.I wish people up here took the time to understand that not everyone is an "in your face" kinda of person. It isn't that I don't want to talk to people... it's just I don't feel comfortable talking to other people I don't know right way. I need time to get a "feel" of other and the vibes I have been is negative and unwelcoming. And yeah, for I don't want to talk to anyone. If your are an extrovert of course this wouldn't make sense to you.

4 College Freshman

Computers: The computers at Penn State allow each person to print and work on their assignments needed for class. If there are no computers left then they can use a laptop which can be connected to the printer. The internet runs smoothly and usually does not lag.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Campus Life – There are so many different clubs at campus. Also, there is a vast variety of I.M. sports and collegiate level sports. The soccer stadium is the perfect place to play any outdoor sport, and the fitness center is state of the art.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: There are many bus stops around campus and if you cant get to the bus everything is so close to campus that you could walk or bike to everything.

5 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Best Places – There are is a main dining hall on campus along with 2 smaller shops on each end plus all of the off campus food like Sheetz, Pizza Hut, Subway, Doughnut Connection, Dollar Store, Wendys, and Papa Johns.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Penn State understands that you need to know all that you can for graduate school or straight to work from out graduation. Therefore, courses here are fast paced. However, this does not prevent students from learning all that they can while at Penn State.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Penn State has the best college parties you will attend. A lot of people means tons of fun! There are clubs here that promote underage nightlife once a week. Transportation is convenient and sometimes FREE.

2 College Senior

Drug Safety: Policy Is Definitely Enforced – Officials are getting better at disciplining the recklessness of drinking. Soon the whole campus will be dry, but there are a lot of underage drinking here at Penn State that needs to be fixed.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: Greeks Are the Social Atmosphere – Greek life is a big thing here at Penn State. They participate is almost EVERYTHING, and encourage non Greeks to join a Greek organization. If you aren't Greek, you view Greeks almost as a different social status, but because of the diversity of greeks (social, academic, international, ethnicity) they are very, very easy to get along with.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: The further you move away from campus, the nicer the apartments. But the further you move away, the higher it costs. Buses are very convenient but parking can be a hassle when you have visitors. Apartments downtown right outside of campus are crampy but very affordable. The school has a site where students can post/rent available apartments, but that's about all they do.

2 College Senior

Transportation: A Major Headache – Parking in State College is a huge headache unless you have a permit. Permits for downtown parking are expensive, because landlords know that they can charge anything and demand will remain high. Parking on campus is even more expensive, and still limited largely to faculty and staff. The kicker, however, is that parking is limited near campus in residential areas. Even as you move up to 1/2 or 3/4 of a mile past downtown State College (or north campus), there are virtually no places to park. The town brings in quite a bit of revenue from parking permits and towing, and you can see why once you try to park somewhere near campus.

5 College Senior

Nightlife: Number One for a Reason – While I'm typically not out more than once each week, most people on this campus are out 4-5 nights each week. The bar scene is second to none for a college town, and there are literally hundreds of options for house/apartment parties. Also, if you can tolerate fraternities, there are over 50 located within walking distance of Penn State's campus.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Local Attitude Towards Students – The residents of State College seem to have a negative attitude towards Penn State students, although the University is what the township thrives on. The local economy is highly dependent on students, and businesses see major drop offs between semesters when students are home on breaks. The vibe you get from the locals, however, is one of bitterness and contempt. Any student who leaves campus and experiences the rest of State College can give the same account.

2 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: Old and small, but kept decently clean, and updates on lobby furniture

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: To get my apartment, I had to sleep on the curb over-night. It is not uncommon to see students with sleeping bags and blankets sleeping on the streets in the fall to get off-campus housing that is close to campus because it is so limited. The nicer places to live tend to require a bus/car to get to (Nittany Crossing) and are usually inhabited my upperclassmen with cars.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Technology at Upark – Computers and computer labs are available all over campus, but are usually occupied because of the high volume of students. Also, students are limited to 100 sheets of paper to use, and must pay for more if those sheets are used up (which is kind of annoying since there is a "technology fee" included on your bill that does not cover paper usage). PSU recently became wireless, so students can use their computers in the common areas, although the connection is not very strong and students are kicked off the network every few minutes so they have to keep reconnecting.

3 College Senior

Parking: There is generally parking available for anyone who wants, but you are limited to parking in your designated area and certain areas fill up quickly. It is also significantly more expensive to park in certain areas.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: There's lots of frats and sororities and there is always some party to go to.

5 College Senior

Athletics: Penn State is all about their football team. There's also a lot of IM sports and other sports activites going on.

4 College Junior

Facilities: School Pride – My school's pride is shown throughout the campus and the entire area. Everyone young and old have a lot of pride for Penn State. College Football Saturdays are the best in "Happy Valley".The studens of the past, present, and future all come together as one big family.

3 College Junior

Diversity: The campus is covered with mostly middle class white students. The campus has some diversity but it still lacks when it comes to the classroom. Most of my classes have little or no black people.

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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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