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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4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Anything Goes – There are students from all over the united states and abroad this makes the school very divers on looks and interests. No one looks out of place here you can be how you are and fit in.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Downtown State College – If you are craving something, you better bet downtown state college will have it! Downtown is quaint, beautiful, and comfortable. The food is delicious and the restaurants have a fun atmosphere. Although it is expensive!

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: This campus is very open to everyone and everything.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Becoming an adult student was a hard decision but now that I'm there I love it. The staff is extremely helpful and the students are great.

2 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Don't Ask, Don't Tell – Drug and alcohol visibility is very low. However, you can definitely smell smoke from drugs in some of the dorms and you know there are parties with alcohol going on over the weekends. Policy enforcement is fair, though it's nearly impossible to catch everything on a campus with as many students as Penn State has. There is wellness housing (called LIFE House), though, for students who want nothing to do with the drug and alcohol scene.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Rushed Search – Although I have not yet lived off-campus at Penn State, I have heard many things about it. It is usually a challenge and a rush to find a place to stay. If you act fast, there are many apartment complexes off-campus, but you have to go quickly to find a good location at a good price.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: The computer labs at Penn State are excellent, though it may be hard to find a spot on any given day. Printing on campus is not hard, though it can be a bit of a hassle when everyone's trying to print at once. The network is very reliable (though sometimes the school websites are down) and there is WiFi everywhere except the dorms (I believe there will be WiFi in the dorms soon, as well). Most people have their own computers and, although it's certainly not required, I really like having my own printer just for the convenience of being able to print whenever I need to do so.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Bus System – Penn State has its own bus system to get students around campus. They also have buses that go off campus to get to other stores.

5 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Free to Experience – It's nice to go to a school where if you're 21, you're not still being punished. PSU acknowledges the fact that it's one of the top party schools in the country and they're trying to get a handle on things. However, it is by no means out of control.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: I wish that sororities were allowed to have houses off campus just like the frats are. They are concentrated in a specific part of campus and in that region, they flock like geese to the dining halls at peak meal periods. It makes non-greeks look like the minority.

3 College Junior

Facilities: In the Middle of Nowhere – For being in the middle of nowhere, the downtown plays up to the younger students who want to party. It is great for the younger students who are just hitting school, but not made for anyone reentering the college atmosphere after working for a few years.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: All the Food You Want – You can get food any time any where. I think that most restaurants are on the lionmenus website that offers options all day long with multiple payment options and variety.

2 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Lost in City Translation – If you want to party, yes State College is a town for that, but if you want to just hang out there are few places to go. I do not believe that they consider some students do not need to drink in order to have fun. However, there are plenty of agricultural sites and mountains to explore.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Girls, Girls, Girls – For anyone looking to find a girl to hang out with, be friends with or have a relationship, this school has all of the above.
Highly recommend Penn State girls

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Dining: Numerous Choices, Convenient Locations, Decent Food. I am choosing to take a meal plan this year after not being on one last year due to the convenience, choices and selections offered. I especially like custom made omelets that you can order for breakfast. The only problem is waking up early to get them. If you don't want a huge meal and just want a quick snack or take out, there are plenty of places to go.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Safe Campus – School provides good security and keeps students informed of any problems. There is security at night and special effort is made to keep out of way areas lighted and accessible to security phones, if needed. Students seem to look out for one another also.

4 College Senior

Overall Experience: It's Very Different – I'm from NYC so coming here was more of an experience than informative. Penn State has a lot of amenities that makes this school unique and fun

3 College Senior

Parking: Good Luck – Not only do they designate parking but there aren't much parking here. Granted, there are places where visitors can park for $1 an hour and parking is free on the weekends, but to get a permit its $80 a semester which is really unreasonable. $15 for a ticket...

3 College Senior

Athletics: FOOTBALL FOOTBALL!!! If there's any sport that's important here is the football team. They are the pride of Penn State. They have other sports like baseball, volleyball basketball and soccer. But Football is it.

5 College Junior

Weather: Snow removal is what Penn State lives for. Don't ever expect a day off of class

3 College Junior

Nightlife: College Ave and Beaver are about it, but with 50,000 students it's hard to not have a good time.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Wide Range of Clubs/Societies – At Penn State, you can find a club or society for almost any interest you might have. Clubs range from specific interests like Anthropology, Astronomy and Harry Potter to service oragnizations like Circle K.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Getting Dorms Can Be Tricky – It's easy to get a dorm as a freshman, but if you're planning on staying on campus as a sophomore, be prepared to be put into supplemental housing. Supplemental rooms have between 4 and 8 occupants. If you don't want to risk life be a party 24/7, opt for an apartment after freshman year. Take it from someone who has 7 roommates...

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: The Library Is Incredible – Patee/Paterno Library is enormous. It has books on all subjects, including books in foreign langugages. It has a media library where students can rent DVDs and CDs also. It's super helpful when you have a big project to do.

4 College Student

Health & Safety: Campus Police – My contact with campus police has always been positive.


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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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