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 Junior

Facilities: The facilities are more than adequate at Penn State. Everything is modern and up to date. However, athletic centers are overcrowded.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: The only parking that is available for a commuter student is in the lots up by Beaver Stadium. It is a far walk to anywhere and the permits are expensive. The only parking on the campus itself is for professors and such, and there is some student parking near the dormitories for upperclassmen, however the lots are not very big and I'm sure not all students that would like a permit get one.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life at PSU is interesting. All the fraternities have houses. A few are on campus but most are downtown. The sororities however, do not have houses, but instead reside on floors in on campus dormitories. This can pose some conflicts at times because sometimes non greek memebers live on the floors as well, and they dont like all the noise and such. Also, a lot of the greek societies seem to get repremanded for drinking and parties and such.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Food Downtown – There are many options that you can choose from right downtown and there are even more on Atherton street and as you get a little further from the campus. Many offer discounts to students on certain nights and most allow the use of lioncash. . . which is kind of like a debit-card based system that works off your student ID card. It is very convenient, that way you never have to be carrying a large amount of cash around.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Penn State has more school spirit than any other school I know and the students and staff that are a part of this university love and truly care about the school. Tons of clubs, and of course THON is what we are known for.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: Anything Is Possible – Last year, it snowed in October. Literally, anything is possible, but the snow makes the students come to life. Once, we all ran out of our dorms and had a snowball fight at midnight. It was a lot of fun. Classes rarely get canceled, but that's life.

3 College Sophomore

Academics: A Lot of Variety – Penn State is a great place for variety. Although your math professor may not speak English, he or she will be in the spirit of "We Are" every class and will always be available for help. Classes are tough, but with the right focus and concentration, anything is possible.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: The football team, and there are a lot of available internships and a lot of businesses are represented at the job fair so that is always good as you want a good job immediately out of college.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Alcohol is everywhere which is to be expected and it would be weird if it wasn't, but when students are in bong circles outside all around the campus, well campus pd is kind of dropping the ball. Peer Pressure, not so much unless you're an idiot and would've done it anyway. Oh and some kid died last year because he fell off the top of a building, and they blamed it on Greek Life instead of his sister, aka scapegoating isn't cool. And the bars don't allow underage drinking at all which is different than other campuses.

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3 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The girls are easy and hot, the guys are stupid and animals. Pretty normal if you ask me.

2 College Junior

Health & Safety: Girls, Don't Walk Alone. This last school year, we had an unprecedented number of sexual assaults at Univeristy Park. Girls, just be safe, travel in groups and always be smart when you are drinking.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Campus Life – PSU doesnt tolerate and form of law breaking. Many students have been kicked out for having drugs and alcohol in dorms and even extended illegal music downloading. However, it is also very laid back. Big Party weekends like Blue and White or Artsfest are somewhat care free. Students drink and tailgate, party...etc at all hours of the day. As long as your not disgustingly wasted and have common sense the campus wont seem that strict at all.

4 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Overall there is a little bit of everything at PSU. Main campus holds about 20,000 so its hard to not find someone of your physical, intellectual, or general interest type. I found my fiance at PSU. Great range of art events, sports, and greek. Probably one of the best Greek life locations because it holds organizations from every ethnic group. Good place to become eclectic if you allow yourself. People are a little too party happy. Being #1 party school can defer relationships but its a great place to network.

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4 College Senior

Campus Housing: Eastview Commons – Living in the Upperclassmen dorms on campus cant get much better, Though there are no kitchens, each resident has their own room of decent size and full bathroom. Cleaned regularly and not ridiculously loud.Located on the lowest point on campus it can be a hassle to make it up to class or across the large campus. Can get a bit lonely but it is located in the heart of downtown.

2 College Senior

Weather: During the winter and fall it is very cold out there and it snows all the time. for example it was so cold my car battery froze, but classes do not get canclled and students have to still go to class no matter how cold or how much snow there is outside.

4 College Senior

Transportation: Transportation is good on and off campus,they have bus loops that run all through out the campus. on the other hand traveling long distance is quiet long but is convenient at times. I think penn state transportation is good.

3 College Senior

Diversity: The campus consist of majority white students but there is a diversity of other ethnics as well. Overall the campus is acceptance of different people and their background and beliefs and etc.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I LOVE It – Coming from an urban area in Philadelphia, to a suburb area was a very drastic change but very meaningful and new. The atmosphere feels so good, you can walk freely at any time of the day. You have the academics, sports, fun and organizations. I know that if I was to choose a college again, it will be Penn State main campus. It's amazing specially during football season.

5 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greeks Are Known – Greek life is definitely their for social events and parties. No one is forced into joining Greek life, you can socialize and become very close friends with Greeks without feeling pressured to join. You can go to frat parties and is simply another way to enjoy your weekend, not necessarily something that everyone on campus has to do. The Greek houses are beautiful and enormous.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Good and Different – The places around campus are very good. Most of us can get tired of eating at the dining halls, but depending where you decide to eat can offer something new to try everyday. I suggest always eating brunch on weekends, is actually pretty good! However, after freshman year when you know your way around and what you really enjoy eating minimize your meal plan because after all you will know how to manage your meals per day.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Great! There is a facility for literally any thing you want to do. No joke.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Penn State is no other than the infamous party school two years running. The reason for that is the great people you meet everyday. its possible to meet a new person every day there for the rest of your life. Your only bored if your anti-social. I love it there and it my second home. And this is all coming after only one year in school. I have 2/3 of my summer left but I'm already yearning to go back.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Number One Party School – People from all across the country know one thing when they step onto our campus: Penn State is the number one party school (per princeton review's rankings). That sure is a lot to live up to. The large greek community lives up to the title and provides many a rendevouz for students looking to have fun any Thursday, Friday or Saturday night. Don't get too excited though, be ready with a few friends' names at the door or those kids will not be as welcoming as you would think. Apartment parties are commonplace in the downtown area, serving as the usual nightlife scene for those who are not yet 21. Bars and clubs are reserved for only those who are fortunate enough to have reached the age of majority (that is, 21). While other college towns allow the 18+ crowd and simply require you to be 21 to consume alcohol, State College is notorious for its strict rules at the door. It is no place to try to fool the bouncers, that is for sure.

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2 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: They've Got Us Wrapped Around Their Finger! In State College a student goes into their apartment hunt thinking: I want to be downtown, at a walking distance from campus, and I don't want to empty my bank account just to put a roof above my head for a year! It's tricky though. As early as October (you've barely moved into your apartment!), students line up overnight to sign up for apartments with realtors (for the next fall!). Now, that's not the worst of it, most places you would consider a comfortable living space are not only outdated and worn, they're ridiculously overpriced! To top it all off, landlords are raising their prices every coming year and there's nothing we can do about it!

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Downtown State College – The Corner Room, The Tavern, the usual restaurants to take your parents, a date, or a friend to for dinner. Their prices are fair and their right on College Avenue! After you've had enough of your "traditional" Penn State cusine, however, you can venture to any of several affordable, "fast-ready" eateries (that also deliver!) also downtown. Ranging from Italian to Thai to good ol' steak, State College has most of what you crave within a mile radius.

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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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