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 Sophomore

Nightlife: Not #1 Party School for Nothing – Nightlife is a constant at Penn State. There is absolutely always something to do, even with the unpredictable State College weather. The bars are almost strictly 21 and older, but they hold a lot of concerts open to the 18 and over crowd. A lot of students live off-campus, so parties are everywhere. Cata buses run even later now, and make late nights more bearable.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Labs Useful, Wireless Lacking – If you go to the labs, there's always an available computer. However, it would be really useful to have wireless in the dorms. I think they plan on making wireless more widely available in the upcoming years.

1 College Junior

Weather: i love everything about school except the weather. It rains or snows pretty much all year.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Love the Loop – the cata buses go all over campus and even downtown, the one even runs until 4 am on weekends.

2 College Junior

Diversity: Mostly White, but Nice – There are not many minorities, but everyone is really friendly!

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life gives a very positive atmosphere. Students get involved in not only social activities but also many different philanthropies. Some non-greeks have a negative attitude towards greeks because that is because they do not understand greek life. Fraternities have beautiful houses and sororities occupy floors in the dorm buildings.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Go Nittany Lion! The team performances are exceptional especially the women's volleyball. There is tons of school spirit, which can always be found at the football games and tailgates.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: The off-campus housing selection at Penn State is a little bit above average.Most of the time it is cheaper than dorming, partially because you do not need to have a meal plan. The dorms on college ave. are very convenient however there is less availability because they are in such high demand. The landlords are usually nice and flexible because they are used to working with college students.

4 College Junior

Parking: Plenty of Parking. The parking permit for campus is expensive. That's why I gave it a A-. They are very good about the first week, but after that they check.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Taco Bell – Restaurants are all over, but you have to drive to most of them. Few pizza joints close by that give discounts, Taco Bell Is my favorite. Lots of fast food, probably not that healthy, but cheap.

4 College Junior

Academics: Professors are pretty decent. Curriculum is tough. Registration was easy, Workload is what you make it. I study at the library many nights.

3 College Senior

Facilities: Great Academics and Social Scene – Penn State offers a huge variety of majors and the advisors are great. The social scene is also very diverse. There's a large greek life but isn't everything. The bar scene is great too with a lot of different bars.

4 College Senior

Computers: Great Labs – We get 100 free pages of printing which is great. Sometimes the computer labs are crowded but spots open up after at least 5 minutes. The computers are pretty fast and have all the programs needed by classes.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: Very Safe – I feel very safe on Penn State's campus. There is hardly any crime but everyone locks their doors at night to avoid theft.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: Academic Policy – Penn state has a decent academic policy. If you keep your grades up then Penn State will be more than happy to have you. If not then they will not hesitate to give your spot to someone that really wants it.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: Living on Campus – Living on campus has a great advantage. Your near so many facilities like the library and the computer labs. If you do not feel like walking the bus rout is right outside the buildings. If your ever afraid of walking alone at night there is campus security that will escort you to your destination.

5 Recent Alumnus

Campus Dining: Pennstate Has a Great Variety of Food – There is a wide variety of dining options in Pennstate. The food is great and if you dont desire one thing there is always a better choice.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: A Great Time – Depending on your major, you'll have more or less free time than others. What is guaranteed is an amazing four years of your life at Penn State.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Watch Out for Drinking – Drugs are not a problem at Penn State; alcohol on the other hand is. Expect to find people arriving on campus wasted from Thirsty Thursday.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Penn State has 5 or so gyms on campus, which are open to all students who have payed the $100 membership fee. The Libraries have good hours on the weekdays, but open lat and close early on the weekends. The HUB is a great place for students to interact, eat, and hang out.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: A Small College Town – Penn State's University Park campus is located in the college town of State College. Right in the heart of Pennsylvania, State College is home to hordes of students during the school year. Downtown State College has a wide variety of stores to choose from, from fast food to CVS. There are also larger stores (Sam's Club, Target, Best Buy) located less than 10 minutes from downtown. State College has its own bus system that has frequent service and decent fares. The weather here is great in the spring and summer, but unpredictable in the fall, and harsh in the winter. Football weekends are great when thousands of PSU fans from all over the state visit Beaver Stadium for a game. It is definitely a sight to see.

4 College Junior

Overall Experience: Repeating My Choice – Penn State has been wonderful to me. I get to be challenged everyday in class and then plenty of relaxing options to do after school to unwind. My mind and experiences keep growing in a relatively safe environment, where there are people to support me if I ever need help.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: The Silence of the Greeks – Recently the Greek systems has been 'dry', which means no parties. The Frats have really cut back on their amount of parties and limiting who can enter. The Sororites live on campus in dorms so they were never big on having parties, they just go to them. So this year, the Frats were pretty quiet.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Something for Everyone – Penn State has clubs and groups of eery variety, so anyone can find people to connect with. From cultural groups, to hobbies, and games, there is always multiple groups for everyone and these groups alway have room for more. Anyone who wants to can join in and participate with these groups.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: We have one shuttle bus that comes at least three times a week. Our public transportation is okay. It is late when picking up it's passengers sometimes however, it does take the students anywhere within the distance of school.


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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