University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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.

3 College Freshman

Computers: The computers at my school are decent. They serve their purpose and are always working. The only problem is that the printers always get jammed and I only think this is true because of the amount of students who are printing out documents is high. The computer lab at my school is helpful but I would definitely recommend having your own computer. These labs get filled pretty quickly.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Safety and Security – I have never felt unsafe on campus. The environment of the campus is quiet and peaceful. There is never any trouble. Whenever there is any type of activity going on, the police is always there to secure and to make sure things are okay. I feel that my campus is the most safe place to be.

3 College Junior


1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Never Bored – State College is the best town ever, and here's why- it's a town filled with 44,000 18-23 year olds and attractions specifically for that age group. Penn State does an amazing job to bring it big name acts (and a lot of them too- Taylor Swift and Pitbull were here last year), and there are tons of bars downtown for 21+, there's tons of coffeespots, stuff in the HUB, open mics...everything you could ask for. Plus, there's always a sporting event to go to...and football season is just plain amazing.

2 College Freshman

Weather: Oh....State College. Well, State College, Pennsylvania may be one of the weirdest cities in the country in terms of weather. When it's nice and sunny out, it's a beautiful sight to see everyone walking around in shorts and flip flops. But there have been many freak storms that have passed through the valley, like last October, when it started to snow for homecoming, and even a week in February when it was 70 degrees outside. When the weather sucks, it sucks, and when it's nice....it's beautiful.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Depends on Who You Hang Out With – Obviously there are going to be some people who do drugs around you, and they typically tend to be idiot freshmen who try to fit in and impress each other. If you don't want to be around drugs, it's really not hard at all to find people who aren't into that stuff. It depends on who you surround yourself with. Drinking is definitely a majority of what students do on the weekends.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Business Management – I had many ups and downs my freshman year but eventually decided to go with business management. The Business school at Penn State is probably the most organized and most willing to help students major offered at Penn State. They expect their students to maintain high GPAs and even have their own study abroad office. They really pay attention to students one on one. However, since I didn't enter as a freshman enrolled in the business-elect major, I had some trouble figuring out how to get myself on the right track so I can officially enter the school next year. Other than that, though, Smeal Business School seems like a good fit!

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: If you don't secure a place to live by December, it will be difficult to find housing.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: Football First Then Eveything After – The sports at Penn State are very good especially the football team. The one thing that needs improvemnt is the awareness of other sports. It seems that people focus all on the football season and they get alot of props. The students and the community go all out fot the football games. It is a great experience to go one if you get a chance. The other sports teams do really well and they might not get the recognition they deserve. If you dont have the opportunity to become part of the varsity team there are other opportunities as well such as the IM sports. There are different opportunities to get invloved as well.

1 College Freshman

Diversity: There are many different kind of ethnic groups and races at my campus. For the most part there are many more white students than minority students. The diversity is something like 13% maybe and the initiatives to increase the diversity may not be the best. You might have classes being the only person of color and living in resident halls without seeing anyone that looks like you might make one feel uncomfortable if they do not necessarilary fit in.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Dining Options Are Plenty but Special – The food options on my campus varies. They offer different places to eat at various times. The quality for some places could be better. There are places all over campus to eat but the variety of places to eat at these places are few. The food can be very repetititve at times but also it can be rewarding if you know that certain place has specific foods you can eat from that are good. In the Student Union building there name brand fast food places as well.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: There are places to park, but a lot of places are off limits during certain times. During football weekends, parking is a nightmare.

2 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Pretty Intense – There are some things you can get away with by doing some kind of punishment, but you can lose your contract with housing if you get in trouble often. The police are good about partying on the weekends and usually do not bother you unless you are stumbling or obnoxious.

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: There are all kinds of people here. It is a big campus, but once you meet new people you end up seeing them around once in a while. The people here are friendly and open. There is someone for everyone!

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: Wrong Opinion – I pledged this year and had the best time and have met some of the greatest guys. We are not the parting scene, academics is first on the list of my frat brothers.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: We are great in Football, awesome team!!
Wrestling is another sport we have excelled in.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: I lived on campus my freshman year and will be living in my frat house soph year.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: There are plenty of athletic centers on campus. We have four buildings which house fitness centers, gymnasiums, and other recreational activities. If you decide to go to the gym there is no wait. The library is extremely huge, which makes it harder to maneuver, but large enough that a person is able to have his or her own quiet study space. The Penn State campus is extremely beautiful; the first time I went for a visit I knew that was where I wanted to spend the next four years of my life. The best part of the campus, however, is the Hetzel Union Building (HUB). There is always something for you to do in the HUB whether it be going to see a movie with your friends in the auditorium to finding a comfy couch to study for an upcoming exam you will find it in the HUB.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: College/Beaver Avenues – The off campus life and dining is very convenient. Everything is concentrated within two parallel streets: College and Beaver. There are fast foods, dinners, family restaurants, fancy restaurants, salad bars, ice cream places ... There are many choices. The cost vary, it can be cheap or expensive. Everybody can find their spots and favorite restaurant. The most famous and college students favorite is "The Corner Room". If you happen to stop by Sate College, PA, you have to go! It is a must for every Penn State student at least one time a year.

4 College Freshman

Academics: The Happiest Valley – At Penn State University Park teachers can be great and some less. Indeed, there is a variety of teaching skills. Some teachers are very easy, and lessen the good reputation of Penn State, whereas other teacher tend to be appropriate and fair in their grading system. As a freshmen, classes are way too big. If you come from a very small high school, it is a big change. Some of my classes had more than 600 students. However, everything on campus is made for the students to have an easier life. Most of the registrations and questions can be processed online, which is very convenient. What I really like is that there is a time to party, but most of all on sundays or weeknights the campus mainly "shuts down" and everybody studies. It is a very happy place to live your college career. Everything you need is around you, and you meet people from such different backgrounds that it makes it more interesting.

3 people found this useful Report

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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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