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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2 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: One Warning – PSU has a very lenient policy when it comes to breaking the policy as long as you're not the one supplying. When it comes to drinking or drugs, if you are caught doing it, you'll be given a warning and forced to take a class. Second- and third-time offenders have to deal with the police and probation. If you are the one supplying, you'll be forced to pay a hefty fine, go to court, and take classes, all depending on how good of a lawyer you get.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek Isn't Everything – Greek life is not everything at PSU. They provide a place to go to dance and drink. Some events are sponsored by frats as well, but that's about as far as their influence is concerned. You can go your school year without having to deal with frat business or you can do everything with a frat, it's all up to you. They have nice looking housing exteriors, but inside is usually a mess due to parties.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: White Dominant – Penn State is a predominately white campus therefore there are a good amount of obnoxious, drunk people. Many of the black students that attend are athletes or are on scholarships. Many of the asians that attend are international students. Races don't really mix too well but tend to stick to their own groups. Religion wise, students tend to be Christian or Catholics, but not many go to church. A good amount of the students that attend PSU are also have a well-off economic background.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Nightlife: Party College – Frequent parties every weekend. Study hard, play hard.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: No fancy restaurants can be found anywhere near University Park. Your typical McDonald's, Subway, and few Chinese fast food restaurants are what can be seen right across from campus grounds.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Penn State University Park campus is safe, as far as I'm concerned. I have never felt threatened or unsafe while on campus. Keeping your door locked at night is, of course, a given.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Evident but Responsible – Drinking is very popular and it is almost a right of passage to party on weekends starting thursday and therefore it is accepted. Pot smokers usually stick together and keep to an inner circle because it is firmly enforced against and legally prohibited.All together people seem to keep these activities under control and they don't really interfere with campus life of those who are not involved in them.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Athletics: Sports Are a Big Deal, but Can Be Somewhat Exclusive. Penn State is probably the biggest name in college football as far as game attendance, school spirit and tradition go, but I was not able to make it to a single game this season because ticket information was not made accessible to me whereas some people seem to know everything in and out. I also believe to get the best of this experience you should have season tickets which can be costly and limited. I am also very out of the loop for joining club sports because there is not much public information or recruitment at relevant times of joining .

4 College Freshman

Computers: A for Available – There are many computer labs distributed in the residential areas that are very accesible and computers are available for more people just about all the time especially in the morning. There are also 24 hour computer labs that have specialized equipment, group cubicles, recording booths, etc. Whether your a mac person or PC, they got you covered.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Great Locally, Costly for Long Distance – The best part of campus transportation is the free loop service by CATA bus. The blue loop goes all the way around the perimeter of campus and downtown on college ave and it is great for getting around. There are many other bus routes as well covering remote areas of interest at a very low price of 1.25 a ride. It is difficult however when it comes to flying in because it is a small place which makes it expensive. You would most likely need to land in Philly or Pittsburgh, of which a greyhound busride away is $80 round trip.

2 College Freshman

Greek Life: Not a Fan – I know that the greek organizations are required to participate in charity, particularly thon, but i don't see them do anything else other than feel like they have a higher presence around campus, as if they would not be recognizable were they not. They like to boast alot and show off but they throw very poor over populated parties that smell really bad. It seems to me they dwell on popularity contests that should be left behind in high school. Ovarall it's pretty beat in my opinion.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Simply Exquisite, Highly Recommend – There is a huge variety, food is great quality, excellent service, convenient and accesible locations and very well affordable with the campus meal plan. The planners of Penn State food services are brilliant.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: The school spirit here is tangible, especially when tailgating on a football weekend. If you haven't experienced a football game at Penn State, you can't understand until you do. Not only is PSU known for football though, the creamery also sets it apart with the best ice cream for miles around. Many artists come to the Bryce Jordan Center which adds to making Penn State unique. This past year the BJC hosted Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Brad Paisley, Drake, Daughtry, Rascal Flatts, and many more. PSU is unlike any other school and there's alway something exciting going on.

3 College Freshman

Computers: Campus Connections – Most of the dorms do not have wireless, although I've heard that might change in the next year or two. The connection speed is very good and the network is very reliable. The computer labs are very clean, normally not crowded, and are useful for printing. Most of the class grades, notes, and other information is all corresponded through Penn State's Angel program and so I would say it is necessary to have your own personal computer.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I always feel safe walking around campus. It is well lit at night and there is a blue light security system in place. There is always people out walking around so you never feel alone or in danger. Taking precautions such as locking your door and walking with someone are always a good idea because I have heard of occasional issues, but overall the campus is very safe.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Most of the classes I've taken have been taught by professors who are passionate about what they teach and it shows in the classroom. They are always available to help if needed. The curriculum is challenging but fair in most classes and the workload is managable, depending on your major. From my experience with the Smeal College of Business the curriculum has been very interesting and the professors prepare you for the business world. There are many clubs and opportunities to get involved and there's always someone to turn to if you need advice.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Weather: Happy Valley – Other than heavy snowfall, the weather is perfect in the summer and spring semesters. Need heavy jacket in the winter as this area is set on more than average altitude than other ares of PA.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Rules Are for Betterment. Rules ragrding night time partying. Halls are monitored for suspicious activity. Campus police is there to patrol at late houirs of the night.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: Olive Graden - the Garden of Food Lovers – The best dinning facilty around is Olive Garden and Chillies resturant. They have all types of food, and can be altered upon request for certain type of meats.The service is freindly and polite.

4 College Student

Overall Experience: Love It – I am so glad I chose to come here. I love it. It is everything I wanted in a college and more.

3 College Student

Diversity: Good Mix – There is a good mix of students here. I enjoy meeting students from different ethnicities and backgrounds.

1 College Freshman

Parking: Good luck finding a parking spot here! Students are not allowed to park in the on campus garages until 4. Plus they are very tight on the parking meters if you go over 5 mins your likely to get a ticket

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: Crazy Times!! PSU has a pretty crazy nightlife.. there are many bars around as well as clubs. Many parties happen in the dorms and off campus. But the transportation is very good. The CATA buses run until like 1 or 2 in the morning on the weekends.

2 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: The Guys and Girls – With the girls... lets just say everyone here looks the same.. fake tans, fake bleach blonde hair, leggings and Uggs. They all seem to have the same personalities just blah.. and also like to party of course.

The Guys.. um yeah mostly geeky.. not really attractive.. but they're smart and nice.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Athletics: Here the student involvement is huge!! Especially for sports.. PSU Football is awesome... You need to come to Beaver Stadium and experience it for yourself


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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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