Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4649 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: You can find many different types of students at Penn State. Although there is an extremely large variety of race and ethnicity of the students, everyone is very helpful and kind.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Physical Education Classes Are Very Helpful for Future Knowledge. I am a Kinesiology student in the PHETE option at Penn State. I have been taking many of the introduction classes to Kinesiology and Physical Education, and find them very informative. Kines. classes are very interesting and very rewarding to be in. Regardless of you major under the Kinesiology program, you will learn how to live healthier and remain active for life long results. All the professors are amazing and help in any way possible. I could not see myself anywhere else.

1 College Freshman

Drug Safety: There is a lot of drinking at Penn State. It's possible to find people who don't drink or party in that way, but far more often than not people go out to drink and party.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Athletics: 110,000 screaming fans in Beaver Stadium. Really, need I say more? This place has the most school spirit I've ever seen.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: A Really Nice College Town – State College has a lot of cute little shops, and a good bus line for transportation to areas that aren't usually accessible. It's a big party school, so there's always something to do. Also, a lot of great speakers and musicians visit State College on a regular basis.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: It Snows, It Pours, but Classes Will Never Be Canceled – Penn State University Park is a huge campus, and it can be a pain to walk to class in the sub zero temperatures of winter or in the pouring rain. Classes generally never get canceled campus-wide, no matter if PSU branch campuses have off. Be prepared to walk in extreme weather conditions, unless you have a nice professor. Once the weather is nice though, everyone is outside relaxing or studying.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Current Changes in Social Policy Have Affected Campus Life – Overall the police aren't too strict at Penn State unless someone is blatantly drunk in public and causing a scene. If you can hold yourself together you'll be fine. New changes to the greek life social policy, however, have effected the 'party' atmosphere of Penn State. Bouncers are required and lists are needed. If you're not greek, you won't get in.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Tons of Apartments to Choose from, All Price Ranges! Penn State's downtown atmosphere really can't be beat. There are apartment complexes everywhere, and a variety of different styles and price ranges. Most apartments are relatively close to campus, so the walk isn't bad. The school will help you find apartments as well as the newspaper. However, certain apartment locations are harder to get than others.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: Penn State has some diversity, but its not a lot. A lot of students seem to fit in the same stereotype of race and ethnicity with a few students that break that mold.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: I loved living in the dorms. I have met so many people on my floor that are all in the same situation as me: being away from home for the first time. I have made so many friends and love having my own room to do what I like.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Off Campus Food – There are a lot of options in the downtown area, from local restaurants and bars to chains from all around the country. You can find almost anything to satisfy your cravings.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Penn State is by far the perfect college experience. It has everything you could want in a school. Its in a great location that is based around the college. It has every major you could ever want. There are thousands of new people to meet and always something going on. I am never bored. The professors are great too! Although you may have some huge classes, you get your share of small size classes where professors get to know you! I couldn't imagine going anywhere else!

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greek life is a big part of Penn State. A lot of girls get involved and there are a variety of sororities and fraternities for every interest and ethnicity. There is always a way to get involved and during rush, you can try it out without having to commit.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Computer Labs – There are computer labs everywhere you look. Although some of them are taken by classes, many of them are in the libraries and near on campus living areas so they are easily accessible and easy to use. There is always staff there ready to help if you have any problems!

3 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: Plenty of Choices – With the town of State College right next door, there are plenty of restaurants and places to grab a quick bite to eat right off campus. Prices are expensive compared to the cost of eating in the dining halls but many places offer discounts to students when paying with Lion Cash cards.

3 College Student

Off-Campus Housing: State College Is a Great Town to Live in! Though I am currently not attending Penn State (will start Fall 2010) I have done research and there are ample choices of off-campus housing right in the town next door. There are many apartments available for rent that offer a short walk to campus and give more freedom and are convenient to both the campus as well as all the town has to offer.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Penn State is somewhat quiet. The buildings are nice and some of the teachers are Awesome. It's a unique school just by being Penn State!

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Some parts of the school are strict while others are not. One thing that bothers me is that all students must have a free parking pass but if the student does not pick up their parking pass then they will get a $15 dollar fine.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Night Life @ My School – My school has some dances and parties at night in the Cafeteria some nights. Occasionally they will have a group event to go bowling or to the movies. The school provides transportation and students pay an activity fee.

2 College Sophomore

Transportation: there is not much transportation because all of the dorms and such are really close to the campus. The only sort of transportation that they do is to go to chambersburg or another neighboring town to go shopping, etc.

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Mont Alto – There is not much in Mont Alto besides the campus. It is a very quiet town and has a pizza place and thats about it...You can drive about 15 minutes to chambersburg or quincy and find plenty of shopping and restaurants. So its not horrible. Also, gettysburg is within a 45 minute drive.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Small Campus, Great Teacher-Student Relationships – I went to mont alto so that I could start out in a smaller setting so I would not get overwhelmed by the 'college experience.' The professors are usually really helpful and work closely with you in order to help you pass the class. Its really good because its a small campus and so there is a great relationship to actually get to know your profs and visa versa.

4 College Student

Facilities: The whole campus is incredible. The athletic facilities are fantastic. The library has a plethora of different resources i can use to find out information.

1 College Freshman

Parking: Parking Permit costs are extremely high, costing a couple hundred dollars for the year. Terribly overpriced. Worst 'Benefit' of having a are. Campus Police strict on towing. Few spots to park for free. Only reason that I didn't grade an F is because there are still parking garages to park for around $10. But Permits are still way too expensive. Freshmen aren't even allowed to have their own car on campus.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Food Is Enough to Get by. There are many places around campus to get food. And variety is a plus. Dining halls' food isn't that great. But there is still variety for what mood you are in. Prices are cheap with meal plans. Downtown can be pricey.

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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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