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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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.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking More Popular Than Drugs – PSU is a large school, so of course there are going to be drugs. Doing drugs in Residence Halls is always a bad idea, but off campus its more common.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: A Football School Obviously – Penn State has one of the hugest football programs in the country, AND we have Joe Paterno. You don't come here for the basketball, but a number of other sports are very successful at PSU, such as the Women's Volleyball team. There are also many Club/IM level sports.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Overall a Safe Campus, Most Crimes Are Harmless/Victimless – Penn State is a large campus, but I have never felt unsafe here. Most crimes are drug/drinking related, and pose little danger to the student population. The University Police are great and provide a number of different services to protect student safety, including an escort service at night.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Your Typical College Girls/Guys – There are a lot of students at PSU, but most of them are your typical frat boys/sorority girls. The guys and girls are hot, but there is not a lot of diversity. Hookups and casual sex are easy.

2 College Sophomore

Diversity: At Penn State there is a large student population, but the proportion of white, middle class Americans is overwhelming. But the diversity is slowly improving, and more minority/diverse students are coming to PSU.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Girls Are Hot – The girls at Penn state are amazing! It's unfortunate that it's so cold there most of the time and their bodies are covered up in layers of clothing (except at parties where they brave the cold and go out in short dresses and low cut shirts). It's not hard to meet a girl. Most of the time people are down with random hook ups, but if you're looking for a relationship, then you can find that too at psu.

4 College Freshman

Diversity: There Are Many Different Students from Many Different Places – Penn State has people of all different ages from all different backgrounds. You cant have a class without at least several countries being represented even in the smaller classes. It's a great place to meet new people and see what life's like from a different perspective.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The dorms seem average to me. The rooms in south are a little bigger than the ones in east, which is nice if you life in south. I haven't seen any other dorm sites, just those in south and east. The cost is average for college and reasonable. They make it easy to meet people in the activities in the beginning and throughout the year. Overall, I would give them a B+

5 College Freshman

Facilities: So Many Opportunities! Penn State is unique in that we have the largest alumni association out of any other college. This is very helpful when it comes to connections and networking. At Career Fairs, alumni always come back to recruit from Penn State before they go anywhere else. There is a plethora of opportunities at Penn State.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Human Development and Family Studies – I am in the College of Health and Human Development and am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. I am very satisfied with my education. All of my professors are all very knowledgeable, professionally experienced and extremely enthusiastic with the subject matter.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: I fell in love with Penn State University Park the moment my tour began. The campus is extremely aesthetically pleasing, one of the most attractive campuses I've seen. There is always something going on in the student center, whether it be informational speakers, concerts, organization promotion, career fairs, or substance free programs on the weekends. The libraries are beautiful and have many helpful people on staff who are always willing to help. The gym is very efficiently run and sanitary. You also never have to wait for a machine for too long. As for campus activities, there's always something going on if you know where to look. There's even a website that tells you all of the upcoming events on campus!

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: If You Want to Go Greek This Is a Great School – Frat life is huge at PSU. Recently the IFC has been cracking down on the parties, but if you get involved you can still have a great time. For non-Greeks to go to frats it is tough to get in, but once your there it is a great time. The greeks do great philanthropic work and have a positive impact on student life at PSU.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Never Felt Unsafe Before – The only things that you hear about are fights and petty theft. Keep your doors locked and you'll be fine

2 College Freshman

Weather: I'm not a fan of the cold. It snows a lot here, but classes are barely canceled which is a pain given the distance from the dorm. When its nice out, its beautiful.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Every dorm at Penn State is equipped with a computer lab housing Macs and PCs. Every student is given 110 free sheets of paper every semester, and if you run out you can purchase more. The labs are barely ever crowded. A downside is the speed, or should I say lack-there-of.

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: I like Penn State, but I wouldn't say I love it. My friends are great, the classes are interesting, but I should have factored the weather into account before accepting my admission. It gets terribly cold up here, and a lot of my classes are a good 20 minutes away from my dorm. However, no matter the temperature, you'll never be bored here!

4 College Freshman

Athletics: With over 500 clubs, it's hard not to get involved at Penn State. For every varsity team, Penn State has a club sport team to accompany it. I'm a proud member of PSU's Track and Field Club, and its a blast! We've been ranked the best student section in the nation for football games as well as the best mascot! Although our football record wasn't the greatest this year, our spirit never faltered.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of places to go for food in downtown State College! There are a few chains, such as Qdoba and Chipotle. Not too far away, are Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse. Penn State has about six pizza places in a two-mile radius. The best place to eat is the Corner Room. Many great options, and conveniently located right on College Ave, you won't be disappointed. For on-the-go dining, downtown State College is home to McDonald's, Subway, Taco Bell, and Belly Buster Burritos. Also, you can't be a true Penn Stater if you've never ordered Insomnia Cookies, Are U Hungry, or Canyon Wings. Needless to say, you'll never go hungry in Happy Valley.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The Urban Farm – Penn State though known as the big party school of pennsylvania and now in the nation according the Princeton Review, has an awesome feel that not many farming communities can develope. On the way to Penn State many will tell you all there is to see are cows, but once you hit the town young people, and a pretty town with flowers and red brick sidewalks are everywhere.

1 person found this useful Report

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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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