University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4621 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Annoying that you have to find off-campus housing the year before you have you reside there because of the huge demand.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Downtown State College has numerous dining options most of them within a college budget. Also, an online option of lionmenus allows students to order food from off campus locations and delivered to their address whether it be on or off campus.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: We're the Best! At Penn State, we have some of the best athletes. Our football team is in the Big Ten Network and won the Capital One bowl this year. Our Volleyball team has won the 3rd national title for being undefeated for 3 consecutive years. Last year our basketball team went to NIT in New York. We're the best!

5 College Sophomore

Academics: You Earn Your Degree Here – The classes here are hard. The teachers will help you learn but you have to do your share. This is what makes a Penn State degree valuable to employers because they know that you really worked hard to get your degree.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Smoking Marijuana Is Popular – Smoking marijuana is fairly popular at PSU but it depends on who you hang out with.

2 people found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Diversity: Large White Percentage – For a large school, there is a large percentage of white students. While there are different races and religions at PSU, the majority of students are white.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: CATA buses useful – CATA buses are pretty useful. They are free on campus and run frequently. There are routes for students who live further off campus, for which they can buy semester passes.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Things Are All Good. Penn State is not a dry campus so things are generally pretty okay. If you get caught by an RA there are obviously consequences but I've never heard really severe stories.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Fun but Not Fantastic – Greek life is the dominant social scene for underage students - there are over 50 frats so that's always where the party is. However, you don't have to be in a Greek organization. You can get into parties without being Greek - and as you get older you go to apartment parties. There are definitely benefits, however, like weeklongs, THON involvement, social life in general, and a smaller community within the whole Penn State.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: I Think It Was Pretty Smooth – my parents take care of that and as far as I know it was a smooth processs

3 College Junior

Weather: it's nice when it's warm in the summer months but happy valley gets a ton of rain. in the winter we also get a ton of snow and freezing temperatures and icy wind. with these conditions it's hard to walk to class but when it's nice it's totally bearable

4 College Junior

Facilities: The Library Is a Really Great Place to Study – the library is a huge place with a lot of study space. it is a great place to study and there is always a a spot to get something done. it is full of resource and overall a great place!

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: Job Market – Penn State is such a diverse university and when an employer sees "Penn State" on your resume they rest assure that you are well rounded and received an excellent education. Not to mention that it has the largest alumni base in the country so anywhere you go, you are bound to meet Penn State grads!

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Penn State was my dream school since middle school! There is a nice balance of academics and athletics but still room for fun. There are so many clubs to join and at first I thought the size was intimidating, but the more people there are the more opportunity there is for finding your niche.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Number 1 in the Country for a Reason. There are plenty of parties for underagers to attend. Hit up frat row wednesday through saturday...there's bound to be something. When you start to know a few upperclassmen with apartments, apartment parties are another option for you. Keep all of your fake IDs at home! Downtown bars are very strict with checking IDs, so don't waste your time unless your of age. Both the White Loop and the Blue Loop take you from downtown to the dorms on weekends and run until 2am. There's always a way home, and ALWAYS use the buddy system!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The Landmark on Allen Street – The Corner has the best burgers downtown. They aren't that expensive, and it's a nice diversion from repetitive dining commons food. For a nicer place to take your parents, walk upstairs and have dinner at the Allen Street Grill. The food up there is a little more pricey so wait for your parents to come visit.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Waring Commons at West Halls have the BEST freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Redifer Commons at South Halls also has a great variety to choose from. Nacho Night at The Big Onion in East was by far the best meal freshman year. The Hub probably has the best food out of every place on campus, but it's also the most expensive. The best kept secret for in-campus dining is Cafe Laura. It's in Keller Building where the HRIM students looking for a little hands-on experience. The food is great! Paninis, pizza, mac 'n' cheese, salad, you name it. There's no mystery meat here, but be prepared, on campus food isn't your mom's cooking.

1 College Senior

Parking: Do Not Bring Your Car to State College – You will only get in trouble. Parking tickets. Nowhere to park. Expensive to get a parking spot at your apartment. If you can avoid having a car here i would recommend it. Bus transportation is pretty reliable, and a lot of places are within walking distance anyway.

3 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Football Obsession – Great football town. Great bar scene. 22 bars downtown, ranging from your local watering hole to night clubs. Isolated, kind of in the middle of nowhere. Kids from big cities sometimes miss being near a city. Campus goes nuts for football. Big party school. Weather sucks. Campus and downtown is very safe. Some shopping downtown within walking distance, but it is limited and expensive.

5 College Freshman

Computers: Labs Are Always Available! You can go to any computer labs as long as their isn't any class in progress. Computers are fast and new!

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: Campus Is Nice and Safe. Abington campus is pretty safe place. "No Place for Hate" campus!

College Student

Facilities: Penn State is constantly building and renovating. Most of the facilities are in great shape, but some of the older buildings are still waiting in line for renovations. The fitness centers are all pretty nice, especially with Rec Hall.

1 person found this useful Report
College Student

Facilities: The facilities are very nice. Penn State has a huge library with many quiet places to study. The student union building is very nice with many places to eat and relax. The athletic buildings and gyms are very nice for IM sports or working out. The gym gets really crowded, but it's very nice.

1 person found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Facilities: The athletic facilities are top-of-the-line, and the library is a great place to study. The HUB is a great student hangout that offers plenty of good food and seating-a great place to go between classes.

College Student

Transportation: The CATA buses are extremely convenient. They come to the stops about every eight minutes. There are two loops that go through campus and downtown, and then there are buses to take you off campus to Wal-Mart or the mall.


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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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