Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
More statistics . . .
YesI'm interested, let this school know MaybeBookmark for later NoShow me better matches What does it mean to express interest?
Oops! There was an error.

Reload the page and try again.

Saving your interest We will attempt to notify this school of your interest. This school has been saved to your schools listyour schools list. This school has been removed from your recommended schools list.
For more schools, visit your recommended schools list.

Reviews 4679 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

{{ error }}
close
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: State College is definitely a college town. The majority of the town is geared towards the students. However, most of the town consists of bars. The University does offer quite a bit of underage activities, including free movies, billiards, and ping pong.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: The town is great. Everyone is there for Penn State. There is a lot of pride in being a Nittany Lion. On the down side, University Park is in the middle of nowhere. Pittsburgh and Philly are both about three hours away; New York City is about five.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: If you're keen on drinking, there are more than enough bars to suit your fancy. There's also a little bit of shopping to do, although most of it is Penn State apparel, unfortunately.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: I like the atmosphere PSU offers. The campus holds all kinds of activities for the students (movies, games, athletics, and art), while off-campus activities (chillin' with friends, bar-hopping, camping, and fishing) give everyone a chance to free themselves from feeling like a student all the time. No other universities are even around State College.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: During the academic year, the town is full of students who are out for a good evening. It gets busy on the nicer weekends. There are plenty of shops, families, and hippies. During the summer, the town is full of townies and the only thing to do is drink, hike Mt. Nittany, visit Bellefonte, and make trips to Denny's.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: It's entirely a college town, dominated by the University. The atmosphere is laid-back and that of a society run by 20-somethings and 20-somethings alone. It's kind of like Lord of the Flies, but with booze. Don't leave town alone, especially if you are going to interact with locals. Otherwise, it's worth a visit to Bellefonte, the drive-in theater, and Penn's Cave.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: There are no other universities in the area that I know of, unless you count the Altoona campus, which is a forty minute drive away. The atmosphere as a whole is very nice. The campus is very well-taken care of, and is a nice place to live. Downtown State College is a generally nice area, but it could use a bit of sprucing up to match the quality of the campus. Landlords and business owners seem a bit too eager to put in the money to develop new areas away from campus rather than to maintain the downtown area.

Niche User

Health & Safety: I have never had any safety problems on campus. There were a few incidents of people breaking into dorms, but I never knew any victims.

Niche User

Health & Safety: The dorm buildings are controlled by key card access. It is up to the student, however, to keep their individual dorm room locked. A few attacks have occurred from students leaving their rooms unlocked. There are blue-light security phones all over campus, and an escort service can walk you home at all hours of the night if you feel you need it.

Niche User

Health & Safety: There is a free escort security service provided by the campus if you are out downtown or even across campus late at night. Overall though, State College is a very safe and friendly town.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Late at night, the campus is very dark. If you want, you can call the escort service. They walk or drive students home if needed.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Carry a mobile phone on you if you are remotely concerned for your safety, although crime in State College is more or less non-existent.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Security and safety are great here. They don't seem to skimp on it. If you need an escort home, they'll provide one for you. If they can't, they'll call a cab to pick you up (and they'll pay for it, too). Campus police walk the campus checking up on the security of all the buildings. All the dorms are locked down, and only the people who live there can get in. Guests have to be escorted.

Niche User

Health & Safety: Campus is pretty secure. I don't know if that's because the University tries to make it safe with things like security guards and blue-light phones, or if I feel safe since no matter what time of night you are out, there are always people walking around.

Niche User

Health & Safety: You need to use your ID card to get into the dorms, and they only work at the dorm where you live. If you don't live there, your friend's supposed to let you in and be with you all the time, but that usually doesn't happen.

Niche User

Computers: You have access to cable anywhere on campus and at all the apartment buildings. The labs usually aren't too packed, but they can be a hassle if you need to get things done fast.

Niche User

Computers: The computer labs are very accommodating, and you rarely have to wait; although bringing your own computer is certainly more convenient, as you can do most tasks from the comfort of your room.

Niche User

Computers: Definitely have your own computer. The labs are not always crowded, but there is nothing like having your own computer and printer when you need it. And the Ethernet card allows access to an excellent high-speed network that has suited my needs for three years.

Niche User

Computers: There is an extensive computer network. Some labs are crowded, but this is more of a social issue than anything-they are the popular labs to go to. However, there are always going to be open computers; you just have to choose the right lab. Bringing your own computer is completely optional. You can easily get along without one, but it is a lot more convenient, and Ethernet is provided in the dorms for fast connections.

Niche User

Computers: There are six main computer labs on campus. They're always open for any student to use, and in each lab there are technicians to help you with any problem that you might have.

Niche User

Computers: The computer network is great, but there is traffic in the labs. Sometimes you wait, sometimes you don't. But there are tons of computer labs located throughout campus, so you don't really need to bring a computer unless you like working in the comforts of your own room.

Niche User

Computers: Plan on bringing your own computer. Even though the computer labs are pretty good, having your own computer will be more convenient for everyday work. Plus, it's great to have a computer just for communicating with other students. Computer labs are usually only crowded during the beginning and end of the semester, and whenever big projects are due (like around midterms and such). The general purpose labs are usually not as packed as the college-specific labs, which can be ridiculously crowded at times.

Niche User

Computers: The network is good; you have a nice fast connection in the dorms . . . when it's working. The PSU network is notorious for cutting out just when you need to log on to get an article or right in the middle of downloading a bootleg of The Matrix. There are so many computer labs that, unless it's the week before finals when everyone has projects due, you won't have a problem finding a spot to do your work.

Niche User

Computers: Having your own computer definitely makes research and work a little easier, but there are usually some computers available in the computer lab.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: There are tons of restaurants with reasonably-priced food and a cool hangout/bar scene. The Deli and the Gingerbread Man are good examples.

{{review.UserDisplayString}}

{{review.SectionLabel}} at {{review.EntityName}}:

{{review.Votes}} found this useful - Did you? Was this useful? Yes Report

Sorry, there are no reviews.

  • {{settings.pageNumber}} of {{settings.maxPages}}
  • Pages:
  • ... {{page}}

Rankings View more rankings . . .

Photos More photos . . .

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.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

Applicant Status At Penn State

How do I stack up?

Compared against the students in the chart, you are in the:

??? Percentile
4
pageviews remaining

Non-registered users are limited to 5 school profile page views per month.

Register for free to gain full access!