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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Niche User

Athletics: Varsity sports are great. The school spirit when a sports team is doing well is tremendous.

Niche User

Athletics: Football games will send a chill down your spine when you attend your first game. And everyone I know who is involved in IM sports meets a great group of people through it and has a great time.

Niche User

Athletics: Sports are huge but none more than varsity football. The school is insane for those games, and they are so much fun. IM sports are available and are fun, also.

Niche User

Athletics: Sports are big; this is Penn State, folks.

Niche User

Athletics: Penn State football and JoePa reign supreme. At PSU, tailgating is a contact sport. We have championship volleyball, soccer, fencing, and hockey, as well.

Niche User

Athletics: State College is the third largest city in Pennsylvania during home football weekends. I have never seen so many campers.

Niche User

Athletics: Sports are a huge part of the school. The football games are so much fun; I recommend getting tickets. If you don't play varsity, though, there are tons of club and IM sports you can join.

Niche User

Athletics: Varsity sports are huge, all of them. It's awesome to go to such a great variety of sports events. The IM sports are also big, and there are tons of sporting events going on in the fall, winter, and spring.

Niche User

Athletics: Varsity sports are huge, especially football. IM sports are not as big, but they do get pretty competitive.

Niche User

Athletics: Basically there's football, then there's everything else. Football seems to have a stranglehold on Penn State, which may be good or bad depending on how you look at it. Other varsity sports are overshadowed by it, but are, by no means, non-existent. IM sports are pretty big in that there are tons played all over campus all year long.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Athletics: Sometimes it seems like varsity sports are PSU. In the fall, life is all about football games and tailgating, and in the winter, I hear we have a basketball team. Football games are fun, but as you can see, you can be a PSU student and not care about sports.

Niche User

Nightlife: The bars are great off-campus, such as the G-Man, Cafe 210, and the Big Easy. The clubs leave something to be desired-there is only the cheesy Indigo. A large dance club might satisfy an un-met State College demand.

Niche User

Nightlife: The club scene, a.k.a. Indigo, has a happening atmosphere that's great for dancing and has good drink specials. And there are plenty of bars that are all diverse enough to attract a particular crowd of students. The bars with the type of atmosphere I like (dance music, spacious, don't smell like an ashtray, and more upscale) are the Gingerbread Man, the Big Easy, and Café 210 West.

Niche User

Nightlife: The bars here are a must once you turn 21. Try Adam's Apple for an Original Sin or the Big Easy (a.k.a. the Big Sleazy) for late-nights when you're too drunk to care how much you're spending on a drink. You have to be 21, though, unless you have an amazing fake ID. The bouncers at local bars get paid for confiscating fake IDs, and most bars have a scanner.

Niche User

Nightlife: There are quite a few bars off-campus with State College being a university town. The Lion's Den and Cafe 210 are pretty popular spots. They are really strict about IDs here, so if you're not 21, I wouldn't mess with a fake ID. The rule of thumb is to hit Indigo twice a year, the first Tuesday of every semester, because that's when everyone shows up to see who's who.

Niche User

Nightlife: Don't even try getting into clubs unless you are 21! Some places to try include G-Man, the Saloon, Cafe 210, the Phyrst, and the Darkhorse.

Niche User

Nightlife: Clubbing pretty much sucks here. There is really only one place, and it's always too crowded, in my opinion. There are quite a few bars, at least 20 within walking distance. These provide good times when you're 21.

Niche User

Nightlife: Apartment parties are the best, and on any given weekend they can be found, quite literally, in the hundreds. Bars off-campus are alright but, overall, pretty sketchy. Places like Café 210 West let you drink outside. Others, like the Phyrst, Rathskeller, and Chumley's, let you pack yourself into a small room and drink yourself stupid.

Niche User

Nightlife: State College on a weekend (meaning Thursday through Saturday nights) is like Mardi Gras. The rest of the week is like a slow Mardi Gras with some classes thrown in. During the fall, the town is invaded by 100,000 drunken alumni for football games, and during the rest of the year, it's only the students who are drunk. Most people go off-campus to party, mainly at apartments and frats. Once you are legal, you can go to the bars, of which there are many. My personal favorites are Café 210, Cellblock, and the Saloon. Players is sketchy and full of drunken skeezes looking for someone to take home so they can wake up in bed together and introduce themselves.

Niche User

Nightlife: Parties on campus usually consist of frat parties and wild house parties. The bars downtown are great, especially in nice weather when you can sit out at the G-Man or the Café.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Nightlife: On-campus parties? When you find one, let me know. Bars off campus are great-there's one for every type of student.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Drug Safety: Drugs are present, but in no way are they dominating. Drug pushers try to stay in hiding, as Penn State is very anti-drug.

Niche User

Drug Safety: If you are involved in the drug scene, it can get quite large. But when you are out of the loop, it's hard to know what's really going down.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Drug Safety: There is a lot of pot around; nothing too hard, though. There is some `E' and coke around, but it's not open.

Niche User

Drug Safety: I really wouldn't know because I would rather drink than do any other drug.

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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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