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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3 College Sophomore

Transportation: The only problem I really have with transportation is going or coming from Pittsburgh. There is no real transportation other than friends with cars or taxis.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Student

Scholarships: The financial aid for the majority of colleges is very difficult. Penn State doesn't give too many financial aid options.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Student

Campus Housing: The cost is on the pricy side but the dorms aren't that bad. The worst place to live especially for Freshmen is in East halls. The rest West, North, South, and Pollock are all equally good.

3 College Student

Transportation: The Catabus is very convenient. There are 4 links that are free. The only bad thing is that they stop at 2 in the morning and this is inconvenient especially on weekends.

3 College Student

Nightlife: The majority of the nightlife is in the frats until you turn 21 when you can go to the bars.

3 College Student

Off-Campus Housing: The downtown area is extremely close to campus. There are a lot of apartments available but they are tend to be very expensive.

4 College Student

Majors: The program is very difficult, but it definitely pays off in the end. They do a great job of preparing you for future jobs.

2 College Student

Majors: To officially enter my major you have to take 6 prerequisites and earn a C or higher in the classes. In the spring semester of your sophomore year you apply to enter the major after taking those 6 classes, and have to have higher than a 3.0 GPA.

4 College Student

Health & Safety: The campus overall is pretty safe. It is an open campus, so there is always the possibility of strangers coming on campus.

3 College Student

Weather: It gets very cold throughout the year. It can get a little annoying, but you get used to it eventually.

4 College Student

Greek Life: Greek life is huge at Penn State. It some times tends to be a little bubble and some people make it their everything, but then there are other people who enjoy it but also interact and get involved in other activities.

3 College Student

Drug Safety: Many students do partake in alcohol and drug usage. In my personal opinion, there really isn't much peer pressure to do something you don't want to do.

5 College Student

Diversity: Penn State is extremely diverse. There are people from all around the world, from different cultures and ethnicities. The school is very accepting overall and allows all of us to be united regardless of background.

5 College Student

Academics: The engineering program is truly one of a kind. Even though it can be very difficult as times, I know the hard work will pay off in the end. There are a variety of resources and different internship positions made available for the students.

2 people found this useful Report
College Sophomore

Nightlife: It's the best because they are awesome parties. It's the worst because they are destructive towards the campus.

College Sophomore

Greek Life: I do not participate, but it has a great reputation.

College Sophomore

Athletics: I do not participate in the sports-scene, but it has an excellent reputation.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: There are emergency services and police that are always ready, but for the most part the school is guarded by "auxillary police" who are fellow students trained to report wrong-doing to the real police. It is a slow system that really just works to catch drunk students and look intimidating for large events such as concerts and THON.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: The registration process is easy, teachers vary though, many teachers with many teaching styles teach the same subjects for introductory classes especially. There is a heavy workload, as with every college. Popular study areas are engineering and business.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: The forensic science program is more exclusive than others, so the qualifications are stricter. Express an interest in science, not CSI TV shows.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Majors: Once you are in the program, you are very close witht he other students and faculty who will provide endless support a logn as you work hard and show respect.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The housing process is easy and affordable, but definitely not for everyone. The typical dorm is relatively small but with a lot of storage space, heated (not air conditioned), and chances are your neighbors will be loud.

2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I once asked for help finding scholarships and was told "to look around". Most scholarships are academic rather than need based, thereby are only really offered to the honors college.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: It is a very student friendly off-campus dining environment.

5 College Sophomore

Computers: There are computer labs everywhere and wireless is currently being installed in dorms.


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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.

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

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