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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4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Penn State is an extremely safe campus! Crime is almost non-existent and campus police work closely with the police of State College to ensure a safe and secure learning environment for all students.

4 College Junior

Transportation: One benefit of Penn State is that everything is centrally located. Also, the campus shuttles run frequently throughout campus, downtown State College and to the major neighborhood apartments located off-campus.

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The town of State College, PA is a great little college town! Although we are located in a valley and the nearest universities are about an hours their is still plenty to do. Penn State is well known for its athletics particularly football "Linebacker U" and saturdays in the fall provide for a great atmosphere filled with over 100,000 students, fans and alumni!

5 College Junior

Academics: My current major is RPTM (Recreational Parks & Tourism Management) with a concentration in PGA Golf Management. I am enrolled in a rather unique major that can only be found in 19 other universities across the country. It is a close group of students and faculty all of which are more than willing to help each other succeed academically and find internships every summer which is a huge advantage! We also have one of the best indoor golf teaching facilities filled with the latest and greatest technology to not only help us learn, but to improve our own golf skills.

4 College Junior

Academics: Overall, the academics at Penn State are tremendous! The professors are great and are more than willing to go out of their way to help you succeed in the classroom. My only complaint I have is that in a couple classes I have had in my 5 semesters at Penn State I have had teachers that do not speak great English which has negatively impacted my learning and grades (however I realize that this will occur in any school a student attends).

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: My major is mechanical engineering. The courses have maintained my interest for the most part and challenged me. I was initially impressed with all the research labs, but realistically, those are mostly for graduate students and top notch undergrads. That said, I did to some work in the machine shop and casting in the IE lab, which was cool. My email is flooded with networking opportunities. Some for specific companies, some resume and interview workshops, career fairs, ect.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Academics: I've had some professors I liked and others I didn't like. Almost all of them seemed heavily interested in the subject they taught. The workload varies from one prof to another, even within the same course. But the workload had nothing to do with how I liked the professor. I've had difficult courses where the professor was enthusiastic and encouraging, and easy ones where the professor was a complete dick. Registration is easy, some classes are too big to get much personalized attention from the prof, but TA's are a lot of help.

College Senior

Overall Experience: I personally had a hard time overall, largely due to some minor mental health issues. Some of my best times have been when I was hammered. Eventually, alcohol and pot started to turn from fun to paranoia and distress and I limited my consumption significantly. That's when I realized that I had been using it as a crutch because I get very nervous around people. I'd say the school is great for the work hard play hard mentality. I know some very intelligent people, especially being in engineering fraternity. But the "play" portion is heavily fueled by alcohol, which sustains a drunken dreamland for 90% of the population in State College, PA.

4 College Senior

Diversity: Despite an overall low percentage of minorities, I've seen many instances of such students fitting in just fine. There's also a lot of groups that specifically include certain minorities.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: There's definitely a good ratio and a diverse crowd of people. Most girls look pretty good, especially in the warm weather months. A lot of drinking goes on and there's a lot of off campus housing available.

4 Recent Alumnus

Scholarships: Penn State is great about giving out aid to students with great financial need and merit based. A lot of different aid options can be found through your specific college, the multicultural resource center, and the student union building.

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Book tickets early because with 40,000 students getting home on the bus can become expensive if you wait until the last minute.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of different options downtown. A lot of places stay open until 2am or later for late partiers (or studiers).

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Greek life has a big presence at Penn State. There are two streets downtown called "Frat Row" which comprises of over 50 fraternity houses. Sororities are housed on campus in designated dorms.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Greek Life: I'm not a part of it.

2 College Junior

Scholarships: I don't qualify for financial add, because my dad makes enough money. But college is expensive and I'm paying for it on my own. So I get stuck without aid.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Health & Safety: thankfully i've never had problems, but i know how to respond if i did.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: We are known as a party school, but you're only involved if you decide to be.

5 College Junior

Facilities: Penn State has school spirit like you wouldn't believe. We're one big family and it's great.

4 College Junior

Computers: There is wifi almost everywhere.
i was required to have a mac which sucks because they're expensive and PCs do the same thing

4 College Junior

Campus Housing: I loved living on campus

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: People are people, and I like these people.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Junior

Parking: Sure there are plenty of spots. But it's so expensive, like $80 a month of an uncovered, half spot.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: The pricing is ridiculous , and you have to find housing a whole year in advance. It's a blood bath.

5 College Junior

Campus Dining: I wish I still had a meal plan!

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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 . . .

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