Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4218 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of food places downtown and around campus that offer a huge variety of food such as, McDonald's, Panera, Taco Bell, Subway, Chili's, Jersey Mike's subs, Are You Hungry?, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Brother's Pizza, a few pubs, Chinese food, Japanese food, Korean food, and many many more. There are about 10 pizza places, a few subs/cheesesteaks places, and more. Most of them are relatively cheap and affordable, and accept LionCash (student discount). Some personal favs are: Are You Hungry?, Brothers Pizza, and Starbucks, Big Bowl, and many more!

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: There is tons of things to do at Penn State, so you will always have something to do. There are a lot of sporting events to attend, especially football games. Penn State also has tons of stores for shopping downtown and a mall around State College. Also, Penn State has hundreds of clubs and organizations to join. THON is a huge one and it keeps a lot of people busy and it's a ton of FUN! There is also tons of clubs for almost anything you can think of (sports, art, music, religion, etc.) So, you see, there is a lot of things to do at Penn State that will keep you fairly busy and create tons of fun.

3 College Senior

Health & Safety: I have always felt safe at Penn State, even though it is a large campus with a lot of people. The police and health services are always available and do a great job in assisting the students, keeping it a safe and healthy environment. There are times when students get a little out of control when it comes to drinking and such, but the security is pretty strict and keeps it under control.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: Impossible to park on campus. If you do have a permit it costs you a fortune. Downtown has meters which aren't too bad. On or off campus if you are even 5 minutes over your time limit you get a ticket.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Off campus dining accepts "Lion Cash" which is our ID card and meal points card so it is helpful that you can use it at various places downtown.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking is very popular. We have a dry campus so the majority of drinking takes place off campus at houses, frats and apartments.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Penn State has a lot of diversity which I love. There are many international students too. We have over 900 student organizations, so there shouldn't be any trouble finding a group for you.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: If you want to get an apartment off but close to campus, start looking early because those are in high demand. Also, the apartments close to Beaver are pricey, so keep that in consideration. You can also find houses close to campus.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: I love going to the library to study. There are so many areas to study and they even have a coffee place downstairs. There are many resources and the librarians are very helpful.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Penn State has all sorts of people because of its diversity population. For the most part, students are friendly and you won't have trouble finding a group of people like you.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There is a lot of variety for places to eat. A few 24 hour locations for those who like to study outside their apartment. A good amount of them are located walking distance from campus

3 College Senior

Majors: They are only available to those to have been grandfathered in, trying to find an internship is like pledging a sorority.

3 College Senior

Majors: They provide a decent number of majors but more specific health majors would improve the university.

2 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: The off campus housing is expensive. Many of the corporate apartment buildings fail to provide students with options in terms of termination. I have struggled to find a apartment that is available and that provides all the amenities I need.

3 College Senior

Academics: Overall the professors are more concerned with their research than the students. They provide the basics for the students but fail to reach out to the students after class is over.

3 College Senior

Majors: PSU should consider developing more specific health centered majors.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Transportation is very good around State college. There are two loops that run on campus and downtown that are free for everyone. Those are mostly what people use. My only complaint is that they get really crowded sometimes.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: There is not a very big drug scene at Penn State, I think the school is too isolated to have a major drug issue. There is a lot more drinking than doing drugs, everyone on campus knows that. But there are safety programs we have to go through in order to go there that teach us about drugs and alcohol use.

4 College Junior

Academics: Penn State shows a great deal of care when it comes to academics. The motto "work hard, play harder" rings true. There is a balance between work and play.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: The drug scene is not very visible at Penn State. It does depend on the crowd you hang out with but drugs are usually not a problem that needs a lot of enforcement. Drinking is the only big issue that is a notable problem.

3 College Junior

Transportation: Public transportation is a decent price and run at frequent times. The Cata bus app helps when it comes to telling when the bus is suppose to arrive. There are different lines that run through campus but the main ones are the campus loop buses that are free and run continuously till around 1 in the morning.

2 College Junior

Parking: Our campus has plenty of parking lots;however, the students are fined when using the upper parking lots. I personally have been fined for using the upper lot for one of my night classes. I didn't feel comfortable parking in the lower lot of the campus so I decided to park above the pullo center.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: At Penn were constantly getting new majors, minors, clubs, and even buildings (Like the Pegula Ice arena). All of these things are available to students to further their education. For example, parts of the library are open all day and all night long, I'm pretty sure we have a quidditch team, and The Happy thursday club, which consists of people that go around campus on their bikes every thursday telling people to have a great day. Also, State college really is a college town. Everything is centered around the school, like the many clothing stores, and even restaurants are Penn State themed. It's called happy valley for a reason.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: The police are really cool and don't bother you if you don't bother them. If your visibly sick or drunk in public they will confront you. The schools policy is pretty strict if you do get caught, you have to do the whole alcohol program, and pay a fine. But as long as you don't get caught or do anything bad you should be fine.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Public transportation is pretty good. All of the cata buses are pretty much always on time and can help you get the class or down town. There is also a CATA app that you can download that makes tracking where the bus is so much easier. Overall It's very helpful.

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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.

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