University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4649 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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2 College Freshman

Academics: Most of my classes involved essays and research papers. I like presentations and projects on powerpoint. Summer was horrible I couldn't get my group to participate on a timely manner. Last minute deal.

1 College Freshman

Academics: My original major was Political Science. My adviser was nice but I realized it wasn't for me. Had difficulties during the summer and I wished I started the Fall of 2013.Lots of people in certain class. If you are young you may find a few friends. Older people just out of luck. It is sad when you want to go away anywhere else but here. Great for older folks with family but not alone.

College Freshman

Scholarships: No scholarships.Foreign competition.Good luck and try,

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Older than peers. Isolated.Off campus students loud.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: It's college food and I love buffets so this works for me. If you do not eat a lot, the dining plan will not benefit you. East wings, West's nachos and cookies, North fro breakfast, Pollack for dinner and South for fresh food.

1 College Freshman

Scholarships: PSU does not give out financial aid until you have done work here at Penn State. Maybe later if you get great grades, you can get something.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Parking costs a lot but you can usually find a space. As a freshman, you do not really need a car. Transportation is aplenty.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: State College, PA is the safest college town in America. The locals love Penn State as much as the students do, and there is a very strong respect between both parties. Downtown is just one street over from campus and is not only a popular living spot for upperclassmen, it's great for a unique small-town shopping experience and one-of-a-kind restaurants. I came as a kid and now as a student, I still love walking down College Avenue on Saturday mornings.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Athletics: Penn State football is very important here (although it's not everything by any stretch of the imagination, NCAA). Sports are an avenue where we can exhibit some of the extreme Penn State pride we have, and PSU fans are second to none. Always out in big numbers, no matter what team. Each sport has their own student following, and the facilities are absolutely incredible.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: It's a large school, there's alcohol in downtown State College, no denying that. But, that being said, if you're not into the party scene, staying away from College Avenue (the divisor of State College and Penn State) really decreases your chances of all the drug related activities that happen.

4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Penn State is the ultimate college experience, and I just don't mean what happens on weekends. No matter what you're in to (there's tons of stuff to do if you're not into partying) Penn State makes you feel like you're part of something bigger than yourself: one of 40,000 students and over a half billion living alumni...that is really a special thing. Nothing even compares to the pride we all have in our school, plus the education and networking opportunities are second to none.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Everyone is very accepting. There are groups of people from all over the world, I've never seen an outcast. There are a growing number of people not from America, which you will notice in the walking patterns, it seems American traffic patterns are acutely constructed, which you would never know if it was all homogenous, so there, a built in lesson.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Its all there if you ask nicely. Access to research, labs, etc. is very easy if you have genuine interest in it.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Academics: Workload is high so make sure you like your major. If you don't smile sometimes when you're doing homework and when you learn something, you may be in trouble.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: They love to get people on technicalities. Just pay attention to the signs and you may luck out with only a few tickets.

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: It a tiny town that is almost entirely made up of college kids, there is nothing around, nothing. But it is called Happy Valley for a reason.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: The buildings can be old but they look and feel great on the brain, well kept and regarded. The new stuff is great too.

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Even with a bum major I still valued my education. It has everything you need, you may just have to ask for it though. Penn State pride permeates the staff and students, tune into that and it is great (no, you don't have to yell like an idiot or even respond to "we are...." nonsense.)

2 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Not bad, over priced though. You can't beat the on-campus atmosphere, fun will be had.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Never had a problem with the buses, they do get crowded though. I never had to worry about transportation.

College Sophomore

Greek Life: Never been a big social person but everyone I knew that was in one enjoyed it. The only people who don't are the resentful shy type that are easily disturbed by other peoples' whimsy. However, when the bros bro, they bro hard.

College Sophomore

Scholarships: I never qualified for any aid, the loans I have in progress are why I'm on this website.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Sophomore

Majors: My first B.A. was in Film/Video which they have since renovated. No internships, no guidance, no pushing, no hint that the film world has nothing to do with actual films. My gripes go on and on with this program but like I said it has been overhauled so I don't know the current curriculum. I mean, I didn't even have to declare an option, or a minor, or even an interest, it really was like junior film school. For the love of all that is holy if you are interested in film get an internship, and then get another one, and then another until you have a job secured before you graduate.

2 College Sophomore

Majors: Get to know your adviser, that is all. Wait one more thing, no one is there to help you unless you ask.

4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: People help each other out, there are the occasional tragedies but really it's whatever floats your boat. I've been to parties where the hosts are non-drinkers. The pressure is there but it's easy to say "uhh, 8am tomorrow" and no one will question you, everyone plays hard because they work hard.


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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.

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