Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4696 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Penn State is consistently ranked one of the best party schools and doesn't disappoint.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: There is a nearby airport, busses constantly coming to and from, and people from every area if you need to get home. No nearby train however.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Housing on campus is small and expensive but very worth it to live on a floor and meet friends as well as being closer to class buildings.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Parking: With so many students the demand for parking is very high and the costs for a spot in a garage/lot are ridiculous.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Penn State dining is above average in options and variety but is very expensive if you do not have an on campus meal plan.

4 College Freshman

Parking: There a lot of parking space campus. The permit parking is reason price.

3 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Over all, I meet a lot of great people and make new friends . They are very friendly and interactive with one another even thought we just meet for the first time . I would still choose my school all over again due to many inspiration people that I meet here at my university.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Scholarships: There a lot of hassle before I get my financial aid due to some error that occur. So my advice that I have for student that getting ready for college is that be very careful while you filling out your financial aid because little mistake could cause you financial aid support.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: At my university the campus Strictness is to be follow at all time but there time it will be break . There are no rule can be follow 100 %

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Coming to Penn State was the best decision I have ever made. It's definitely an adjustment, but no school rivals PSU. The campus is beautiful, the classes are challenging yet beneficial, the staff is helpful, and the nightlife is incredibly entertaining. A Penn State grad who I met on a tour at another school said to me, "You know how you see movies, and you think, college isn't really like that? Well Penn State IS like that". WE ARE.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Athletics: Penn State football is HUGE. The other supports are well-supported but football weekends in State College are insane.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: The sororities live in the dorm while frats have houses mostly off-campus (a couple are on-campus). Greek life is big and it seems fairly easy to get in. (I didn't rush but I heard only a few girls didn't get into a sorority but it was their choice to not join). The frats throw parties and that's where most freshmen girls spend their weekends.

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: The student health center is extraordinarily helpful and efficient. There is a pharmacy in the health center that you can get prescriptions filled, which as a freshman is great. Campus is as safe as a college campus can be. I feel safe walking around alone at the night during the week, even though I occasionally get creeped out a little. The biggest crimes here are usually alcohol related, i.e. public urination. There is also sexual assault, but basically just be smart and stick with your group.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Freshmen are mostly placed in East halls and Pollock. They're small and old. But they are essential to the freshmen experience. Pollock is closer to campus but East is crazy. The nicest dorms are West and South, and North has suites. The most conveniently located are Pollock and South for most of the classes and to town. You are only guaranteed housing for your first year, after that it's a lottery for on-campus housing. A majority of students move off-campus. The housing process is crazy. You have to essentially decide where you are living the next year in October, and nothing is guaranteed.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: There is the State College Airport but there aren't a lot of flights and they are expensive. The most common method of transportation to go to other cities is the Megabus. They're fairly cheap but they break down all the time. I haven't heard of any trains and if you can find a ride, great. On-campus transportation is OK. I don't rely on it to get to class because it's usually overcrowded and/or behind schedule. But there is an app available on your smartphone for the CATA bus.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: State College is 100% a college town. The sports scene revolves around mostly the football team, but the others sports teams are well-supported. Professional sports trace back to either Pittsburgh or Philly, both about 3 hours away. There is shopping all throughout downtown and the Nittany Mall off-campus but accessible by bus. The locals love sober students. When they get drunk and destructive, not so much.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: It really depends which housing complex you're in.

5 College Freshman

Nightlife: One of the top party schools in the country.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Great help in finding an internship via alumni.

5 College Freshman

Majors: Great program with a lot of help from teachers

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: It's okay. Plenty of late night snacks.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: There are a TON of Asian foreign exchange students. But for the most part, there is a lot of diversity. I came from a small, almost entirely white Conservative town so coming here it seems much more diverse and refreshing.

5 College Freshman

Academics: As a student who was initially reluctant to come to Penn State, I originally came here because my program was ranked amongst the Ivy League schools as one of the best in the nation. Then, I decided to switch majors. And when I did, I found that that program is also one of the best around. Bottom line: Penn State has almost every major imaginable and not only do they have it, but it is probably ranked amongst the best in the nation. The alumni network is incredible for getting jobs. The courses are challenging regardless of your major because the university is preparing to be a well-rounded individual. You are going to have a few hours of work every night, but it doesn't seem like too much. You still have time to be involved elsewhere.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Scheduling classes can be a nightmare if you wait until the last minute to plan it out. For your major you might have to take classes that seem irrelevant, but it is for the best. Penn State is noted as having a great engineering school, business school, teaching school, and basically every other school. Opportunities are constantly being presented to you if you want to take them, and most professors are willing to help you. Especially in math and sciences, a lot of foreign professors teach and it is difficult to understand them. But by utilizing teaching assistants (TAs) and study groups, this shouldn't inhibit your success.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Facilities: The student union is fairly modern and always active. The gym in Rec Hall is gorgeous. Some classrooms are beautiful and modern, others are as old as the university itself. The library is great. Campus is huge and has many secret spaces to study if you can't concentrate in your room.

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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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