University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4679 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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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.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I feel less safe at home than I do on campus. The school is in the middle of nowhere so no urban threat, just a few well known bums.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Never had a problem with the labs. I never have a problem without a printer, some are open 24/7 so you could in theory do without a computer.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: You got your bros and your hoes. Also academic frats so whatever floats your boat. Plenty of proud geeks and hot cheeks (leggings aren't pants but nobody says anything). Everyone's cool, a few rowdy bro-faces but just shut up and shotgun a beer with them.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: A lot of ethnic food: thai, genuine Chinese, fusion, mexican, and of course fast food. You can mix it up every day and nearly everyone delivers.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There are many different students from different races and ethnicities here at my campus

College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: I go to school online, so I have my own apartment

3 College Junior

Diversity: It sems to be quite diversified

5 College Junior

Scholarships: Money comes in as scheduled, disbursements are smooth, stipends are on time.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Penn State is known to be a party school. If you don't party there are plenty of things to do around campus. If you do like to go out, there are plenty of bars downtown. Everything is within walking distance so you don't need to worry about driving. This is great except when it gets cold (from late October to March) because then you freeze walking where you want to go.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Majors: I love my program. To an extent, the material you learn in your education classes actually is useful in your own classroom as I am learning during my student teaching experience. Unfortunately, teachers are in abundance right now, which makes me nervous about finding a job. Luckily for me math/science teachers are in greater demand than other disciplines. In general having "Penn State" on your diploma helps get your foot in the door anywhere because of the alumni all over the world!

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Majors: I am currently student teaching. Unfortunately student teachers don't get paid. As a student teacher you assume all duties of your mentor teacher. Depending on the subjects you teach, you may have to spend time out of school grading papers and making lesson plans. Penn State sets up your student teaching placement and each discipline has a specified location where they will teach. All math ed majors go to Pittsburgh which is unfortunate since you have to find your own housing and such.

4 College Senior

Transportation: There are different cata buses and they can take you all around campus. Multiple buses per route. It isn't hard to find one and there is an app you can get for your phone to show you when the estimated time of arrival is at a specified stop. In the app there is also a map that you can see the route of each bus.

2 College Senior

Scholarships: I didn't get really any aid from the school until my senior year. The individual colleges offer their own scholarships that you can apply for but the majority of the recipients are juniors and seniors.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Transportation: The CATA bus system here on campus is great. We also have an iPhone App that tells you when the buses are coming and what stop they're at. Really convenient. Only thing is they don't run on weekends that often and sometimes they take longer to show up than expected. The buses also get really really crowded so just watch out for that

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: When I was looking for apartments, the websites were very easy to read and understand. On Campus we have a lot of lawyers and workshops to help us properly assess our needs when it comes to living off campus. If you apply early enough, you'll get the place you want. I only gave this a B because nice places do tend to be pretty price-y and cheaper places...well you get what you pay for.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: It can get INCREDIBLY cold here. The weather is very unpredictable also. Always carry an umbrella on you. You will need it.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Transportation: Taxis are convenient but can get expensive. Needed when it is raining or extremely cold out.

Campus bus is convenient, comes about every 10 minutes. However schedules can be confusing and busses can get very crowded.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Senior

Parking: Parking is horrible. All meters, never enough spots.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Like many campuses and many majors, there will be classes and teachers you love and hate. A major benefit of Penn State is the size of the institution and thus amount of opportunities available if you strive for them. Additionally, many of their graduate student programs are amongst the top in world-rankings.

7 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: The graduate chemistry program at Penn State is outstanding. The curriculum, facilities, internship and job opportunities are all fantastic. Workload often depends on a combination of the type of studies and the expectations of the advisers- this can vary greatly from lab to lab. There is always room for improvement though I am quite satisfied with the quality of the chemistry Ph.D. program at Penn State.

4 people found this useful Report

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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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