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

Guys & Girls: In a school of 40,000 undergraduates, you're bound to find a lot of attractive people. Enough said.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: Practically everything of interest is within walking distance -- and if not, it's just a short bus ride away. Bus fare is relatively cheap (on campus, it's free) and the stops are all over the place, which is convenient. (The crowds of drunks on Friday and Saturday evenings are hardly worth it, though.)

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Student clubs and organizations exist for practically everything (Bigfoot club, anyone?), and there's no shortage of places to go to study or hang out with your friends. I've been on campus for two years now and I'm still discovering new things about the place (though I will say that the Arboretum has always been a particular favorite of mine).

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: There's always, always, ALWAYS something to do at Penn State, and the facilities offered here are some of the best in the country. The school wants to see its students succeed and helps them to do so in every way possible; it feels like there's some sort of career/internship/service fair here every month. Not to mention, we have the largest alumni network in the nation, and that's pretty darn impressive.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Financial aid is a headache, but I don't expect that it's really any better at other schools. The Financial Aid Office is generally helpful, though they've been a bit snippy with me at times in the past. I do have one academic scholarship through the school, but most of the scholarships I've applied for have been through outside resources.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There's a little bit of everything here, and websites like OrderUp.com make getting food delivered to your room at two in the morning all the easier. (Plus, we've got Insomnia Cookies. There's nothing better.)

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Surprisingly good. Tons of variety, tons of options, tons of locations. A bit pricey at some places, but the food is generally worth it.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There's always a party to go to on weekends. I haven't had much exposure to the bar/club scene yet, but there are definitely plenty of places to choose from, all within walking distance of campus. Fun is pretty convenient up here.

2 College Sophomore

Weather: Bring an umbrella with you everywhere or you WILL regret it. (Oh, and if you're naive enough to hope that classes will be canceled when there's 8+ inches of snow on the ground in winter... you've got another thing coming.)

5 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life is everywhere. I am not a part of Greek life myself and don't pay much attention to frat parties and the like, but, even so, it's impossible to avoid the presence of Greek life on campus. Greeks are a huge part of every major school activity, and I can't get to half of my classes without walking past the ornate houses on frat row. Most other non-Greeks I've encountered don't care for them one way or another, but their presence is absolute.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Athletics here are top-notch. At a quick glance it seems like everyone is involved in them in some way -- whether in the stands or on the field, the vast majority of students here value sports and physical activity and arguably possess more school spirit than anyplace else in the nation.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: As a member of a minority myself, I've found that my school offers an impressively open environment, especially when considering its size. The campus is fairly diverse, and with a few rare exceptions most students (and nearly all professors) that I've encountered are at least tolerant (if not outwardly supportive) of differing backgrounds and beliefs and encourage others to do the same.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Definitely enough variety for everyone. The food is really good.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I am under 21 so the apartment/ frat parties are all I ever experienced.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Transportation: CATA buses take you everywhere you need to go without any hassle.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Most apartments are old, however, if you are willing to pay a little extra money, there are nice apartments available

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Housing: Very convenient to live downtown which is right next to campus.

7 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Restaurants are on campus and off campus restaurants are at a walking distance. There is a lot of variety to chose from and the costs are reasonable.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Most off campus apartments and housing are located at a walking distance from campus. There is a variety of apartments to chose from and prices are reasonable.

1 person found this useful Report
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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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