Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Sophomore

Weather: It snows a lot out here, but the snow usually does not stick. However, if it does, it is difficult to walk because it is slippery. I really suggest boots. During the spring, it does rain a lot, so be prepared to wear rain boots and always carry an umbrella. So far, it has been quite humid in the summer and the sun really beats down on you.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: Everyone is proud to wear any type of Penn State attire, especially during games. Many students attend all the sports, of course some more than others. Team performance is top quality; they put in everything that they have. The athletic facilities are great; athletic trainers, their own gym equipment, and the variety of equipment that they use. The athletes receive top apparel and anything that goes along with it; from sneakers, to sweats, to suitcases, to coats, etc.

5 College Freshman

Academics: I am in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Penn State has a great academic reputation all around, but I love EMS because it is one of the smaller colleges, so you really get to know a lot of the faculty and students.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Housing is not the best quality about Penn State. East Halls, where I live, are very old and a far walk from most places on campus. Also, housing is only guaranteed for freshman year and the application process for upperclassman can be competitive.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: My father deals with applying for financial aid, but it was a very big hassle for him the first time, because some of the instructions aren't very clear and my sophomore year I personally had to go to the office of the bursar to speak with someone because it was unclear about why I wasn't fully registered as a student, which ended up having to do with them not reading the code to my incoming loan correctly.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Drug visibility and alcohol visibility is not very high at Penn State on campus, there are campus police that do a good job of policing underage drinkers and make sure they keep people safe and out of trouble. Drinking is very visible downtown on the weekends but it is policed well and you're never forced into drinking or put down if you don't

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Facilities: On campus there are always student orgs putting on events or displays or promoting their cause which is great to see students being so active on their campus. Our student union has awesome choices of places to eat for all kinds of tastes whether you're into Chick-fil-A, Salad creations or Sushi, everyone can be satisfied at the HUB. There is also frequently flash mobs that occur which are pretty interesting. There is an organization for every walk of life on campus, whether you like Harry Potter Quiditch Club or like the idea of being the engineer of a roller coaster or amusement park or there's plenty of fraternities and sororities to join!

5 College Junior

Facilities: My campus is absolutely beautiful, well-kept and very unique. As the student body grows the college grows to accommodate the growing numbers and tries to keep up to date by updating on campus housing. Also upon talking to some of my friends who attend other universities, they often complain that their advisors aren't very helpful and they always feel lost in selecting classes. I feel as though my advisors go above and beyond to help me in choosing classes, looking for internships, and guiding me in picking my future career path. I can easily go to my advisor's hours and he will sit down and help me pick exactly what classes I need to take for the following classes.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: There are many options for, not only freshman, but upperclassmen as well. However, housing is not guaranteed for upperclassmen, a lottery must be entered.

3 College Freshman

Weather: It snows and rains, but comes with the Happy Valley atmosphere that everyone loves. Penn State is wonderful in the spring, fall, and summer, but the winter can get very cold. The snow, however, is gorgeous, and for people who enjoy snow, winters can be fun!

2 College Freshman

Parking: It is offered but only to upperclassmen and is normally very expensive on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: PSU has a really good variety of dining options off campus. Most of them take lioncash and some even have student discounts with an ID. Eating off campus is essentially a special treat for first year students but is definitely not impossible.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: They gave me the money I needed and I am very grateful for it. However, the bill is still very high and more would have been helpful. Also, the work-study office can be a little confusing for a first time student.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Must leasrn to stay out of the network of local police

2 College Junior

Scholarships: Penn State UP doesn't offer much. The commonwealth campuses offer a little more, but don't bank on getting any scholarship money.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Most students at this campus live in off campus housing. There is a good market with competitive rates and PSU Altoona offers a housing fair at the beginning of the semester so students can weigh their options.

4 College Junior

Parking: Penn State Altoona is largely a commuter campus so the campus authorities have developed a good system for parking. There are several student lots to choose from and several lots reserved for faculty, staff, and visitors. I think the price is a bit high but at least my parking permit was not as expensive as my textbooks this year.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Weather: The fall weather is wonderful but the winter and spring months have developed a reputation for being particularly harsh and causing quite a few delays and closings last year alone.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Facilities: Penn State Altoona's campus is beautiful, the buildings are close together and easily accessible. Recent rennovations of the Slep Student Center located by the duck pond have created a nice atmosphere for students who wish to study, socialize, or play games (new game consoles and flat screens were installed) with the previously larger areas being divided into three separate sections including a cozy fireside lounge that is irreplaceable in the winter months. Port Sky, the student on campus cafe was also rennovated within the last year. The new space is host to a variety of new seating arrangements and a better organized market area.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Facilities: The faculty at Penn State Altoona are unbeatable. Their dedication to student success and their own research provides the best landscape for learning that I have encountered. The campus itself is beautiful and the community is largely supportive of students. Penn State Altoona also offers a variety of clubs and programs that really help students meet students and faculty who share the same passions. One of the best programs at Penn State Altoona is the PSU Altoona Honors Program. This academic program allows qualified students to enroll in select classes that are targeted to be at a higher level than similiar classes of a non-honors standard. Not only does this look good academically but these classes are typically smaller and allow more time for student and faculty interaction. The Honors Program also hosts fun social events such as free lunches, game nights, movie nights, and special field trips. All in all my experience at Penn State Altoona has been a very good one and I would encourage students who are looking to attend PSU to consider Altoona as an option.

1 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Worst cops I have ever encountered in my life. I was tackled to the ground this saturday and arrested for carrying a mountain dew which the cop suspected was a beer, I was also given a citation for drinking a beer with my family at a tailgate.. great school but the police are ruining the atmosphere

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: This college is less diverse than my hometown, and it was a little bit of a culture shock to suddenly be somewhere where most students were white. However, there are a lot of students here from all kinds of backgrounds, and the university makes an effort to enroll students from abroad. It's also worth mentioning that many religions are represented on campus and so our Spiritual Center serves many different faiths.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Housing: Campus life is fairly nice. As a freshman, most students are placed in East Halls which are small but nice. You are surrounded by other new students who also know little to no other students. It is, however, very pricey compared to the local apartments and if you live on campus, the meal plan is mandatory.

5 College Junior

Athletics: We have great facilities and coaches for our athletes and the entire student body supports our athletes.

4 College Senior

Diversity: PSU has one of the greatest percentages of diversity of any school. People from all walks of life and all corners of the globe converge on Penn State's University Park campus in the fall and spring. However, there exists a slight (but growing) economic disparity between students who get their college payed for (by their parents or otherwise) and students who work through school to pay their bills. This could potentially lead to an academic disparity as well, as students who work through school probably have less time to study while employed.

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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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