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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4 College Sophomore

Computers: Computers are in good condition. Many places are switching over to apple products.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Buses are everywhere, but they are usually very crowded and take forever. You should just walk.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Penn State food is fairly good. There is something for everybody.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: Parking is awful. I never bring my car on campus because there is no where to park without getting a ticket.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Freshman dorms at PSU aren't so great, but all the other dorms are quite nice. West and South Halls have the nicest rooms, so if you can, try to get in there. However, East Halls are where most freshmen live, which is an entirely different atmosphere. It's a lot of fun in East, but if you're looking for nice rooms/bathrooms, West and South are the way to go.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: The warm weather is nice, but the winters are freezing, and I mean freeeezing. You will need to pack heavy coats and other winter gear. Classes are never canceled so you'll need snow and rain boots as well. The biggest pain is when it rains since you'll need an umbrella to lug around campus, and the buses get packed and tend to run late in the rain.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: Penn State really doesn't offer much aid whatsoever, so if you're looking for a school that will give you money, PSU is probably not for you.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life at Penn State is huge. About 20% of the student body is involved in frats/sororities. On the weekends, you will find most younger students going to parties on frat row, and sorority girls usually as well. Non-greek students don't really interact much with greek students, and usually tend to judge them, and vice versa. However, greeks interact with other greeks. Greeks are very involved with THON, but non-greeks can get involved just as much via other clubs/committees. Frats live in houses, sororities each have a floor or two of some of the nicer dorms to themselves.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Alcohol is everywhere on the Penn State campus. No matter what party you go to, you are guaranteed there will be alcohol there. Weed is fairly prominent as well, and you can often smell it around the dorms where people are smoking. Many people tend to smoke cigarettes as well, although you can usually avoid them around campus. Another popular drug is hookah.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: The greek life at Penn State is a great experience, Many love to join. The special bond that forms is what everyone looks for and it varies in what sorority you want to get in! you are in control of what you want to do in your sorority.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: At first when I went to Penn State I thought that different race wasn't common. Then when I first arrived I was shocked to see the diversity in Penn State. My campus is a no place for hate candidate and all race get together on that special week and bond.

5 College Sophomore

Transportation: The transportation is great! The have many different buses that go to different locations. Some come every ten minutes and others with longer routes ever 45 minutes or so.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The boys at Penn State are fun to be around, they are also very respectful. The boy range from geeky to jock, very cliche but with a twist. Geeks are also into sports and parties and the jock also care about their grades. The females at Penn state are beautiful and fun to be around. Some of them have the looks of a model and the personality of a comedian. They are fun to be around and their Penn State spirit radiates off of them!

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I am female, but never experienced extreme discomfort for my safety- although I have walked through college ave. sidewalks alone on a saturday night. use common sense- if you're drunk and lost your friends, don't walk home alone, just call a taxi (most common hazard i saw). walk with a purpose home if you've stayed at paterno/patee late, no big deal.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Smack in the middle. There is acceptance for most of the student body, but it's still in Pennsylvania, and so... mostly white students. I think there really needs to be a conscious student movement by all ethnicities to join clubs together and get exposure to each other. What happens now is students of the same race tend to stick together - not malevolently to be sure, but I feel like there's kind of a skeptical divide. With that being said there's respect, but it could be better

5 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Pros:
- i have had some really good teachers and some eh teachers, but what makes a great professor is interaction with students. i had one through a yearlong class that met with each student either one on one or in small groups to discuss projects with us, and that kind of communication was really excellent, and that bond with at least 1/2 profs a semester will lend itself to opportunities and recommendations for grad. school if that's important to you. i'm making it my personal goal to do that for the rest of my semesters here

Cons:
-math grad students/professors who don't speak english very well. prepare for some misunderstanding or confusing lessons.
-teachers in 400 level courses that the average test grade is in the 70s, but i expect you'll find that anywhere

4 College Sophomore

Computers: This one's in between a A- and B+. There are really tons and tons of computers accessible to students on campus, including a few in buildings like Willard and the HUB where students on the go can print out papers or last minute assignments. I say in between because although there are many computers available, they are a few years old- still working for sure, but still it's kinda ehh. The internet speed is always good- I haven't had major issues with a network being down or anything like that. Wifi will be installed in all of the dorms by the end of the year I think (it's a major issue that is in the process of being added). Freshmen, head straight to ResCom because the lines will be long, and they have later hours, so prepare to wait especially if you plan to have a router in your room.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: "Penn State weather" is a running joke here. This past year, it was 80 degrees at the end of October, snowing 3 weeks later in November, 55 degrees one week in January, then hailing and near freezing one weekend in April. It's generally cold, sure, but everyone suffers together. It's not like girls can't wear coats out on the weekends or people will judge you for wearing a giant puffy coat to class. Just invest in a good coat and a good pair of boots and you'll be fine. My favorite part is at the end of the year when it is finally nice outside and everyone goes crazy. Old Main lawn is covered in people and half the student body starts day drinking (when you aren't studying for finals!)

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Penn State food is good in general. There will always be a place to eat close to wherever you are on campus and they have an iPhone app with the menus. It sometimes get old and repetitive like on any campus but they try to make the meals interesting and have specials often. Sometimes I feel like it is hard to eat really healthy food that isn't a salad but I manage. Don't visit PSU without eating a West Halls cookie. They are amazing.

3 College Senior

Nightlife: Downtown has an okay nightlife but nothing to brag about. But it will do for us students.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: The Pro to my Off Campus Housing is I have my own bathroom.
I take the bus to and from school which is convenience. From the housing unit is a walking distance to the shopping mall. There's a monthly parking fees. The Con is more security is needed and not enough food cabinet for four people sharing the unit. The overall Unit price is reasonable and I enjoyed being there.

3 College Senior

Campus Housing: For your first year, you must live on campus so you can experience campus dorm life with others, learn about each hopes, dreams and goals. What I didn't like was the rooms were small,. Not everyone wants to share in cleaning duties. The process of moving IN day needs to be work on a little better.

2 College Senior

Weather: The weather at Penn State is no different if I was back home. When it snow, I just get my shovel and do what I have to do to make it to class the best way I know how (safely).
Penn State door doesn't closed.

4 College Senior

Computers: When I used the computer lab it was kept clean, reliable internet, no problem with printing out my materials. The staff came over to assist me when I needed help.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: We have a nationally ranked Football team. Eventhough there has been some hard times recently and the NCAA sanctions. everyone still supports the team.

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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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