University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4218 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Computers: Computer labs are pretty full during finals but there are a good number of labs on campus. Most of the labs have good availability.

2 College Freshman

Weather: The weather is the main thing holding Penn State back. It is only warm about 3 or 4 months out of the year. During the winter, you get light snow storms 4 or 5 times a week. Although the cold may be a bit of a shock at first, you get used to it pretty quickly.

5 College Freshman

Greek Life: Greek life is a big deal at Penn State. Because the school is so large, it does not completely dominant the social scene but it is quite prevalent. Those is greek life only make up about 15% of the student body but you definitely see a lot of people wearing their letters around campus. It is big for freshman because they do not have off campus housing yet.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: There are plenty of different races and religions on campus but overall they make up a small percentage of the rest of the school. Most of the school is white, but there are a good amount of international students.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Not bad! I'm in engineering, and there are plenty of resources to help you on campus. I know there will be a ton of work, but that's expected as an engineer. If you want the opportunities, and you go for them, they are available for you. I e-mailed a professor about a position in his research lab this fall, and got it with no problems.

3 College Freshman

Academics: Honestly, the academics can really vary. It mostly depends on what professors you have. Ratemyprofessor.com is extremely helpful when choosing classes, but sometimes you just end up with a horrible professor. Most professors are extremely helpful during office hours, even if they don't teach too well in class

5 College Freshman

Athletics: Varsity sports on campus are huge, especially with the new "One Team" initiative this year. We are ALL Penn State, and we make sure that our teams know it. Especially with all that has happened in the past two years, the fans come out to show our teams how much they mean to us, and the teams perform their hearts out.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Weather on campus can be absolutely crazy and unpredictable - it will snow on Monday, be 70 degrees and sunny on Tuesday morning, and thunderstorming Tuesday night. It gets EXTREMELY cold in the winter, and snows quite a bit. Never more than a few inches at a time, so classes are (almost) never canceled. Heated sidewalks make walking to class easy though

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: There isn't really much crime on the Penn State campus, but of course it happens sometimes. I've never felt unsafe on campus, and the campus police are easily reached at any hour of the day. All of the dorms have automatic-locking doors, and only students who live in that building are authorized to enter. There are a lot of security measures being taken on campus.

4 College Freshman

Computers: There are many computer labs available to students at Penn State. Some commons areas have both PCs and Macs, and others have just PCs. Every student gets 100 free sheets of printing per semester to use in the computer labs, which is very generous and convenient. The network is reliable and the speed is adequate. Despite the availability of computers and printers on campus, it is necessary to have your own laptop in your room, because most classes' homework is online.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Penn State housing is sufficient, but the freshman dorms aren't all that great. They're very small and don't have a lot of space to store things. The only way to fit a good amount of things under the bed is to use Bed Risers. East halls is the only residence hall area that is far away from everything, except the Bryce Jordan Center and Beaver Stadium.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Penn State is unique in its traditions and values, along with the fact that it is a university dedicated to research. Penn State has so many options for major and minor programs, and you can really make a major that caters to your specific interests. There is so much school spirit on campus, in light of everything that has happened in the past year, but it has brought the community closer together.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Penn State's campus life is excellent. There are so many resources available to students, and the campus is beautiful. There are so many places to hang out and there are always so many things going on. Football season is always the best.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Campus has gotten stricter but its for the safety of its students. I feel better knowing there is a greater presence of security of campus than lack thereof.

3 College Junior

Campus Dining: Campus Dining is hit or miss. Not always the greatest but they have alot of variety and you can always find something edible! Breakfast is my favorite and they usually have alot of variety.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: You can avoid the drug scene at school. Most of these activities do not occur out in the open and you are usually aware of which students like to engage in these activities. Build your small network of friends and stay away from anything you don't feel comfortable with and confide in someone if you are feeling pressured.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Generally the computers are pretty good. The windows computers have any office software you need, but the Macs are where all of the media software is (things like Photoshop, Final Cut, etc). The labs are only crowded around midterms and finals, but you can always find a spot. The only thing about the Macs is that they are ungodly slow when it comes to loading up.

4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I always feel safe on campus. There are always people around, even if you're walking home at 2 in the morning. There was an increase in sexual crimes this year, but again just be smart. There are emergency lights around campus and you can call a police officer to escort you home if you feel unsafe.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Majors: Currently I have not entered the program, but I will be starting it in the fall. I take classes related to my program and I enjoy all aspects of business. It is very interesting and I would recommend it to anyone!

3 College Freshman

Diversity: There are a lot of international students at Penn State, but everyone kind of sticks to their own. People are very accepting of everyone though.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Most of the food is good, but it is really repetitive. Sometimes there are really good meals in the dining hall and sometimes ice cream is the only thing that sounds good.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: During the winter, you will see a lot of people in North Face jackets, long bubble jackets, and Uggs. I don't know why, but all of the girls seem to wear the same thing. Guys just wear whatever they want, i haven't noticed a trend. In the summer however, girls dress a little on the skimpy side; i would say that they really are not that careful or self-conscious about how short their shorts are or how low their top is. For the most part though, other than dress, everyone i've met is really nice and there aren't cliques or discrimination or anything like that.

4 College Junior

Facilities: Penn State is more than a school. It's a family. The atmosphere of the student body, faculty and citizens of State College is amazing!! Everyone is friendly and seem to support each other.

There are so many opportunities available to students at Penn State. The work-study program has given me work experience in my major while also earning money to help ease the cost of tuition. I am a Recreation, Park and Tourism Managment major. I was presented many internships this year, which are sometimes very difficult to find. I will be doing my paid internship at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort!! Very excited for this opportunity!

Penn State is truly a unique and close knit community.

2 College Freshman

Parking: You have to pay for parking or you may get a ticket if you stay for too long in an area

4 College Freshman

Academics: I'm in the DUS College, and I've been very satisfied with my education this far.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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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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