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

Campus Housing: Overpriced. Selection process for rooms is reasonable though. Publicity about the housing process is poor.

4 College Sophomore

Parking: The process seems ok. Haven't actually tried it yet

4 College Sophomore

Academics: My teachers had very regular available times outside of class if we wanted to contact them. There were online materials for additional help, and the workload was feasible most of the time. I personally enjoyed learning about different subjects from my teachers, as they tried to teach efficiently while putting in interesting elements during their lessons, whether it be a handout or a personal story or an educational video.

College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: I have only eaten off campus a couple of times, and although I liked both those times, I do not know whether or not the grade will reflect accurately on the other restaurants.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Computers are easy to find at Penn State, whether it is at the dorms, at the library, or in other buildings across the campus. If you can't afford a computer or don't want one, you will still be able to find one for research, writing, and printing.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Penn State had plenty of great classes offered for almost every subject. I learned a lot from my teachers, including the less experienced ones, and the workload was manageable most of the time, with tutors available if you need help (for a fee). There were plenty of places to study, from libraries to outside areas.

4 College Senior

Diversity: The diversity of Penn state is large. There are large cliques of ethnic backgrounds that tend to stick together. African American, Hispanics and Whites are the more popular backgrounds but we also have Asian, Japanese, Philippian, Arabian, Ecuadorian, and Jamaican students.

4 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: Penn state Harrisburg is located in a tiny town called Middletown. One of the most unique things about this area is a Victoria restaurant featuring authentic Italian dishes. There is not a lot going on in Middletown but that's not necessarily a negative. It keeps the area quiet and you can go outside and study without hearing a lot of back ground noise. If you do which to be near a more lively area your only 15 minutes from the heart of Harrisburg which has a ton of options to choose from.

5 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Night life at Penn State is excellent. There is plenty of restaurants and bars that close late. The streets are always filled with people. It kind of reminds me of Manhattan NY. During football season forget it its chaotic but in a good way. Everyone is friendly.

5 Recent Alumnus

Diversity: Penn States campus is very diverse. It is filled with different groups of individuals and cultures. Everyone mingles and hang out without any conflicts or issues.

5 Recent Alumnus

Computers: The computers are always up to date, clean and efficient.

4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The people at Penn State are mostly white. There are different kinds, but a lot of them like to hang out and have a good time.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life is mostly social and for THON at Penn State. They have parties, but they're not the best. They don't have much of an influence at Penn State.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: The nightlife is varied and cheap. It's nice to go out with friends as long as you're over 21. Apartments are the way to go if you're under 21, and there is a movie theater and mall a short bus ride from campus.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I liked the academics at Penn State. Things were easy, people were always available to help, and the library is where you should go to study.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: My education and class quality was good. If you don't procrastinate and see the TAs and professors for help, then you'll do fine.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: There is an eclectic mix of student looks at PSU. There are rednecks, jocks, townies, preppy guys and girls, classy kids and kids who are just a mess. Looking around campus is like looking at pictures of the various races and ethnicities around the world.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of food places downtown and around campus that offer a huge variety of food such as, McDonald's, Panera, Taco Bell, Subway, Chili's, Jersey Mike's subs, Are You Hungry?, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Brother's Pizza, a few pubs, Chinese food, Japanese food, Korean food, and many many more. There are about 10 pizza places, a few subs/cheesesteaks places, and more. Most of them are relatively cheap and affordable, and accept LionCash (student discount). Some personal favs are: Are You Hungry?, Brothers Pizza, and Starbucks, Big Bowl, and many more!

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: There is tons of things to do at Penn State, so you will always have something to do. There are a lot of sporting events to attend, especially football games. Penn State also has tons of stores for shopping downtown and a mall around State College. Also, Penn State has hundreds of clubs and organizations to join. THON is a huge one and it keeps a lot of people busy and it's a ton of FUN! There is also tons of clubs for almost anything you can think of (sports, art, music, religion, etc.) So, you see, there is a lot of things to do at Penn State that will keep you fairly busy and create tons of fun.

3 College Senior

Health & Safety: I have always felt safe at Penn State, even though it is a large campus with a lot of people. The police and health services are always available and do a great job in assisting the students, keeping it a safe and healthy environment. There are times when students get a little out of control when it comes to drinking and such, but the security is pretty strict and keeps it under control.

1 College Sophomore

Parking: Impossible to park on campus. If you do have a permit it costs you a fortune. Downtown has meters which aren't too bad. On or off campus if you are even 5 minutes over your time limit you get a ticket.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Off campus dining accepts "Lion Cash" which is our ID card and meal points card so it is helpful that you can use it at various places downtown.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drinking is very popular. We have a dry campus so the majority of drinking takes place off campus at houses, frats and apartments.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Penn State has a lot of diversity which I love. There are many international students too. We have over 900 student organizations, so there shouldn't be any trouble finding a group for you.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: If you want to get an apartment off but close to campus, start looking early because those are in high demand. Also, the apartments close to Beaver are pricey, so keep that in consideration. You can also find houses close to campus.

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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.

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