Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4200 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Freshman

Facilities: One think that I think many students tend to overlook at Penn State is the state of the art science and engineering labs we have here. Penn State just finished an incredible building within the last 2 years called the Millennium Science Complex here; it has dozens of labs for the biological and life sciences and materials science and engineering. I give tours over there for visiting prospective students; the building is incredible and just goes to show how many talented faulty and students we have here in the science and engineering disciplines. This building is in addition to the dozens of others we have on campus, but I really feel this one exemplifies the hard work and research that goes on here every single day.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The off campus housing here at Penn State main can be a hit or miss, depending on the location and how much money you're willing to throw down. There are tons of beautiful apartments in the State College area; some of them are a few miles off campus though and require you to take a bus or car to commute to classes. But these tend to be the nicer apartments and more expensive. You can get some really great deals on apartments right on the main street of College ave, basically a few steps over from the dorm housing, for good deals. However, these apartments tend to be less fancy and a lot louder during the week.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The student life at Penn State is nicely supported by all the amenities the school provides for us. In terms of athletic centers, the Bryce Jordan Center and Beaver stadium for the basketball and football games are state of the art. There are various gyms and workout facilities on campus, as well as the McCoy Natatorium, tracks, and tennis courts. I think the school does a great job at providing opportunities for their students to stay in top shape; gym memberships are only $100 for an an entire academic year and you have access to many different facilities with that membership.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The school is strict as needed...some situations can be explained and prevented for the next time

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Majors: They have a large variety of majors and allows students that do not know what they are doing the opportunity to pick from a large selection. I really enjoy my major and I am Pre Vet.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: although they try to create ways to prevent and catch underage drinkers they aren't to successful with it

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Because the teachers are very passionate and eager about their subjects and like to get through to their students rather than just covering the topic and giving out grades.

4 College Freshman

Majors: I have a great job, so I do not have an internship.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Weather: Although they call it happy valley, it is more like rainy valley. It rains a lot and there is also a lot of snow. Classes will never be cancelled, EVER. It will heat up in the beginning of school and also in spring.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Alcohol is the most common drug among students. Close behind are marijuana and adderall. Within certain groups, you may encounter students who use cocaine, percocet, ecstasy, and LSD. It depends completely on who you choose to hang out with, but there is certainly no pressure to take any of these less common drugs. At parties, you may feel a little pressure to drink, but people will back off if that is not something you're into or in the mood for. All in all, there is the opportunity to take some of the aforementioned drugs, but you will only really find them if you are seeking them out. For the most part, students stick to alcohol. This is not to say that there aren't students who choose to say sober, and there are many options for sober fun as well.

3 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: A good number of people smoke pot casually. Other than that, I haven't heard much about harder drugs being used.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: Although it may not be the most diverse school in the country, there is a good representation of many ethnic groups on campus. For the most part, my peers are very accepting of others, except for a few rare cases. There are clubs for both liberals and conservatives, so it is very possible to find your niche. Penn State is not cheap, so the average student is probably middle to upper-middle class, but there is no judgment to students who may come from a less-advantaged background, and decent financial aid is offered for those in need. Most students are not that religious, but those who are can meet others sharing their beliefs through clubs such as the Muslim Students Association or Penn State Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ).

5 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: Penn Staters look at for one another, plain and simple. There is so much diversity, it would be impossible not to find a good group of friends.

3 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Penn State lives for football on Saturdays. If you're a PSU fan, it's the time of your life. If not, you'll still enjoy the friendly atmosphere created by students, local residents, and fans alike. The bar scene is great for anyone over the age of 21. Also, students have many activities available to them, such as HUB movies and Late Night at the White Building. Campus is beautiful, especially in the Fall.

3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: All-in-all, off-campus dining is pretty good at Penn State. Deliveries can take a long time, especially on the weekends. There are a number of good local restaurants such as Rotelli's, Otto's Pub, Faccia Luna, Mad Mex, and Kelly's Steakhouse. Lionmenus.com is the best place to find student discounts and order food online. Also, StateCollege.com has an extensive list of local restaurants and eateries. Oh, and if you're a college student in the Penn State Area on a Friday or Saturday night, stop by Canyon Pizza on Beaver Ave.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There is a very wide variety of places to eat off campus. It is convenient because the downtown is very close, and many places are also open very late at night for those nights when you may being pulling off an all-nighter to study for an exam, or you just happen to be hungry after a long night of partying. Also, you can usually have the food delivered to you from many off-campus hotspots via a website called lionmenus.com. This is also very convenient. There are many places that are friendly to the college-students small budget, such as Dunkin Donuts and Canyon Pizza, which sells for a dollar a slice. It's hard to get bored with the off-campus food because there are just so many options.

5 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Penn State's Interfraternity Council sponsors the largest student-run philanthropy event in the world, known as THON. Each year, thousands of students from the university raise awareness and money in the battle against pediatric cancer. The funds that are raised go to the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. In 2013, THON raised more than 12 million dollars FTK (For The Kids). In addition, this year's total helped push THON's overall total to more than 100 million. Without greek life at Penn State, none of this would be possible. PSU's fraternities and sororities are defined by THON and what it stands for.

5 College Junior

Majors: Being a psych major is a fun challenge. Every class is master-able, it just takes practice and passion.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: I have never felt unsafe at Penn State, but a great deal of it is personal responsibility for yourself, which takes a while to develop, if ever. Be smart, stay safe.

5 College Junior

Majors: As a psych major, a typical internship would be joining a research lab and participating in data collection, analysis, idea innovation, and creative and scientific projects. I am a research assistant because to get into PhD programs after graduation, research is something that is sought after on a CV, along with positive recommendations, which one can get from the professor they research under, and a high GPA.

3 College Junior

Weather: Isn't is more important whether there's weather or not, than what the weather is? Everything you see is based on your own perspective. To some, the rain messes up your hair and makes the roads too slippery to drive on, but to others, rain is a sustenance and way of survival.

5 College Junior

Transportation: There is no shortage of transportation here. There are CATA busses available to all surrounding areas, and there are campus shuttles all the time. The taxis service is reliable too.

4 College Junior

Computers: There is a variety of computers and computer labs here. There are everything from PCs to Apple computers and they are all over campus. The computers I have used usually always work and there is sometimes a printer nearby. The only drawback is that you will want to have your own computer around finals and midterms because the computers are hard to get to around these times.

College Sophomore

Drug Safety: My college, the students that attend do not participate on campus. Not a big deal and if there are any students doing it, it will not be know or exposed.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: The sports at my school are very popular especially football. EVERYONE attends the football games. They dress up in football gear and act like fools. Funny though. All the sports involve a HUGE turnout at all events. And to my surprise the student go to the away games too. So YES, all athletics at my school involve, team performance and a huge fan support. The school spirit is awesome. We have a beautiful stadium and excellent community involvement.

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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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