Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4268 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Freshman

Facilities: Penn State has quite the campus. With plenty of things to do and tons of resources (both from professors, research labs, 2 central libraries and plenty major-specific libraries), Penn State gives opportunities like no other and for that is an amazing university

5 College Freshman

Health & Safety: State College, Pennsylvania was just rated one of the safest cities in the US. There is a strong police presence and the dorm security is great!

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Living in west halls is probably the best on campus living. The food is great and the rooms are fairly spacious. However the housing contract process is a bit annoying following freshman year.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: At Penn State no one judges anyone and if some sort of incident occurs it is taken care of immediately! There are groups that speak out and help and support others. Along with different organizations and clubs that allow you to interact with others from different view points to your own.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: For the most part the atmosphere is such a positive experience. There are always events going on whether its a THON event, an athletic game, or community builders. The shopping downtown is convenient and most stores aren't too pricey and since it's a college town the locals support us 100%.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: At Penn State Greek life contributes to THON a large bit by the money they raise and the amounts or sororities and fraternities that are here. Besides that they're there for mostly parties and social events. It's not a huge deal if you're not a part of Greek life because there are so many clubs and organizations you can join to meet new people, and try new things.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of great places just a walk from campus that take Lioncash so you don't have to carry money. Or you can take a taxi or bus to locations that are a little further that also accept Lioncash and have great atmospheres along with amazing food. You have so many options as well anywhere from Chinese to all American or some very high end dinning as well.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Already mentioned. Challenging courses, heavy workload. It's hard to manage five classes at once.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Movies and sports games on most weekends. FUN. Everyone outside in the nice weather.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Tough courses. Interesting content. Approachable instructors.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: While there are many restaurants downtown, a lot of them serve the same type of food (take-out or fast-food like). Restaurants that aren't take out are often on the pricey side. However, these restaurants are very well liked. There are few chain restaurants near the campus; to get to a chain restaurant you need a car or need to pay to take the bus.

2 College Freshman

Scholarships: The only decent amount of financial aid I received was through the government. With a very high GPA and high SAT and ACT scores, I only received one scholarship through Penn State and it was only through the school of Arts and Architecture.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: The sororities don't have houses of their own and therefore have to partner with a frat to do any sort of hosting or social event. I don't think the sororities should have to rely on the frats. Although there are some faults, the Greek Life does a lot of fundraising and awareness for Thon and other charitable organizations.

5 College Freshman

Transportation: There is a CATA bus system that is offered to students. There are two loops that contantly travel around campus and are free, and there are also bus lines that take you to places around State College such as the mall or Walmart.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Penn State is the best place to be. Everyone is so passionate about this school whe it comes to academics and especially sports. The football games are so much fun to go to and everyone gets really into them. There are also many great places to eat downtown.

1 College Sophomore

Diversity: Penn state is definitely not one of the most diverse campuses around. There has been a lot of controversy with race, culture and sexual orientation since i've been here.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The freshman dorms at penn state could be better but i wouldn't have changed my freshman living experience for anything, the flaws of the living arrangements are what created such great friendships and memories.

4 College Junior

Facilities: A lot of the places on campus have been re-done and are modern and really nice to be in!

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The town is alright, but there isnt always fun things for students to do.

5 College Junior

Transportation: There are always buses coming and going. If you don't have a car you always have transportation.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Dining: The dining is pretty average. The food is good and there are a lot of options. wish some of the places were open later though.

5 College Freshman

Majors: The advisors are very helpful in the Human Development program and the professors are very involved with their students. Office Hours are convenient and there are multiple options as to what classes you want to take which allows you to figure out exactly what interest is what you like within the major.

4 College Freshman

Majors: I came into Penn State as a Biology major because I knew I liked animals but wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it. However I am now in the Animal Sciences major and it is amazing. The Biology section is more for anyone who wants to go into medical school or research and lab work. In Animal Science classes you are able to work with animals during the labs and there are just as many options, anything you want to do with animals later this is a good major. Since I switched my choice as a freshman I was already taking all the starting classes for it too.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: At Penn State main there are countless places you and your friends can hang out any time of day. There are 5 open food courts, fast food, Commons lounges and many events or clubs you can join. Construction is always going on so new buildings are always on their way such as a new ice rink and better South Residential buildings. The library is huge but there are also smaller libraries for specific broad topics like math and science in their own buildings.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The only thing you can't do is get caught with alcohol in the dorms, other than that you can go out and drink and the police won't be too harsh

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Pattee Library and Mall
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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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