University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4655 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Junior

Facilities: Campus life at PSU is what you make of it. There is alot of things to keep you busy.

4 College Junior

Majors: I am very happy that I worked hard to get into the Business School at PSU, hopefully my degree will help me land a job in my field of study.

3 College Junior

Majors: might get stuck with a roomate that does not share your lokes.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: The academics at Penn State are top notch! Most of the professors are some of the best in the country. As an engineering major I took some of the hardest classes for a freshman and with enough studying you will do fine. Penn state also hooks you up when it comes to internships, there are huge job fairs during both semesters.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: There is nothing better than Penn State athletics. Most people just think it's all about the football team, but there are so many amazing sports teams at Penn State. There is no feeling that replaces the one you get when you are with your fellow students in Beaver Stadium though. IM sports are also very popular. There is a little bit for everyone.

3 College Sophomore

Scholarships: You need a lot of outside scholarships to get a decent amount of aid

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are so many good eats off campus. Since we're in a college town Penn State students can use Lion Cash at downtown restaurants and you get discounts the more you frequent certain places. You'd never get bored with the food downtown

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I've always felt safe walking alone at night on campus. They have escorts to help you walk back to your living area if you feel unsafe or uneasy about walking by yourself. Campus is relatively safe and has a low crime rate

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: If you want or have to live off campus, there are many options. Some are cheap and some are expensive. Lions Crossing, Nittany Crossing and State College Park are great options if you can't find an apartment downtown. Plus they give you free bus passes and a lot of other cool amenities.

4 College Junior

Weather: The weather doesn't affect my campus experience. If you don't want snow or cold weather in the winter, then don't choose to attend a campus in PA.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Although Penn State is quite diverse, there is still an overwhelming presence of the "white" community and not enough minorities around. It is very easy to feel like a minority here.

4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: As a Biology student in the Eberly College of Science, I felt as though I received an amazing education. I had the opportunity to explore different fields within my major. Students are given the opportunity to choose classes that they are interested in and the biology program offers a wide variety of classes that count towards your major. A majority of the professors in my major were researchers and thus, students had the opportunity to apply and gain experience in the lab. Although Penn State is a large university and the first two years of my undergraduate career were filled with large classes, I never felt it. The professors would take advantage of these large classes and try to get the students involved in the lectures in order to keep their attention. Although the class itself was large, the specific labs were filled with no more than 20 students, allowing the students to get to know each other and form study groups. Throughout my 4 years at Penn State, I never found it difficult to get in contact with any of my professors within my major. The biology facilities are slightly outdated; however, a lot of remodeling has begun. In addition, within the Eberly College of Science, there are multiple building pertaining to my major, allowing me to utilize different facilities. There are many research job opportunities throughout the year and in the summer as well. Every week, I would receive an email from the director of my major explaining some of these open opportunities.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: I feel as though Penn State is not as strict as they should be in regards to underage drinking, drugs and public intoxication. Any night when walking downtown, you will always see numerous officers roaming the area to make sure everyone is being safe; however, a lot is ignored. I've witnessed students running across the street, screaming, and disrupting the environment and the police seem to ignore it unless someone is passed out. In the event a student receives an underage, the student must pay a fine, but I am not sure if this action affects the student's academic standing. The university and residence life require that no alcohol or drugs be used in the dorms. As an RA, I have seen and had to report numerous times students violating these policies. The usual punishment is a fine and the requirement to take a BASICS alcohol class.

3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: Greek life has always been very important at Penn State; however, I feel as though it has gotten out of hand. I was never involved in Greek Life, but as an RA, I had many residents interested in joining. I got the impression that my residents wanted to join in order to meet new people and give back to the university. This past fall, a majority of my girls who rushed decided to drop out. They had informed me that instead of focusing on philanthropic projects, the Greek Life org was more focused on drinking and parties. Although this is common, I think that there are other options within Greek Life, such as the community service sororities or major related fraternities. I had quite a few residents join these types of organizations within Greek Life and were very happy with the morals and goals of these organizations. New at Penn State is specific housing for Greek Life. The sororities will have designated dorms instead of designated portions of halls.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Penn State offers a lot of options for off campus housing. I lived on campus for two years and I was an RA for two years, I never had the opportunity to live off campus. Although I never lived off campus, a few of my friends lived off campus and as an RA, I would help my residents who were looking for housing for the following year. I think that as many students desire to move off campus after the first year and the pool is large, the State College area provides a lot of affordable options for students. It is very easy to find an apartment and usually throughout the year, they have an "apartment fair", where students are able to explore their options. In addition, the majority of off campus housing is walking distance from the university. There are also multiple off campus housing options that are not walking distance from the university and are less expensive. Although these options require transportation, the university along with the CATA buses, have many buses that run to the university numerous times throughout the day.

4 Recent Alumnus

Computers: At Penn State, you can usually find a computer lab with open computers, even during crowded times during the semester. In addition, Penn State offers students the opportunity to use both PCs and Macs, which allow students to use what is most comfortable for them. In addition, through the libraries webpages, students can monitor where computers are available so time is not wasted searching for an open seat. In addition, through the media services, students can rent out laptops for up to 7 days in the event they need a laptop for the week, are not able to find an open lab seat, or want to study in a private, more quiet area.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Asian cuisine is definitely not this town's forte. You'd need to leave town to get anything good. There is only one bubble tea place that has legitimate boba called Tea Time. Indian cuisine is pretty good though and I love that it is buffet style. There used to be a really good Gyro vendor on the corner of Pugh St and Beaver Ave, but sadly they left. The only Greek place left isn't even really Greek. Chain restaurants like Chili's almost make up for everything. As for fancy restaurants, they are pretty legit. Zola's is on my dinner date list, but it is pretty expensive. Where I usually like to hang out is Saint's cafe. Good coffee with good pastries. Costs for all this are the usual that I believe will be the same anywhere. We don't get too much of a student discount. You really have to search for a discount if you want to use one. There are plenty of convenience stores, but they are overpriced. The best places are further off campus in which a car or bus would be necessary.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Drug Safety: I don't think the drug scene at Penn State is that bad, but it really just depends on who you surround yourself with because it can get pretty bad. I don't see a problem with peer pressure, just a whole lot of curious kids and friends with experience. In any college community, there is relatively easy access to drugs. Overall, the drug scene isn't bad, but alcohol is pretty prominent. The policy enforcement isn't the problem because there is a lot of that. It's just college.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: When it comes to attractions, Penn State really only has Penn State. You see Old Main and a couple other old buildings or statues. Other than that, we only really have Mount Nittany and the town of Bellefonte. But at least there are a good number of activities provided. When you visit its two gyms: the White Building and Rec Hall, they provide basketball courts, volleyball courts, a track field, and the like. There are also the IM building for IM sports, a variety of clubs with multiple interests, and when the weather is nice a lot of people like to play frisbee on open grass. The cultural events are great. We have a world cultures week in the spring where a number of ethnic clubs host food-tasting events, put on shows, and etc. In terms of safety, I haven't heard of more than maybe three major incidents in my two attending the college and those were all injuries by personal fault. I do not think this is a place of murder or gun-violence of any sort, so I would say we are a pretty safe school. Sadly, shopping is pretty limited. The stores downtown are expensive and you'd need a car or money for the bus to get to places like Walmart or the Mall. And to make matters worse for shopaholics, Nittany mall doesn't have a wide selection of stores to choose from. Most people resort to online shopping around here. Oh, but the atmosphere and attitude towards students, now that is something that makes up for the other shortcomings. Penn State students have so much pride and enthusiasm. Attending football games are a must because only then will you understand what we are talking about when we should out, "WE ARE, PENN STATE." We also hold the biggest student-run philanthropy event in the world raising money to cure pediatric cancer and towards the end of each year we hold a 46-hour dance marathon at the Bryce Jordan Center. It is the most beautiful experience you can receive as a Penn State student. I am overall pretty happy to be part of this kind of college community.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Computers: You have access to computers (Mac and PC) and printers all around campus. There is a computer lab in every commons building so you never have go out of your way to print things. These are never really closed and you find people working at all hours of the night. The computer labs have attendants during normal daytime hours so if you're having any problem with a printer or a program, you can ask them for help. Labs are clean and well kept. Computers are up to date and fast. I've never had a problem trying to find an open computer especially since a lot of people like to work on their own laptops. You get a printing allowance from fees you pay with tuition each semester so you don't really have to buy a printer for your room. It's really cheap to add printing pages to your account. I had my own printer and only used it once or twice. It's definitely possible to function without your own laptop. The library offers laptop and iPad rentals although I'm not sure of the time period. Owning a laptop just gives you the freedom to type papers in your own room or outside on a lawn, type out notes in class etc.

5 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There's an amazing variety in state college, just a few steps from campus. Not only can you get practically anything you want, but its cheap with student discounts. As for convenience, almost everywhere you eat is linked to the meal plan and can be easily bought at discount with just a swipe of your ID card.

4 College Junior

Weather: Snow. Lots and lots of snow. Even on the worst days of winter, classes are rarely canceled. No matter how bad the storm, the roads are completely cleared before the 8am classes begin. The weathers not too nice, but its hardly ever an issue.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Downtown State College has a lot of bars and clubs but you are not allowed in if you are under 21. But don't worry you'll find a party I promise.

3 College Junior

Guys & Girls: You will find all sorts of girls at Penn State; girls who will wear mini skirts and 6 inch heals in the middle of winter and girls who are fine with wearing jeans at a party, either one is accepted. As for the boy most of them are very attractive but be carful of the jerks.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Penn State is an absolutely amazing place to meet people make new friends and memories that will last forever! Everyone is so friendly and the school spirit is unbelievable! The campus is beautiful and there is a cute little downtown.


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Pattee Library and Mall
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
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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