Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4649 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Majors: My major, Information Sciences & Technology, is a broad and encompassing major that involves psychology aspects, information technology aspects, social aspects, technical consulting, and many others. I enjoy it for the most part, but the undergraduate program was very simple and not challenging unfortunately.

College Junior

Health & Safety: I initially went to the Brandywine campus, and then moved back home to California and transferred to World Campus (online). However, while I was at Brandywine, they were very thorough in their safety measures.

For instance, it's a requirement to take a couple of safety 'courses;' more like little workshops and readings. They make it very clear what is and is not acceptable, and what is done to prevent things like stealing, jumping, etc.

Even as a World Campus student, I was always informed through email when a safety workshop was coming up. Nevermind I was halfway across the country, but I suppose its the thought that counted.

Being from California, Pennsylvania seems a little sleepy, and fairly safe, except for Upper Darby. But there aren't any campuses there, so that shouldn't really be a turn off.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Pretty chill people, there are respectable, responsible people, but there are some rude and inconsiderate people too, but hey, its a big school.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Downtown is full of apartment buildings so you have your choice. Some can be a bit pricey, but if you look around you can get a good bargain. I live off campus and I have my own room and bathroom and I love it. Parking is a minor issue and you will have to pay extra to have access to a spot or garage.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: There are so many majors to choose from if you attend Penn State. We have multiple colleges on campus each with their own focus of study. Our Smeal College of Business is highly regarded among other business colleges and our Schyer's honors college is equally as regarded. Advisors help you decide which major is right or you and offer you ways to get more out of your stay at State with minors or even double majors!

4 College Sophomore

Computers: Almost every building has a computer with a printing station in it which you are entitled to use and you recieve 100 free prints as a student. There are mutliple computer labs throughout campus. You can go to the library, the hub, and pollock testing center for access to a full computer lab with pcs, macs, and scanners. They ar relatively fast and easy to use and print from. There is also wifi on campus for all student which works in all buildings and it is useful to have a computer to take notes and complete assignments with if you live off campus.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: State College is near Altoona and within driving distance to both Philly and the Poconos. There are tons of restuarants to eat at. There are plenty of shopping outlets in the area for clothes and groceries. The cata bus system provides excellent transportation services both on campus and off. Beaver stadium is our beloved football stadium and on football weekends there is no place like it: food, friends, and football! Everywhere you go you can be sure to hear a we are chant! WE ARE! PENN STATE!

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Downtown State College has tons of dining options. Ther are both chain restaurants and small cafes and diners. RU Hungry is famous for their 'fat' sandwiches and Irvings is a qauint cafe with tons of options. The off campus food is suitable for all types of palets and tastes!

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I received financial aid; however, I did not receive a scholarship. I had no problems with my financial aid.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: At Penn State Altoona, I chose to live in Wehnwood Court. It was very close to campus and very affordable. It was very safe and spacious. I had my own room and a big apartment. Only down side was there was no air-conditioning or windows in the common area.

2 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There are no under 21 clubs at Penn State Altoona and in the town of Altoona. There are parties off-campus for underage students.

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Penn State Altoona is a very safe campus and has a friendly environment. There is a blue light system for any emergencies or issues for you to use.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The Residence Halls at Penn State Altoona were a good atmosphere. Although, the down side to them was they did not include air conditioning in the amenities.

5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Everyone is extremely supportive of the school and all of the events and extracurricular activities! The shopping is great and teh community is very close-knit. It's a great place to be!

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: It REALLY depends where you are. It's a great idea to rent a house with friends, and I've heard great things about the apartments. Watch out for those, though, they tend to be just like the dorms except with nicer kitchens and bathrooms.

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Everything is very business oriented. Everyone acts like they're going to a meeting all the time. Some of us are. But it's also fun, and I've made really great friends here.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There is a good mix of cheap fast food, desert places, and nicer restaurants. I'm not sure how I feel about the prices being student-friendly; eating out can be expensive downtown. However, cheaper options are available and there's a lot to choose from.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: There is no other thing like Penn State's campus life. The student union (known as the HUB) is always bustling with students and student groups, and is central to campus. It's newly renovated and will be further renovated within the next few years, and has restaurants, coffee places, hangouts and is the perfect place to meet a friend for lunch! At Penn State, there are tons of student organizations to join, and many students join one or more organizations to get involved on campus. There are tons of ways to get involved and make friends, and it comes together to make one big Penn State community.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: The Greek Life at Penn State is great, but it definitely is not a necessity at Penn State. It only takes up a little of the social life at Penn State, and you do not have to be involved in Greek Life in order to make friends or attend social events. Some of my friends are in Greek Life and absolutely love it, and some of my friends chose not to and are doing just fine. If you're interested, definitely rush, and you can always decide after rush if greek life is fit for your or not.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Facilities: I can't fit every positive thing about Penn State in this description. Penn State has been recognized for its academics, its athletics and its student organizations. Friendly faces are everywhere at Penn State, and the facilities are top notch and fit every students' needs. At Penn State, a unique opportunity is THON, a 46-hour dance marathon that benefits pediatric cancer, and is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The campus housing at Penn State is not too bad depending on where you live. Freshman live in some of the worst dorms on campus (East Halls), so I think the Housing gets a bad rap right off the bat.

However, I was a freshman and applied early for housing and received a contract to live in North Halls. They are suite style and had air conditioning and our own bathroom which is, for obvious reasons, a huge advantage. The only complaint I had about North Halls is that it is very quiet and actually not a good option for Freshman; you are better off living in East actually because you will meet so many other Freshman.

West and South Halls are somewhere in the middle and, in my opinion, the best options for Campus Housing. Closer to the downtown area, better dinning options, always busy and people always around.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: The varsity sports at Penn State are as competitive as it gets. Plenty of facilities for the Division I athletes but are also made available to the general population of students.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I double major, and it's all about what you want to get out of it. I put in a lot of work into both my majors, and take high level, honors courses to challenge myself. Because I challenge myself so I spend more time and resources on my majors than the average college student. I usually read and write a lot, I work with statistics a lot, and have to think about it's real world application constantly. Overall, however I love both my majors, the faculty and the work is interesting, and there are so many opportunities for amazing experiences.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: I like the night life at Penn State, it has something for everyone. There are free concerts, free movies, crafts, parties, dances, special guests, awesome food, etc. There is a lot going on constantly, you just have to keep your eyes open for the opportunities!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Facilities: It's hard to sum up what sets Penn State apart because there is so much; the student body, the spirit, the faculty, the campus, the night life, the athletics. To me though the community is the main thing that sets Penn State apart, it's not like other universities. We have such a massive campus, but you feel like you're at home, with friends everywhere and a sense of comfort, despite constantly being surrounded by 40K others.

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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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