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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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.

4 College Sophomore

Scholarships: The people in the aid offices work very hard to help students, but due to the sheer volume of people who attend the university it can still make it difficult to get all the help you need. They try really hard though and are very educated. My tips would be to take advantage of campus jobs and to stay on track with keeping a budget - keeping the book balanced is imperative.

5 College Sophomore

Facilities: Penn State's campus is amazing. It is large, and open and beautiful. The new buildings are fantastic, the HUB is easy to navigate and wonderful, and old buildings are constantly being brought up to date. There is so much to do on campus, it's so easy to get involved and enjoy your time there. The residence halls are functional and fun, the dinning commons serve good food that changes to keep things interesting, and the community as a whole is just amazing.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: We have a very large Greek life and it is always there for parties but it is not something the majority joins. There is no pressure to join because you can enjoy what they have to offer without being a member but if you are looking to be in a frat or sorority there are many options and opportunities.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: It is nice in the beginning of the semester and end. We almost never have snow days but there is a lot of snow. Rain is what you could expect for the majority of your days. Make sure you purchase rain boots and a good umbrella.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: I think the police force is very fair here at state college. If you are acting out of order or being extremely loud or disruptive you will be caught and punished. If you are being responsible and looking out for each other then you will be fine.

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: With Penn State being so large and diverse there is a little bit of every type of guy or girl here. There are the jocks, the geeks, the country or city boys, the art type, musical, anything you could want you will be able to find. As a girl, I would say the same goes for the girls. Everyone is different and it is very easy to find your group or explore a new one.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Downtown State College is filled with amazing restaurants and dining. It has a diverse amount of types and styles of food and everybody has there favorite spot. Everything is easily accessible because everything is within walking distant and if you do not like to walk there is always a bus running. My personal favorite is the Deli. I love everything from the food to the paintings on the building. It is a great place with a wide variety of food at a reasonable price.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I came to Penn State for a Communications Degree and have loved it thus far. I have had inspiring and passionate professors who are there to help and guide me with anything I may need. I have had classes with great discussion and course work that really helped me to understand what I am doing and what my future career will hold.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I am at Penn State University Park, and thus far I have been very satisfied with my education. I feel my major of Broadcast Journalism in the Communications College, is very good but lacking in a few areas. I have had passionate professors who have inspired me and given me a fair workload, interesting and compelling courses and opportunities to join organizations in my field. I feel it is lacking with its hands on experience and internship availability for this field.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: nightlife is very good - bar scene is always crowded

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: The school does not offer off campus housing, but will assist you with finding off campus housing.

5 College Sophomore

Computers: We have several computers and the service is good and open all the time.

3 College Junior

Health & Safety: The safe is not that great and the health center is not very good

5 College Junior

Majors: As an adult student transferring in with a Associates Degree and a 4.0 GPA, I was readily accepted after completing a standard admissions application.

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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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