University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4218 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Univerisity Park is definitely a college town. There is always something to do on campus, down town, or even if you venture of campus.

4 College Junior

Transportation: The bus system at Penn State is awesome. You can get where you need to go quite easily, and buses run late at night. It is pretty pricey if you want to park your car on campus though.

5 College Freshman

Academics: I chose my degree program very carefully by reviewing the entire list of courses and their descriptions. The Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership at Penn State University has exceeded my expectations which are already high. I love my professors to the point that I'm a little sad at the end of a course. Not every professor is perfect, but it's been a privelage to be taking a course from over 90% of them. Based on market research the OLEAD program is thorough yet dynamic making graduates highly desireable to employers. Penn State really did their homework when they designed this program.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: The athletic scene is taken very seriously at all levels in all departments at Penn State. Male or female the university encourages athleticism and has a rich history of success.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The level of support from staff and professors is outstanding.

5 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The police aren't very strict, but they will intervene if someone could get hurt. They always roam the campus keeping the students protected, but will not bother the students unless a danger is present.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The housing is fine, but there are many aspects that aren't pleasant. The showers are very gross and shoes are necessary. Also, I feel like the halls aren't cleaned often. I live in Pollock, and the dorms here are also decently small compared to other schools.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: There are always NCAA games going on that students can go to. There are also many intramurals and club teams for average students to participate in.

5 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Most people at Penn State are skinny because we are a fit campus and there are many attractive people. However, during the week people wear sweats a lot because we don't care what we look like.

1 College Freshman

Scholarships: They need more scholarships! Especially for World Campus students. Most of PSU's financial aid are loans.

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4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Numerous housing options available for everyone that covers every sort of housing style possible. If you can't find what you want at PSU, you won't ever find what you want.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: I've never felt unsafe here at University Park. There are reliable campus police and you can get alerts sent to your cell phone and email.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Underage night life can be fun. There are many activities planned for students under the age of 21 can take part in. Free movies, casino nights, and HUB latenight, to name a few.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I'm a World Languages Education major, and I'm very happy with my education so far. All of my professors have great experience in what they do and are very eager to help students learn.

5 College Freshman

Computers: It's very convenience to print materials in this campus. There's also a lot of computer lab.

1 College Freshman

Parking: Parking in campus can be filled up really quick. So you better get in campus early.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of restaurant down town so I think it is convenience for off campus students. The cost is also reasonable.

4 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Pollock Commons is great. There is always a lot of variety to choose from as well a healthy options. West Dining Commons also has a lot of variety as well as good food. North doesn't have a much variety but they also have good quality food, and great cookies! Redifer is convenient if you want carry out.

3 College Freshman

Health & Safety: I don't feel unsafe at Penn State, however I am cautious to lock my door at night and keep my things hidden. If you are into partying, be sure you keep it on the low, if you get caught you could be in for a rude awakening.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are many restaurants around the Penn State campus. Many of them offer great discounts for students, and if not they be sure to put coupons everywhere you look so that you can get a deal no matter what. I love D.P. Dough which has the largest selection of calzones I have ever seen. Even with all of the discounts around, there are still many such as the Tavern, which are still very costly.

5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: The local area is super safe and very fun, even if you don't party! There's a lot of places to go downtown and eat and shop and hangout. There's also a nearby mall to go to and a theater. State College may seem like it's in the middle of nowhere, but it's actually a bustling town surrounding the beautiful campus.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Depending on which dorm you live in can vary your experience. I lived in East which isn't really that bad. As a freshman, you are surrounded by freshmen, so you never feel really alone. The rooms are kind of tiny, but housing really keeps up with keeping the place neat. East also kind of stinks because it is so far from everything. East is literally "Siberia" as many put it. It's far from downtown. Far from class. But as a freshman, its very fun to live in.

3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: They are usually pretty strict about everything within the dorms. If you're caught smoking or drinking in the dorms, there are serious repercussions after your first offense. As long as you are not loud and obnoxious, you should have no problems with the dorms. As for downtown, they are not very strict at all with apartments or houses.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: Cata will pretty much get you anywhere you need to go around campus and downtown; however, it can get backed up, so you will have two of the same bus, one after another. Also, around winter or when it rains, the buses are packed.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Restaurants off campus are very convenient because their quick and very inexpensive.


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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