Location
University Park, PA
Undergrads
37,917
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 4218 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Junior

Weather: I am currently a junior at Penn State and classes have only been cancelled once during my time here and that was for Hurricane Sandy. The main campus, University Park, rarely closes due to inclement weather. Penn State's branch campuses, however, do usually have a few classes cancelled every year. Typically in State College, (where University Park is located) the weather is always random but never really severe enough to cancel class, which I guess can either be seen as a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it.

3 College Junior

Diversity: It's true. Most people at Penn State are white. They definitely make up the majority. However, while whites do make up the majority, there is also a sizable international student body, which adds to the diversity on campus. While there are international students here from many countries around the world, the are many students here from Aisa, especially China and Korea. The diversity level at Penn State now is not bad but it would be wonderful to see even more diversity in the future.

4 College Junior

Athletics: Most people already know that Penn State has many amazing varsity sports programs, but what they don't know is that Penn State also has tons of amazing club and IM sports as well. While these programs may not be very well known by the public, they are well-supported by the university. Most club and IM sports are provided with on-campus facilities and even receive funding every year from the university. I personally am a member of the club gymnastics team and we are lucky enough to be able to work out in the same gym as the varsity team (which is of course an amazing facility)! Whether you are a varsity athlete or not, anyone who loves sports can find something to be involved with at Penn State.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Told me every thing I needed to know on how to pay it off

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: As always, RESPECT EACH OTHER, Harassment of any sort is zero tolarence. (Expelable)

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: It's like a huge city in a small town. There are so many people the same age of you. Plus, the downtown shops and restaraunts are awesome and so cute.

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5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There are so many great places just on college avenue! Some do tend to be more expensive, but there are more affordable places like Happy Valley Freez. Also, they have the typical college staples: Chipotle, McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Dunkin Donuts to name a few.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: As a freshman I was nervous to live in Pollock because everyone says it's so quiet. This is not true. Pollock is so much nicer and in such a better location than East. Plus, I have made great, fun friends on my floor!!

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: You can always find something to eat. However, some days are definitely better than others. You must try cookies from West!! Plus if you can't find something you like, there's always creamery ice cream in all of the dining halls.

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: It is a huge school and they do work with you for scholarships but you have to do the work.

4 College Freshman

Transportation: They have buses that run everywhere and they cost about $1.50 a trip. They run to the store and all around campus

4 College Freshman

Computers: You have 50 free printing pages a semester. They have a fee that covers all computer problems that you just take your laptop to them and they fix it.

4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The town of state college has a very close relationship with the school and the police are everywhere

3 College Freshman

Parking: No parking during the week permit are required for all parking on campus no free parking

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: For freshman housing is easy and then it is off campus for most upper classman

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Lots of housing all expensive but with the right research housing can become affordable.

3 College Freshman

Weather: I am from west coast and I have to say that it is very cold up here. It snows from november and the weather is constantly cold. It rains a lot during October so be prepared. Get some waterproof shoes!!

2 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The campus does not really interfere in students' doings and the RA's are very lenient. The noise level rises during the weekend but no one takes action to control it. There are rules that no one follows. But the drinking on campus is very strict. Penn State is a dry campus and everyone seems to be strict on that matter.

2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There aren't many restaurants off campus. There is a food court at the mall, which is not so close to the campus. It is usually fast food restaurants that you can find anywhere else.

4 College Senior

Health & Safety: I never felt unsafe on Penn State's University Park campus. There are phones to call when you want to be escorted somewhere. The security is also pretty tight about underage drinking.

3 College Senior

Greek Life: Greek life at Penn State can be fun. Fraternities are allowed to have there own houses. Sororities live on dorms. I am a non-Greek but the club I'm involved in has socials with fraternities. I think it is an easy way to make friends. Greek or non-greek, everyone comes together during THON.

4 College Senior

Facilities: I think student life at Penn State is awesome because I think there is something there for everyone. There are 838 student organizations to choose from (including greek life, music/arts, international, politics, honor societies). There is a variety of places to eat and stay on and off campus. There are plenty of places available for students to study. There are movie nights at the HUB for free if you show your student ID. There is ALWAYS something going on.

4 College Senior

Facilities: There are 838 student organizations in University Park (main campus). It ranges from sports, greek life to music/arts, politics, multicultural to honor societies.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: The campus buses are cheap which is great, but they are always crowded. Also, the $1.50 charge for each way on the buses to Target and other places seems like a lot, especially for a ride that takes three times as long as a normal car ride.

4 College Freshman

Academics: The academics at Penn State are phenomenal. Penn State offers a wide variety of classes and most of the professors are really good. They all have office hours that you can go to for any questions you might have. Despite what some people might think, not all of the classes at Penn State are huge. Once you get past your General Education classes, the classes are mostly all small.

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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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