University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 4635 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: The food in the dining halls is okay, but it gets boring. The dining hall for my dorm is closed on Friday nights and not open at all on Saturdays. That is a bummer.

4 College Freshman

Academics: The nursing program is top notch. The curriculum is easy to follow (aka they make sure there are enough slots in certain classes each semester). Registration is something you must do at 12:00pm the day you are allowed to which are based on credit number. It is a pain because the lower credit students (freshmen) get screwed by having to take certain classes. But overall Penn State provides many opportunities for success so long as you take advantage of them.

4 College Freshman

Academics: I go to the largest University in the state of Pennsylvania. There are amazing teachers and there are awful teachers. One thing is for sure: they know their stuff. All the professors are highly qualified.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: The actual dorms are terrible. Though it is the best college experience there is. I have met so many incredible people. Someone is always around to do something. Living on campus is a must your first year, but after that I am ready to move out downtown with my best friends. Unfortunately as a freshman you will most likely be put in East which are not the best dorms, but then again you are with ALL the freshmen and its super fun. Always something going on. You'll never be bored I can tell you that! The staff are great and will help you with anything you need. Sure you have to share a bathroom, but think about it you don't have clean it like a lot of kids in suites have to!

3 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: State College is nice and pretty decent but miles away from the closest civilizations. There are many cultural events that happen in the University but you have to go search for them because there is not much promotion. There are hardly any places to shop unless you are willing to pay an arm and a leg for just a pair of socks alone. However there are a few clubs downtown as well as bars, lounges, and many places to eat. The area has its pros and cons. There are many sport events that take place that are reasonably prices except for the football games which range from $60 and up. There is much to do and everything can be done safely due to the little bit of crimes if any. Very safe place.

3 College Freshman

Transportation: During weekdays from morning to evening there are numerous buses running but not everyone can fit on them so sometimes you have to wait for the next bus. However, the wait time is not long depending on what bus it is. After the evening, there are very little busses running as well as on the weekends.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The downtown atmosphere is awesome. It is always lively and there is always something going on.

2 College Junior

Weather: The weather here is legitimately bipolar. It will snow one day and then be sunny and 70 degrees the next.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Housing: The dorms are old and now that more and more people are applying to PSU there are more supplemental rooms being used.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Drug Safety: The drug scene at PSU isn't bad but it depends on who you hangout with. It is a big drinking school though.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: love my psych and sociology classes, very interesting

4 College Junior

Weather: weather doesn't affect any of my activities, it's the same as back home

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Lots of good guys and girls, lots of snobs and alcoholics

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are TONS of places. You just have to do your research some are furnished some are not some have guaranteed parking some do not. Check out Lions Crossing, College Park they are great

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I hated living in the dorms freshman year. Freshmen get the crappy small dorms with the public bathrooms. It's just not a good experience

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Majors: I LOVE the education program. They professors are great and I love being with children.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Getting into my program was not all that difficult. Taking the PAPA tests are the hardest part about getting in but Penn State allows extensions which really helps

3 College Junior

Weather: Do not expect to see the sun often, it may not always be bad weather, but very overcast a lot of the time. Also, we get a lot of nuisance snow/wintry mix weather, spring does not come until April. But don't think it is always bad, there are some wonderful sunny days to enjoy in the beautiful parts of campus.

5 College Junior

Athletics: Varsity sports are big at Penn State. Football has enormous fan support and a second to none student section that stands by their team in all conditions. The volleyball teams are also great, and home games are free for students. The athletic facilities can be crowded at times for non-athletes, but provide good equipment and locations.

3 College Junior

Majors: The program is getting me what I technically need, however I am not extremely enthused about the Biology program here. My plans are leading me to PA school, so for getting my prerequisites it does fits fairly well. I would likely choose the Psychology- Neuroscience option if I could do it all over again.

3 College Junior

Majors: The process getting into the Biology major is easy, take your entrance to major classes and have the minimum GPA and you are pretty much good to go. However, the advising department is not the most helpful and often you can feel as if you are just another number within this major due to the large number of students enrolled.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Academics: Academics are pretty good at Penn State. So far the classes have been just to ween out the dumb freshmen, but eventually they get harder and you start learning actually applicable stuff for your life and career.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Fairly accessible. Though really everyone has a laptop now adays so there is really little need for actual computers.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: If you are looking to party illegally, this is the place for you. I personally got all my partying done in the first semester and it has since lost its appeal. Yet you can count on every weekend seeing people out and about on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

1 person found this useful Report
1 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: The strictness on campus is very low, if at all. Kids get away with way more than they should, which almost makes them do even more (i.e. not flushing the toilets leads to leaving baby powder all over the floors of the bathroom, graffiti in the elevators leads to students filling the elevator with newspaper (really happened) etc.)


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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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