Local Atmosphere

University Park, PA
Tuition (in-state)
$28,746 ($16,444)
Admission Difficulty
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5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Everyone knows where State College is and it's always a great atmosphere there. There's so much to do from going downtown to football games to the local shopping centers.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The city is very university oriented. State college does have unique attractions around the area. There are caves, a wildlife park and good hiking trails.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There are many events held

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: cost of living to much

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: The downtown area is made for students. There is a give and take between the University and the people living there. Its nice.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

James Bunting
Whitehall, PA
View all previous student authors

The town of State College has been fairly judged as a party town. The town's population and activity level rises and falls with the academic calendar. During the day, downtown State College is a decent shopping ground for any 15-25-year-old. The area surrounding State College is almost always undergoing development, with new shopping plazas, restaurants, and movie theaters being added every year. This part of town is more accessible if you have a car, though there is a public transportation system if you're willing to keep to its erratic schedule.

At night, the stores close and the bars open. It's easy to find a party, but if you don't want to drink or party you may be left out in the cold. Remember, if you choose to live here, that State College is the only sizable town for over a hundred miles. Other universities are only present during athletic competitions. A good season for the Nittany Lion's football team makes for a happy populace.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Each year downtown State College hosts the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, a huge sidewalk sale and exhibition that draws artisans from across the country and brings in over 100,000 visitors!
  2. On football Saturdays, Beaver Stadium becomes the third largest city in Pennsylvania.
  3. CNN Money named State College as the number one "singles city" in the nation.
  4. Rolling Stone magazine gave honorable mention to State College as having one of the best music scenes in the country.
  5. "Nittany" is a Native American term meaning "single mountain."
Points of Interest
  • Beaver Stadium
  • Mount Nittany
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Penn Roosevelt State Park
  • Tussey Mountain
  • Whipple Dam
Shopping Centers
Nittany Mall
Movie Theaters
Carmike Cinema 6
501 Benner Pke.
State College
(814) 237-1997
Movie Theaters
College Nine Theatre
3031 Carnegie Dr.
State College
(814) 272-3050
Movie Theaters
Premiere Theater
125 Premiere Dr..
(814) 861-5006
Movie Theaters
State Theater
130 W. College Ave.
(814) 272-0606
Major Sports Teams
  • Nittany Lion Basketball:
  • Penn State Football:
  • State College Spikes : Minor league baseball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Philadelphia: PA: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Pittsburgh: PA: 3 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 277 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 271 responses

  • 4% Painfully remote.
  • 5% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 15% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 69% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 6% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 270 responses

  • 57% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 21% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 22% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 270 responses

  • 35% No way.
  • 49% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 16% Totally.



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