Penn State Summary

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Basic Statistics

University Park, PA
Full-Time Undergrads
Part-Time Undergrads
Small city
In-State Tuition
Out-of-State Tuition
Room & Board
Acceptance Rate
52 %
Admission Difficulty
Average SAT Scores
Average ACT Scores

Best ThingsMore . . .

  • Academics balanced with partying
  • Enormous school spirit
  • Penn State football: "The Greatest Show in College Sports" - Sports Illustrated
  • The beautiful central Pennsylvania surroundings

Worst ThingsMore . . .

  • Isolated rural location
  • Sparse, expensive, and difficult parking
  • Frigid winters
  • Lack of diversity

Frequently ComparedCompare . . .

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

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.

Penn State Student Reviews

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4 College Junior

Campus Dining: The hours are pretty convenient and there are many options due to the fact that there are 4 main dining halls and at least a dozen different eateries spread across campus. South halls has a late night where they serve both breakfast and dinner foods which is a great experience for those coming home late or pulling all nighters. Kocher and vegetarian/vegan options are offered as well as a lot of healthy food which most people tend to neglect #freshmanfifteen.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Penn State has a great bar life, however, the prices could be a little lower. Yes happy hours and specials can be great but bars here don't hesitate to raise prices to the roof during special events, furthermore most bars charge 3-5 dollar covers even during the evening time. One thing I do like about State College bars though, is that there is literally a bar for every type of mood/person out there.

5 College Junior

Athletics: Penn state pretty much takes the cake when it comes to sports. We have the best wrestling team and one of the best football teams evert. IM sports is pretty fun and you can pretty much find an IM version of every sport conceivable on campus.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Same as before, off campus housing is usually more expensive the closer you are to campus. One thing worth mentioning however, is that parking absolutely sucks downtown. It literally costs an arm, a leg and a firstborn to park your car within 2 blocks of campus for the semester. The school sometimes publishes ads for off campus housing but you have to actually get out of your way if you want to fins something good.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Housing can vary alot. If you live in the freshman dorms then the space factor is pretty bad but the atmosphere more than makes up for it. Apartments are a little on the expensive side near campus, but you do get many perks such as being able to throw parties if you register them. Alternatively, if you're willing to live a few miles away from campus prices plummet but at the cost of living in the middle of nowhere.


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