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Reviews 5676 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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4 College Senior

Campus Quality: Penn State is continuously striving to improve the facilities to accommodate its large student body. Just in the last year, we've opened up at least two new buildings and renovated many more in order to create more space for various departments and majors.
I particularly enjoy Penn State's resourceful libraries. The Pattee and Paterno Libraries at University Park hold some of the best resources in the academic world. Penn State Libraries give students access to many online and physical databases, computers, and books.

4 College Senior

Academics: Resources, Resources, Resources! I came to Penn State without knowing what to expect from a school of such a large population. However, as time passed I realized that the magnanimity of our school also meant that the number of resources were just as high. From dozens of advising offices for each department to financial aid offices for study abroad options, Penn State offers a variety of resources for the aspiring student. During the semester, I received weekly e-mails updating me on the academic resources available to me. I found this extremely helpful and encouraging in my first year of college.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Scholarships: Coming into college as a freshmen, Penn State's financial aid office was very helpful. I received several private scholarships from individuals through the student aid office. As the years went by and I encountered financial hardships, the office was very helpful in clearly answering all of my additional questions. However, the office is rather small for an undergraduate student population of 40,000+. If you want to speak to a financial aid representative, get to the office as soon as it opens, or else you'll be in line for at least 30 minutes.

3 College Senior

Academics: I'm in the College of Liberal Arts as a Political Science Major. Most of the professors are very knowledgeable in their area of study, but I would say that not all of them are very helpful. Some are consumed with their own separate research or are not able to bring their "intellectual level" down to that of an undergraduate student. The Political Science Department has many capable individuals, but as a whole, is not very resourceful compared to other departments at Penn State. However, I have had a wonderful experience with my Political Science Adviser who has been very helpful and patient with me.

3 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Penn State has a very diverse student population. You will be able to find people of every race, every interest, and every career path. You will never feel lonely here or have trouble finding someone to talk to.
Because of the diversity, social life is very colorful at Penn State. If you're interested in meeting people through sports, Penn State Athletics and Intramural Sports offer many opportunities. Greek life is also very big at Penn State. If you prefer quieter methods of socialization, you can find various student groups at the campus Spiritual Center or at the Library.
Many student relationships blossom in the hundreds of student organizations Penn State offers.

2 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Housing: Many choices and price ranges available depending on distance from school

5 Recent Alumnus

Athletics: We had the greatest Football Coach EVER in Joe Paterno. A true leader and character builder. He emphasized and focused on the importance of academics with his players... You could not do one without the other.

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: Beautiful in spring-fall, but winter was a bit treacherous and lasted a long time. It literally took a snow storm and LOTS of ice to shut down campus though

3 Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: Our school parties were well organized and safe, great social outlet

4 College Senior

Majors: In Penn State, in order to get into the major, you need to meet certain requirements, such requirements might include prerequisite courses, GPA, or internships.

4 College Senior

Majors: Actuarial Mathematics is the discipline that applies mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries. In order to do good in this program, you have to be really good with math.

4 College Senior

Majors: I am studying for Actuarial Mathematics at the Penn State University. I chose the program because I really like math, I think that is also the reason why I am doing fairly good in the major. My goal is to have a career in the insurance industry or the finance industry. I believe the program can prepare me well.

4 College Senior

Academics: The Penn State University is one of the best public university in the nation. It has a very diverse community, you can meet people from all around the world. The professors at the university are very knowlegeable and helpful. They are willing to help students outside the classroom.

4 College Sophomore

Transportation: The catabus system is pretty good. I didn't use it a lot but it always was there if I needed it.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: They try their best to keep students safe at Penn State. I like that you have to swipe into your building and there are sites all over the place if you need a police escort home. I never had to use the health service center but my roommate did and she was pleased with their help.

4 College Sophomore

Majors: I'm incredibly pleased with the education program at Penn State so far. I believe that I'm taking the classes that I need to succeed and everyone is very pleasant and willing to help.

3 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: Look in the right places and Drugs are pretty rampant. The reason being is roughly half of campus lives off-campus and so drug possession is not monitored, but it is there. Smoking pot is common and drinking can be rampant on some nights.

3 Recent Alumnus

Greek Life: I was not very involved in Greek life, but we have a ton of chapters on campus. There is a Greek life for everything, including some multi-cultural greek houses.

4 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: The school is big, boasting an equally large population as well so there is someone for everyone. There are the drop dead gorgeous as well as the geeky/shy/nerdy to plain strange. You have to look. A lot of them are from Pennsylvania and/or New Jersey area, but they are overall friendly and fun to be around.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are a lot of options for getting food off campus.

5 College Senior

Campus Food: The food can be really good, but pricey if you do not have a meal plan.

4 College Junior

Administration: PSU is very strict with their academic policies. I think this is a good thing because everyone should do their own work. That is one reason why PSU graduates are wanted, companies know how challenging the academics are and how everyone's work is his or her own and not copied from someone else.

4 College Junior

Technology: The computers are usually up to date and the internet speed is fast. Printing is free at satellite campuses but not at UPark. Usually, there is no need for a personal computer on campus unless you want to work somewhere very private. The computer techs hook up devices very fast and the devices are automatically hooked up for use at other campuses.

2 College Junior

Scholarships: The financial aid process is always a hassle! My advice is to start early and have all paperwork needed filed and organized. Arguments can start in a family if everyone gets frustrated and cannot find what they need. Look on the school financial aid website for scholarships and contact information. Never wait till last minute!

4 College Junior

Drug Safety: Drugs are pretty prevalent at Penn State, but not so much that you'll feel pressured to get involved if you're not interested. Drinking is definitely the biggest thing here, pretty much any weekend night there will be tons of drunk students all over campus and downtown. This means that as long as you're well behaved, you're unlikely to get in trouble for any drug use because the police have bigger matters to attend to. There are a lot of helpful options through the university if you do get caught with an underage or drug offense, many of which allow you to get your record expunged for first time offenses if you take an education class.


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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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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