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Reviews 5131 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: At Penn State there are numerous sororities and fraternities available which offer a wide variety to students. Students who wish to become part of the Greek life have a wide selection of options so everyone can find their best fit. As a student who is a non-Greek I have always felt welcomed by the Greeks and so do my other friends. Everyone hangs out together regardless of the Greek system. As for housing the fraternity houses are very nice and all along one street for the most part which makes them easily accessed. The sororities live on a floor of a dorm building which house very nice rooms. I think the Greek life at Penn State is great and one of the best around.

3 College Student

Transportation: not bad but sometimes the cab drivers are very unprofessional and rude.

3 College Student

Drug Safety: Alchol is a major issue at every college no matter where you go. Espeacially at parties.

3 College Sophomore

Diversity: A Lot of the Same – Coming from a primarily white suburban high school, Penn State seems diverse; however, a lot of people complain that there is a lot of the same types of people. While there are a lot of people involved in greek life, there are also so many students that there is every type of person.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: So Many Options – Since State College revolves around Penn State, there are tons of off-campus dining options. A website called LionMenus even helps facilitate the search for food downtown and delivery services. There's a Panera, Chili's, McDonald's, etc. But, there are also some really great diverse places as well including Cozy Thai, Golden Wok, and India Pavilion. Most places are open late to accomodate the partying crowd. Canyon Pizza has dollar slices late at night and is a college essential.

4 College Sophomore

Local Area: Penn State is located in the perfect college town. All the shops and restaurants are geared toward college students, and the majority of the houses downtown are fraternitites or student houses. This makes freshman year really exciting, and the transition is super easy to college life. However, after the first year, you start to crave some more cultural activities outside the realm of "Penn State Culture," which includes football games, parties, tailgates, etc. If you look hard enough, you can definitely find some new, interesting activites, there are always concerts and plays, and the State Teathre downtown offers really interesting independent films and lesser known music artists.

4 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Very New Age School – This college is very new age when it comes to guys and girls. Most students are very good looking/healthy (mentally and physically). The dress is not conservative at all; this is definitely a college town. The social life is just as modern. Tons of new age activities but still a good bit of traditional fun. The best part of this college is that all the students are a "family." You don't see any cliques like you do in high school. All students are equal, they are all Penn Staters.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Dorms Are Average but Getting Better – From my experience, the dorms are pretty much like most other big ten colleges; however, much work is being done to modernize these facilities. Freshman housing is pretty average but the opportunities for sophomores-seniors get better. The internet speeds and cable options are very fair though. The social atmosphere is great but I think more of that has to do with the college in general rather than the housing. Regardless, the coed option are cool and every dorm is very close the dining commons/convenience stores. In the end though, the costs are pretty high and a little more can be done (and is being done) to amend this issue.

4 College Junior

Technology: Very Good Technology Services – The university does a great job at providing technology to its students. There are a ton of computer labs on campus; every student should have access to one. Their computer lab staff also does a great job at keeping the labs usable. Printing is very fair. Every semester students are given 110 pages, which is usually sufficient. Network speed is great and rarely is down; wireless is available in most major areas of campus.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: Penn State tries there best to meet everyones need. Housing is done by status level so freshmen stay together and so on but you can always request speciallty living. This is something where you can live in the same dorm with people of relative or the same minor. For the most part penn state have very convenient housing.

5 College Senior

Health & Safety: Personal Safety – At Penn State everyone is very friendly even the staff. I always feel very safe at all time even when it is 3 o clock in the morning. If you feel uncomfortable walking somewhere by yourself they have a hot line you can call and they will send you an escort. Penn State makes sure that you never feel unsafe at all and try and make it your second home.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Kinda Overrated, but Definitely a Factor – I'll admit that when you go to a game, the school spirit is crazy.
I went to the first game of the season, and sat freezing my behind off, but most people didn't care that it felt like 20 degrees outside- they were there cheering their team on.
But in truth, penn state isn't as big a football school as it seems. For every one person that obsesses over football season, there is at least one person that doesn't care in the least.
But this is where the size of the school comes into play. Even if half the school truly doesn't care about the athletics, we've still got 21k+ that do.
Those are the people that try to show up to every game rain or shine, making sure that Penn State's side of the stands stays filled to max capacity

3 College Freshman

Campus Food: It Gets Old – I honestly didn't realize how much I hated PSU's food until my second semester.
First semester, you're too enthralled with the new experience to realize that you're eating the same thing pretty much every day.
West has the best food on campus, and Redifer provides Chinese and Mexican food, as well as soups, salads, pizza, sandwiches, and "American" food like cheeseburgers, chicken tenders, fries, etc. (Their 4berry smoothies are to die for!)
But again, it gets old after a while.
In my first semester, a friend and I bought a rice cooker for like 20 bucks from walmart, and later in the year, I bought a sandwich maker. (warning: this is contraband! But honestly, its hard to burn your room down with either of these things- you'd have to be an extreme mix of unfortunate and inattentive to do any real damage).
Anyway, we'd spend lioncash downtown at McLanahans, buy rice, beans, sazon, and use our meal points to go to the buffet, ask for a takeout box, and bring back a couple pieces of grilled chicken, and make our own meals.
I'd also buy noodles and alfredo sauce from mcLanahans and make shrimp alfredo in the microwave.
The sandwich maker was great for grilled cheese, all of the ingredients could be bought at convenience stores on campus, and it made for a great on the run meal.
I've also used it to "fry" plantains.
There are lots of ways to cook in your room using meal points and lionCash- its all about being creative.
As for restaurants, there is some diversity. There's Indian Pavilion, and I believe a thai food place over near the IST building. There are also like a million chinese food places downtown as well as some restaurants like Chilli's. Some of which take lionCash.
Big Bowl is right across the street from south commons, and it's got great chinese (but they only take cash),and make sure to check out the Waffle Shop- their chocolate chip waffles and pancakes are the best!

2 College Junior

Weather: It is always overcast and cold. It is nice the beginning of the Fall semester and nice at the end of the Spring semester. When it snows, classes are never cancelled due to the excellent plowing and hot-water piping under all the sidewalks.

2 College Junior

Campus Housing: Housing Conflict – The freshman dorms are really small and old, and sometimes there isn't enough. They are also far away from everything Upperclassmen dorms are nicer but not guaranteeing. Most people move off campus their sophomore or junior year.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Very Safe – I have never felt unsafe anywhere on Penn State's campus at anytime of the day. Although it is very big, it is very well light. There are campus police around, and you must have your ID to get into residence halls.

5 College Freshman

Administration: Penn state was definitely helpful in the moving away from home transition. They are there if you need them but also give you all the freedom you want.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: LOTS OF OPTIONS! Downtown life at penn state main campus is one of the highlights, there are so many options and variety to choose from that no one can go unhappy.

5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: I really just think that penn state stands out in almost every aspect. There are just so many people that allows the college to provide alot of activities, events, and other options that make someone happy. From sporting events to academic options. I personally have been involved in alot of the music events. I have seen the underground talent in penn state because all of this thanks to a club that penn state has approves.

5 College Freshman

Weather: We do get all the extremes of every kind of weather but i think they are very reasonable with canceling classes. Yes it may snow and they dont normally cancel the classes, but most people walk and they are very good at clearing the pathways so they can do so.

5 College Freshman

Transportation: The transportation is very accessible and easy to track.
Local buses go through campuses and to local apartment complexes that are free, they also have kept up with technology advancements and have a "CATA APP" for the iphone and droid which allow you to see when the next bus will get to your stop. They are also very helpful with finding buses to go long distances like home and such. Also have a number you can call at anytime if you feel uncomfortable to walk home alone and someone will escort you to your dorm.

5 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Best. Place. Ever. So easy to balance studying and partying here. This is the happiest valley of all, and the best place to spend your time. Never a dull moment, and you'll be wishing you were here all the time once you graduate.

5 Recent Alumnus

Party Scene: Something for Everyone – If you're a partier, you're golden. Under 21s can go to the frats or apt parties, guys--have a lot of girls with you to get into the frats. Over 21s, there are at least 12 bars on College Ave to choose from. Not a partier? That's okay too--check out late night HUB for movies, activities, etc!

5 Recent Alumnus

Local Area: Best Time of My Life – State College is a great town. Lots to do if you want to have fun. Big party school, but I've never felt safer in my life. Penn State is a big family that watches out for each other.

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: The football team up here runs the town. The football games are incredible. But other sports are also very good. 4 straight national championships for the womens volleyball is unprecedented and their games are also very exciting to go to. Fencing has won many national championships and the wrestling team with head coach Cael Sanderson won a national championship for the first time this year in a while. The basketball team was good this year, making the NCAA tournament for the first time in a while.


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Pattee Library and Mall
Pattee Library and Mall

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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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