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Reviews 5676 total reviews with an average rating of 3.8

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4 Recent Alumnus

Campus Food: I thought the food was always pretty good. I liked South the best because they had more variety but not in a cafeteria/buffet style. Like it's own little food court with a salad place, a sandwich place, a coffee place, etc. But the good tasting options aka not the regular cafeteria style food were much more expensive than the regular food. West definitely had the best cookies and once in a while we would trek the whole way there.

3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Housing: I ended up living on a floor with all engineers even though I was a psychology major. So within my building, I was not with others with similar interests with me nor was I in the usual freshman dorm. I had to actively go outside my campus housing to find friends and activities. Our bathrooms were always clean but we only had 3 or 4 shower stalls for a whole floor of girls. My building in Pollock was closer to the south dorms than the other Pollock ones. In turn, I ate at the south commons, I found out information at south commons. When I got locked out, I had to trek to the Pollock Commons rather than walk to the much closer South commons.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Most people opt to live off campus for good reason--the apartments are nice and the added freedom is great.

5 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I don't eat off campus that often so I don't know.

5 College Freshman

Party Scene: There's really nothing like the party scene at a Big Ten school. Penn State goes hard--whatever you join will undoubtedly have parties and if not it's fairly easy to just crash an apartment party. The party scene is just really great here.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Administration: Just don't get caught drinking/smoking or drunk/high and you should be good

3 College Freshman

Scholarships: If you want a scholarship you're going to have to apply. They don't give financial aid to many people.

4 College Freshman

Campus Food: East food is pretty terrible and gets old quickly, but you can swipe in at Pollock or Redifer and still get the same discount if you're willing to make the trek every once in a while. The HUB has great food options, including an amazing salad place, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Sbarro's, etc. It's dangerous though, because the student discount isn't the same as in the dining halls, so if you eat there often you could blow through your meal points.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: East Halls is as worst as on campus housing gets: the food is terrible and you live far away from most of the classroom buildings. That being said, I would not have chosen different first year housing given the chance. Living in East made it easy to meet and interact with freshmen all in the same situation as you. I was lucky to live on a floor that was very close (something likely to only happen in East) and I made a lot of friends just from living here.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: The overall Greek life selection and parties at Penn State are good/fun, but Greeks are usually self-obsessed and don't make too much of an effort to get along with people outside of their fraternity/sorority.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Athletics: Penn State is the BEST athletic school with many talented D1 teams. We have the best student section and school spirit in the country. The gyms are plentiful and very nice here, although they cost money for a membership.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There are many different off-campus housing selections at Penn State. It can be difficult and a long, painful process to obtain a spot through certain real estate agencies, but overall the freedom and extra space/amenities are worth the price and distance from campus.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There are many different types of places downtown ranging from the lowest to highest priced menu items. There are many local restaurants that feature ethnic foods and other common American restaurants. I love the variety.

4 College Junior

Party Scene: Penn State is and always has been ranked as one of the top party schools in the nation. There are so many different places to go (especially bars if you're 21+) and the parties get pretty wild. Many freshmen go to frat parties and many sophomores, juniors, and seniors go to apartments and bars.

3 College Junior

Administration: Our campus is stricter with drugs/alcohol rules than with visitation and freedom of student speech rules. Under-ages are given out often because students tend to come back to the dorms or stroll the streets/campus visibly inebriated.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: I am an out-of-state resident so it costs me twice as much as an in-state resident to attend school here. I have taken out loans for the past couple years and will continue to until I graduate next year. I do not have many tips but I do recommend considering purchasing a place in-state to gain residency and save some money!

4 College Junior

Campus Food: There are a variety of food options at Penn State all around campus. There are cafeterias on all sides of the campus (north, south, east, west, pollock) and also great restaurants like Burger King, Chic-Fil-A, Starbucks, and Panda Express at the HUB.

3 College Junior

Campus Housing: Living on campus is okay because it is closer to classroom and cafeteria buildings than living downtown. The dorms and on-campus housing areas are generally pretty clean, but the rules are sometimes strictly enforced. Housing is not guaranteed and is only given through drawings/raffles each year.

5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: There are so many different places to live off campus. Maybe even too much! the choices are so hard to choose from because everywhere is so nice. the prices are affordable and the the locations are so close to campus. It is extremely convenient living off campus and I can not wait to next year. The school is very helpful in promoting the different places to live since the school is affiliated or owns most of them. They always have housing fairs and send out a ton of emails.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: There are many options to go to eat off campus. The costs are very affordable and the quality is great. there are some places that do student discounts but most do not. Mcdonalds is open 24 hours so that is very convenient and mostly eveywhere is open until 3 am. My favorite place is the corner room!

5 College Sophomore

Party Scene: The party scene at penn state is unbelievable. Everywhere in state college on a friday night is throwing a party and every night a frat is throwing a party for a number of reasons. There are parties everyday of the week. The quality is top notch, the frats, apartments and house parties are the best. I've never truly experienced actual partying until I came to penn state.

3 College Sophomore

Administration: They are extremely strict at this school and do not hesitate to get the authorities involved whenever possible. They make students who get caught drinking, smoking or doing other drugs take classes and make sure it gets put on their record. The RA's do not allow for drinking or partying in the dorms. Attendance is pretty much up to the student, they allow it to affect their grade. Pretty much the school is strict on everything bad and illegal because it is a huge school with over 40,000 students and they have to make sure it is safe, clean and respectable.

2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: My experiences here with getting financial aid have been terrible and stressful. Make sure to do it very early or else they may not receive it on time which may cause problems when enrolling for classes and such. It becomes very stressful when they put a hold on grades, scheduling and other things when you have a balance on your account that has not been paid because the financial aid did not go through at the time. It just seems like it is strictly a business and there is no "student" anymore but rather a customer.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Food: The food at Penn State is extremely goof for college gourmet. I have eaten at other colleges and they just can not compare. I also worked at the school my freshman year and understand the money and effort the schools put in to making the food as good as it can be without breaking the bank. The environment is also extremely wonderful. The staff are pleasant and enthusiastic. I enjoy the diverse food establishments that are on campus as well, it is nice to have a variety of choices to go to for lunch and dinner. The meal plan system is also great because you get huge discounts and have a neat accurate point system that resembles the dollar system.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The social environment is very diverse and great for making life-long friends. The location is wonderful for such a big campus. I would say on average it takes about 5-7 minutes to walk to a class from my dorm. The housing process can be frustrating sometimes with all of their legalities and non-lenience policies. it is simple to enroll into the lottery but extremely difficult to get out of a contract if you find residence somewhere else. The dorms are always clean/tidy. Bathrooms are cleaned every morning. Overall I love the ease of living on campus.

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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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