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3 College Sophomore

Parking: Can be pricey and sometimes difficult to find.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Parking: It's very easy for family and friends to visit and park (for free) on the weekends!

2 College Junior

Parking: There is one location during normal business hours to park. On the up-side, there are free Cata bus lines that drive through campus.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Parking: Not many options to park and most of the time you need to pay.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: It is very expensive to keep a car here and I do not think it should be, considering State College is a big place and has a lot of extra room for parking in certain areas.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Parking is one of students’ biggest complaints and arguably the most ignored. Despite construction on campus, no new lots are being built, and existing lots are all located on the outskirts of campus. Parking has also gotten more expensive over the last few years. For freshmen, there’s no reason to worry about parking. Students can’t bring a car until after their first year. Many students feel that it’s easier to rely on walking and public transportation, rather than dealing with cost and hard-to-find parking spaces. State College isn’t difficult to navigate without a vehicle. Everything you need in town is within walking distance, and there is public transportation that goes directly to the major shopping areas across town.

Given the largeness of central Pennsylvania, having your own car gives students the opportunity to explore rustic state parks and neighboring towns on weekends. If you want to get the most out of the local area, having a car is something to consider in your later years at the University. This is especially true if you end up living off campus, because parking around most apartments and townhouses is much better. Downtown State College has metered parking, so be sure to have plenty of quarters handy. In addition to these areas, there are several parking garages downtown that are convenient and generally have space available—the exception, of course, being football weekends. Most metered lots aren’t checked on Sundays, and during the holiday season, the State College borough offers free garage parking and increased shuttle service.

Facts & Statistics

Student Parking Lot?
Freshmen Allowed to Park?
Approximate Parking Permit Cost
$270-$620 per year
Common Parking Tickets
  • Expired meter: $11
  • Handicapped zone: $50
  • No parking zone: $15
  • Reserved space: $15
  • Wrong area: $11
Best Places to Find a Spot
Residence halls have small, reserved (permit) lots for students, but these are generally packed. Parking on the outer edges of campus is your best bet, though even this is unreliable at best.
Good Luck Getting a Spot Here
Anywhere that is remotely convenient. Most on-campus lots are reserved for faculty and staff, and non-permit lots are nearly always full.
Getting a Parking Permit
The following permits are available: Green - Residence Hall storage; Red - Commuter; Blue - Grad Circle and Eastview Terrace; Purple - Off-Campus Storage; Yellow - Evening and Weekend; and Black - Motorcycle.

Student Polls

How convenient is off-campus parking?    Based on 407 responses

  • 3% It's free, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 12% It's free, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 14% The cost is reasonable, and there are usually plenty of spots.
  • 41% The cost is reasonable, but spots fill up quickly.
  • 19% The cost is totally outrageous, but you can usually find a spot.
  • 10% The cost is totally outrageous, and there are never any open spots.

Rate the campus parking on the following topics    Based on 405 responses

Very poor
  • Distance from class
  • Distance from dorms
  • Ease of finding a spot
  • Parking enforcement
  • Permit cost
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