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.