About Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Founded in 1855, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus. is a Public college. Located in Pennsylvania, which is a city setting in Pennsylvania, the campus itself is Urban. The campus is home to 41,359 full time undergraduate students, and 6,430 full time graduate students.

The Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus Academic calendar runs on a Semester basis. In the school year the student to faculty ratio was 16:1. There are 2741 full time instructional teachers. Degrees awarded at Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus include: Bachelor's Degree, Masters Degree, Post-master's certificate, Doctor's degree.

Quick Facts

Acceptance Rate56%
Application Deadline
Application Fee65
SAT Range1090-1300
ACT Range25-29

Admissions at PSU are considered Selective, with ,420% of all applicants being admitted.

In the school year, of the students who applied to the school, only 16 of those who were admitted eventually ended up enrolling.

98% of incoming freshmen are in the top half of their high school class. 84% were in the top quarter, and 41% were in the top tenth. You can apply online.

STUDENT LIFE

We asked, and students answered these important questions about student life at Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus.

2%
“We”re apathetic”
19%
“We know about current events and vote”
64%
“We participate and encourage others to get involved”
14%
“There”s nothing we won”t protest”
3%
“We save it for the classroom”
17%
“Sometimes, but not often”
56%
“There”s usually intelligent conversation to be found”
24%
“All the time, including weekends”
1%
“I”m always terrified”
6%
“I only go out in groups”
38%
“I usually let someone know where I”m going”
55%
“I feel extremely safe”
1%
“We don”t play sports”
0%
“We play recreationally”
5%
“We bought the gear”
95%
“We live for the big game”
6%
“It”s not really our thing”
17%
“Occasinally we gallery crawl”
60%
“There are a variety of opportunities”
17%
“We”re a very artistic group”
1%
“Haven”t met them”
6%
“Available in class”
67%
“They keep regular office hours”
26%
“They”re always available”
2%
“No greek life, but other groups to join”
14%
“There is some involvement, but not a lot”
76%
“Plenty of people join a sorority or fraternity”
8%
“It”s everything. If you”re not greek, you”re a geek”
2%
“We”re not into drinking at all”
6%
“Maybe a little, but it”s not a big thing”
32%
“We only party on weekends”
59%
“There”s some drinking happening every night”
8%
“Never, we”re here to learn”
49%
“There might be people who do”
38%
“People are known to partake on weekends”
6%
“There”s a huge drug scene”
2%
“We”re apathetic”
19%
“We know about current events and vote”
64%
“We participate and encourage others to get involved”
14%
“There”s nothing we won”t protest”
3%
“We save it for the classroom”
17%
“Sometimes, but not often”
56%
“There”s usually intelligent conversation to be found”
24%
“All the time, including weekends”
1%
“I”m always terrified”
6%
“I only go out in groups”
38%
“I usually let someone know where I”m going”
55%
“I feel extremely safe”
1%
“We don”t play sports”
0%
“We play recreationally”
5%
“We bought the gear”
95%
“We live for the big game”
6%
“It”s not really our thing”
17%
“Occasinally we gallery crawl”
60%
“There are a variety of opportunities”
17%
“We”re a very artistic group”
1%
“Haven”t met them”
6%
“Available in class”
67%
“They keep regular office hours”
26%
“They”re always available”
2%
“No greek life, but other groups to join”
14%
“There is some involvement, but not a lot”
76%
“Plenty of people join a sorority or fraternity”
8%
“It”s everything. If you”re not greek, you”re a geek”
2%
“We”re not into drinking at all”
6%
“Maybe a little, but it”s not a big thing”
32%
“We only party on weekends”
59%
“There”s some drinking happening every night”
8%
“Never, we”re here to learn”
49%
“There might be people who do”
38%
“People are known to partake on weekends”
6%
“There”s a huge drug scene”

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus REVIEWS

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  • How would you rate on-campus housing?

    605 Students rated on-campus housing 3.5 stars. 12 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate off-campus housing?

    504 Students rated off-campus housing 3.5 stars. 0 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus food?

    633 Students rated campus food 3.9 stars. 29 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate campus facilities?

    652 Students rated campus facilities 4.4 stars. 54 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate class size?

    650 Students rated class size 3.7 stars. 21 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate school activities?

    650 Students rated school activities 4.5 stars. 65 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate local services?

    651 Students rated local services 4.3 stars. 51 % gave the school a 5.0.

  • How would you rate academics?

    652 Students rated academics 4.1 stars. 44 % gave the school a 5.0.

What's your overall opinion of Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus?

290 Students rated Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Ashley - 07/12/2022

I think it is a good school it is very big with various classes and class sizes. It is a beautiful, large campus with many activities and dining. Some parts could be updated but there is a large renovation project happening. The dorms are decent if you get renovated and there are pretty good on-campus food options. There are so many clubs and chances for involvement. Greek life is definitely huge but you can still have fun and meet people without joining. Sports are big on campus whether it's football games or one of many gyms with good equipment.

Sinead - 07/31/2021

I absolutely LOVED attending Penn State. It was an amazing experience and I left with so many friends! There is so much to do in and out of the classrooms. As an engineer the on hands experience in their classes was unmatched. Outside of the classroom there are so many student organizations that you can be involved in! Homecoming, Football Season, and THON are all favorites of mine!!

Omar - 03/09/2021

Beautiful campus

Maleah - 01/13/2021

Penn State is a great school if you want to have the college town experience and sometimes challenging academics. The campus is absolutely beautiful and there are many recreational activities. I believe there are 170+ clubs and although the party scene is big, there is not a lot of pressure to go out if you do not want to. With thousands of students, you will find others that have the same values and aspirations as you. The food is pretty good and the renovated housing is great (if you get a renovated dorm). Sometimes it is a bit overwhelming because you feel like a small fish in a huge puddle, but the networking opportunities are great. Penn State is pretty expensive, however, and they generally do not hand out many scholarships or aid, especially merit-based. You can have a 4.7 high school GPA and they will give you nothing, so keep that in mind.

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus FAQS

  1. What is the Acceptance Rate at Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus?

    The fall 2020 acceptance rate for Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus is 56%. That means, out of _____ applications received in 2020 , _____ students were offered admission. The number of males who applied was _____ vs the number of females which was _____.

  2. What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

    I would advise to make as many friends as possible and to socialize more. But it is also important to focus on your studies, because gpa is everything here, if you don't get above 3.0 then it will be sometimes hard even to get in to the major of your choise. As an upperclassmen having 3.0 is crusial to get an internship or a full time job. It is also helpful to ease a transition to college is to joinn many clubs and do other extracurricular activities, just to take a break of studying. I think the most a student can learn about himself and others is outside the classroom, so the worst you can do is stay in your dorm all day.

    Read all  529 answers
  3. Describe the students at your school.

    Students at Penn State are very friendly and outgoing. Most students are involved in multiple organizations and volunteer programs. Students are very academically focused and work hard to maintain a solid gpa. Penn State students have the most school pride and show it by wearing the logo and supporting our sports teams every week.

    Read all  166 answers
  4. Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

    Intersting, Diverse, and FUN!

    Read all  109 answers
  5. What's unique about your campus?

    There is always something to do every day and night of the week. Whether you want to meet new people, play sports, or do anything else you will have the opportunity to do it anytime you want to.

    Read all  103 answers
  6. What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

    I wish I had known about the hyper-social drinking issues and the lack of social/environmental conern among the students. I wish I would have known about the lack of accessability to diverse activities outside the immediately surrounding town.

    Read all  101 answers
  7. Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

    I found that Penn State offered 100% online undergraduate nursing classes. This was ideal in completing my bachelor's degree.

    Read all  96 answers
  8. What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

    There is nothing bad about Penn State. The worst thing would have to be the huge classes and the amount of work that there is to do. Even though there is a lot of work, you learn a lot and the workload will help out a lot in the future.

    Read all  96 answers
  9. Describe your favorite campus traditions.

    It is very known for football and the coach. It is known for a strong academics and a student's pride for Penn State.

    Read all  94 answers
  10. What kind of person should attend this school?

    Anyone who wants to be surrounded by a large amount of student. It is also good for students who want to make a good career after they graduate. This school will make minorities feel comfortable and students from different background. Also, a person should care at least a little bit about sports and be eager to socialize.

    Read all  86 answers
  11. What kind of person should not attend this school?

    A person who is goal driven should attend this school. They need to be focused and able to keep up with the work load because there is much to learn. The person also needs to open to variety.

    Read all  85 answers
  12. What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

    The school spirit is definitely what i brag about! Penn State is ridiculous when it comes to school spirit. There arent any fair weather fans. Everyone becomes addicted to college football, basketball, and other little sports. Every home football game, there is a massive Exodus to Beaver stadium so large that not everyone can fit inside and the lawns and parking lots become flooded with good times, happy fans, and the well known "WE ARE"... "PENN STATE" chant is heard for hours!

    Read all  82 answers
  13. What are the academics like at your school?

    I was very impressed with the academic aspect to Penn State. All of my classes here were manageable but also challenging. When I began my career here, many of my classes were large (up to an 800 person class), but now most of my classes are between 20-30 people. Each class that I have had that was 30 people or less, the teacher always made it a point to get to know the students. Most of the professors that I have had experience with really want to engage students and assist them in learning. I have only had one or two professors that I did not like because they were either boring or confusing. Class participation is not common in the larger class rooms, and dependent on the teacher in the smaller classrooms. I have one class that is centered completely around class participation, and other classes that I can simply sit and listen the entire period. I am an accounting major in the Masters of Accounting (MAcc) program in the Smeal College of Business. In this program, I will be graduating with my Masters and Bachelors degree in Accounting in 5 years with enough hours to sit for the CPA. This program was created for students who intend to be CPAs. The classes are very challenging, but rewarding if you give them the time. I will be interning this summer with PwC (formerly Pricewaterhouse Coopers), and at my acceptance dinner the partners told us that they made it a point to hire the most students from Penn State because they found that we have been very successful in the workplace. We were also recently ranked number two in colleges that recruiters hire from according to the Wall Street Journal. One thing I do fully appreciate about Smeal is that they take a large focus on integrity, which seems to be lacking in the business world today. Every exam we take, we sign a statement saying basically that we will not cheat and we did not have unauthorized access to previous forms of this exam. My favorite class right now is my auditing class because my professor takes time to ask us questions that really make us think on our own. I have seen a great change in my outlook outside of the classroom because of many of the questions he has asked in class. I also feel like I need to study less than for other classes because I stay focused the whole class period. My least favorite class was an online class I took on the history of pop music. The class was easy, but I did not feel like I learned very much. It also ended up being very time consuming and was on a subject I ultimately did not care very much about. The best advice I can give anyone is to take classes that actually interest you. I have found that even the easiest classes do not feel easy unless you are interested in the subject. My hardest classes are sometimes the most enjoyable ones because I actually appreciate the knowledge that I am gaining. The main difference between college and high school is that you can now choose your classes freely and you do not have school every day from 8am-3pm so it is now your responsibility to make it to class on time and do your homework. I find that this helps teach students the value of knowledge.

    Read all  81 answers
  14. What are the most popular student activities/groups?

    THON.

    Read all  78 answers
  15. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    Well, Penn State is a large school. Some people do not feel comfortable at these big schools and can sometimes get overwhelmed by the number of students that attend here. It is easy to find a group of friends, but you should evaluate if you easily are overwhelmed and determine the importance of small classes. I was surprised at how much I liked the large classes, as I was always a class participator in class. The further you get in your major, the smaller the classes are which is always nice. In the past, whenever I told people I attended Penn State, the reaction was always a positive one. People always seemed to hold a high respect level for Penn State, which helped me build my sense of pride in my school. Now, with the recent events, its a little different and mixed reactions which I hope will change. This is the epitome of a college town, State College is smack dead in the middle of Pennsylvania, and the whole town is centered around Penn State. The town itself is very cute and small, filled with Penn State memorabilia stores and privately owned boutiques. Almost all students live in the downtown area or in what is called "west campus". This makes it nice for students because they do not need to travel very far to visit friends or reach the downtown area. I really liked how Penn State's campus was large, but condensed, it never takes more than 30 minutes to walk anywhere that you need to go, which isn't always the case with other large schools that I had visited. We have had a large controversy recently, what is said to be the largest controversy ever in collegiate sports. Penn State was always known for its integrity, and had a clean slate in terms of football and administration issues. However, this year it was brought to everyones attention that a former Penn State coach was molesting young boys under the noses of our administration and the late Joe Paterno (46 year Penn State coach, one of the most respected coaches in the world). The details of the investigation are still pending, but it has shed a very harsh light on our school. Although this is very embarrassing, it has not effected any of our educations and does not accurately reflect Penn State as an academic establishment. The students here have had a difficult time dealing with this issue, but we seem to be moving forward and continue to have a strong sense of pride in our school for all of the good things we do do. This brings me to THON, the worlds largest student run philanthropy. Penn State's student run no sit, no sleep dance marathon is one of the most incredible parts of our school. The Penn State student body spends all year fundraising for the four diamonds fund, a philanthropic fund who's primary focus is to provide all assistance needed to families of children with pediatric cancer. Last year we were able to raise $9.5 million. THON itself is a weekend in February where hundreds of student "dancers" (being a dancer is a very huge honor and fairly difficult to obtain) do not sit or sleep for 46 straight hours in our Bryce Jordan Center. The weekend consists of families, fun, games, student performances, etc. The final four hours of THON are probably the most memorable, there is family hour where families will come and tell their stories about their experience with the four diamonds fund (warning: lots of tears are shed) and also the final total reveal. We have done nothing but increase our total since I arrived at Penn State in 2008, and hopefully we continue to raise more money to help children with cancer.

    Read all  74 answers
  16. Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

    Every school loves to party. It's the most popular way to temporarily put the stress from school aside. But there IS a lot more to PSU than what most people assume (PSU has a wonderful curriculum and offers tons of classes of all kinds). As for football... yeah. We get a little too crazy during football season.

    Read all  63 answers
  17. What is the stereotype of students at your school?

    Penn State students have an overwhelming pride in their school and football is huge. Penn State is known as a big party school and Greek life plays a big part in the social scene.

    Read all  62 answers
  18. What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

    Its too big its hard to stay in touch with a lot of people you meet. Winter time here sucks because its too cold.

    Read all  57 answers
  19. What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

    Stereotypically, Penn Staters are party-animals. After all, we were the number one party school in the nation for a long time. But, I don't necessarily think that title is fair. Penn State is also one of the top recruiting schools for graduating students, especially those from the Engineering fields. Not to mention, PSU has the largest alumni group in the world! We're definitely not just a party school.

    Read all  20 answers
  20. Tell us about the sports scene on campus.

    HUGE!

    Read all  13 answers
  21. Describe the dorms.

    I will be completely honest with you. I have only been in three types of dorms here at Penn State. My best advice, stay away from the East Towers!! I had to spend one night there for a summer job overlap, and it was.....far from desirable. As far as the other two dorms I've seen, West and North. They are great! My friend would bust me that my dorm was like a hotel. Air-conditioning, your own desk, closet, drawers, microwave, and mini-fridge. North really does have the nicest setup. Meanwhile West is comfortable, large enough for two people to still have some space. Keep in mind, there are common rooms everywhere, and little hiding places, should you ever get sick of your roommate.

    Read all  11 answers

Student Body

Students

46%

female

54%

male

41,359

Total Undergrad Enrollment

6,430

Total Grad Students

36%

Out-Of-State

53%

In-State

11%

International

Organizations

816

Student Organizations

56

Fraternities

31

Sororities

Housing

Yes

On-Campus Housing

29%

of students living on campus

Student Diversity

% American Indian/Alaskan Native
N/A
% Asian/Pacific Islander
6%
% Black or African-American
4%
% Hispanic/Latino
6%
% White or Caucasian
67%

TUITION & AID

All students must apply yearly for financial aid. This process starts with the FAFSA. Though financial aid deadlines vary by school, it is a good idea to apply as soon as possible. For the upcoming school year, you can apply as early as October 1 for the FAFSA. Additional school aid will be dependent on the FAFSA results.

65% of students attending Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus receive some sort of financial aid. 12% were awarded federal grants. While 44% received federal loans. Many students do also need to apply for additional private student loans.

Cost Out of State

$32,382

Tuition and fees(Out of state)

$1,840

Books and Supplies

$11,230

Room and Board

45,452

Total On Campus

Actual Cost By Income Level(W/Financial Aid)

Family Income
Cost
$0 - $30K
$20,873
$30 - $48K
$22,463
$48 - $75K
$26,481
$75 - $110K
$31,105
$110K & UP
$33,278

We use student reviews and the most current publicly available data on our school pages. As such, we don't typically remove or edit college information. Sources for school statistics and data include the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. Portions of college data include copyrighted material, which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. © 2009-2016 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.

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