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| Penn State, like any school, is what you make of it. The resources are there but YOU have to make an effort. As far as "just being a number" -- yes PSU is a large school and you are just a number at the university level; however, the great thing about PSU is that once you select a major then you are recognized as a person within your college/department. That is where you want to stand out and be known by name because these are the Profs and peers that are going to be your mentors and friends (and recommendation writers)Most Profs are willing to speak to you about your research interests and many will offer to have you work in their lab/ advise you on a independant project/ or thesis. Everything I took advantage of at PSU has helped me after graduation and I highly recommend it to anyone esp if you are looking to be in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.(in case it's relevant to someone: I was a Geography major/Geosciencs minor) |
|Feb 26 2010|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2009 |
| learn how to work the system or else you will suffer. i'm an undergrad engineering and they will WEED you out. average for all math/science related lecture courses are in the 40%-50% range and will only curve to a 70%. about half of the prospective ME majors don't make the GPA cutoff because the university is just too large. can't sufficiently teach +40,000 students. thus control all majors. if decide to quit engineering sophomore year you can not 'transfer' into the business college because it is also controlled. you are basically stuck going into liberal arts or the science college.|
hardly any exams are partial credit- pretty much all multiple choice exams graded by a computer (HUGE NEGATIVE = no partial credit = 40% - 50% range for a grade). also, the teacher will usually NOT make up the exam- the head of the department will- which means your teacher may teach you material that is irrelevant because he/she does not know what type of questions are going to be on the exam either! most teachers do not speak english in the math/science/engineering departments. and if they do speak english, it is usually a graduate student who does not know HOW to teach.
students. slim pickings of the bright ones. not very competitive/smart unless in the honors college and a few engineering kids. not many kids know how to write here and they will NOT TEACH YOU. i turned in a high school paper for my freshman composition/english class and received an A (i received a B- in it in high school....).
social life is amazing if you come from a small town and drank in high school a ton. i am in a top notch sorority here and parties/bars are GREAT. but if you are coming from urban/metropolitan area the nightlife will get old because the bars are not trendy/hip and there is only one club that not many kids go to.overall, if you have the $ go to another top notch small college where you will learn material NOT learn how to beat the weed-out system.
|Dec 18 2007|| 3rd Year Female --
Class 2009 |
| I am still a first year student, so my opinions may change by the time I graduate...|
Penn State is definately a great value for any In-State student, given the great reputation that it has around the country, its alumni network, quality of education, and tuition (although it is the highest in state tuition of any state school). As an out of state student, the tuition is a bit high, although for a school ranked in the 50s by most rankings, it is worth it.
Pros that I have found: in general, people know PSU and are impressed based on what they know about the school, which doesn't hurt when job hunting in the future. There are a lot of majors to choose from, and many of them are known to be quite good, such as engineering and meteorology. Admissions is actually not too competitive ( I got in with an unweighted 3.17 gpa, 1980 SATs, 31 ACTS, not too many APs or extracurriculars. They say that for out of state, GPA is 2/3 of the decision...) Social life wise, if you are into huge parties with lots of alcohol, State is the place for you. If you tend to like smaller groups of people, or do not like to drink, you might find the herds of drunken kids that infest the streets of campus and town thursday through saturday annoyying.
If you are looking for a big school, PSU is definately one of the larger ones, which can be good or bad.
Cons: Very few people get scholarships, at least from what I know. I haven't really met anyone from the many people I've talked to who have gotten any aid from the school directly.
Being at a school with over 40,000 other undergrads is definately intimidating, as you can walk around for hours and not see anyone you know. However, if you are friendly and sociable of course you will make friends and it will seem like a smaller place after the first few weeks.
Diversity wise, Penn State is terrible. I am Asian, so I do notice the way different ethnic groups interract with each other, and I was disappointed to find out that white kids tend to hang out with whites, blacks with blacks, asians with asians, and so on. Of course, there are exceptions.
|Jan 06 2007|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2010 |