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Pennsylvania State University

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Penn State is for a certain type ofSuper BrilliantOther
Penn State is for a certain type of person. If you are ambitious, highly focused in academics, introverted, and don't drink, this is not the place for you. Penn State is for people who want to drink, party, major in something easy, and have fun. Since the school is so big, nothing is handed to you. You need to be extroverted, proactive, and get involved in order to make friends and find a group. In addition, groups form fast so start all of this early, or else you'll be stuck in a school with 40,000 kids and no friends.

Academics are decent. I'm pre-med and have found that the department is pretty good, very resourceful, and wants to send its students to medical school. If you take action, there are many opportunities to get involved in research, teaching, volunteerism, and clubs. Most of my classes have been 100+ students, but if you sit up front and make an effort then the professors will usually be very approachable and get to know you. Some professors are highly absorbed in their research and put very little effort into teaching, but this is common at big research universities. Perhaps the most troubling thing i've encountered has been the lack of standardization in some courses. Some courses can be incredibly difficult with one professor, but then easy with another. In addition, the format and material taught may be totally different.

Grades are pretty competitive, and most students value working the system to get a good grade above actually learning the material. However, I don't feel that the student body is too intelligent (generally), so if you're pretty smart then you can easily shine. Grades are only curved if the average grade in the class falls below a C+. In this case, it's curved so that the average is a C+. Some professors will curve to a B+. I think there is big grade deflation early on, in the big weed out courses such as intro chemistry, calculus, and biology. Then grade inflation later on in the upper level courses. I'm not a fan of grade inflation, because it dilutes the achievement of the super smart. Penn State really needs to implement an A+ grade, being worth the same as an A on a 4.0 scale, but just for the distinction.

4th Year Male -- Class 2017
University Resource Use/ spending: A+, Individual Value: D+
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If you want theBrightUndecided
If you want the "college experience" of football and parties, then this place is for you. If you are looking for more intellectually stimulating people then go somewhere else. I'm transferring because I'm no longer into football and partying. Penn state pride is terrifying btw.
1st Year Male -- Class 2019
Campus Aesthetics: A, Individual Value: D
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If you are from a state other thanNot so brightBiology
If you are from a state other than PA, don't bother coming here.
It begins before freshman year even starts.
The dorms allows in state students to drop off their belongings and thusly claim the best part of the room for themselves while out of state students are given the left overs. These students drop off and then leave to go home.

Sure, out of state students can do the same thing but who can afford to drive up from Virginia, just to drop off a few measly belongings? All of this is done to screw your new roommate and this information is well known among in state students.

The out of state experience continues throughout your years here too. Many PA students come with a preset number of friends and exclude the out of state kids. It is worse than high school with the cliques. As an outgoing guy, I usually find it easy to make friends but too many PA residents make it very difficult to be included.

The academics are okay but non-native teachers are sometimes too difficult to understand. They become aggregated with constant requests to repeat what they are saying. I feel as if I am missing out on part of my education.

I feel that there are better schools that are equally fair to ALL students so I woulnt recommend it to anyone coming from a different state. I'm paying a higher rate to be given less as an out of state student.

1st Year Male -- Class 2019
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Individual Value: F
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