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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 are a suburban white kid fromQuite BrightCommunications
If you are a suburban white kid from "Outside Philly" who plans on either going Greek or staying in your high school clique and only focusing on partying than this is definitely the place for you. If not, than I'd look somewhere else. I'm very extroverted/sociable yet most of the people here aren't looking for new friends. Also, a lot of the students can only talk about partying. I like going out on weekends, but I also like having meaningful conversations with people, which rarely happens here. The academics here are very good but that doesn't make up for the people you are stuck here with. In conclusion, when picking a college make sure that you like the people there, because at a place like this you will be stuck with them in the middle of nowhere for four years.
1st Year Male -- Class 2019
Perceived Campus Safety: A+, Friendliness: F
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Not so bright
It's called Penis State for a reason, one of the major centers for the pedophiles.
1st Year Female -- Class 2019
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Compare Penn State/PSUSave Penn State/PSU

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