Penn State is a highly rated public college located in State College, Pennsylvania. It is a big institution with an enrollment of 39,321 undergraduate students. Admissions is fairly competitive as the Penn State acceptance rate is 56%. Popular majors include Information Science, Biology, and Economics. Graduating 85% of students, Penn State alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $40,100.
I took a few classes online at Penn State. Since I was a student athlete, I was away from campus a lot while competing, so online classes helped me stay engaged in school without missing class. Unfortunately, the online classes that I was eligible to take were classes such as general education art or music classes. These classes would have been more helpful if undergrads on campus were eligible to take online classes more specific to the major. I feel it would teach online and self learning in a much better way than to use online courses as a "filler" right now. That's how I feel students at University Park feel about online classes, that they are taken as easy credits to get good grades.
I loved Penn State and I loved being a student athlete there. I loved the flexibility with classes and especially being an athlete, it was great to have the study hall and perks that went with it since we were away from the classroom so much. I am grateful to them for helping me get through a lot.
On the other hand, retrospectively, I should have been more heavily encouraged to talk to an academic advisor about my class decisions and plan. The process to have a meeting with an advisor who worked with thousands of other students put me off, and I decided against using that resource while in school. I regret this and wish I had a more streamlined education with elective classes that support my interests. I think that there needs to be more staff when it comes to academic advising. There are a lot of students at Penn State, and to only have 5 academic advisors for the entire Liberal Arts Department makes it difficult to get an appointment.
I have taken multiple classes online, and while it differed from class to class, I'd say they were very well done. Some were just recorded lectures that you watched and then did the homework and exams, some were reading-based with work based off the readings, but all of them I still felt like they taught me the material just as well as if I'd taken the class in person.
Absolutely incredible four years here, I'd go back and do them all again if I could. The campus is beautiful, the surrounding city is cozy and welcoming, downtown is perfect and has so many options for anyone whether they have a car or not. The education you get from Penn State is unrivaled, and the investment made in the rest of your life can't be matched. There are hundreds if not thousands of clubs to join, an outstanding athletics program with highly successful teams to cheer on, and everyone wants you to succeed in whatever you've chosen to do. I've never made a better decision in my entire life than to go to Penn State. Literally the only downside is that housing, on and off campus, is very expensive compared to other parts of the country.