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Guest Ms. Geology

State College, PA

158 posts in this topic

Hey Everyone,

I just finished undergrad at Penn State and know State College extremely well, and had friends that lived all over the area, and I myself lived downtown 2 out of my 4 years there. If any of you have specific questions about anywhere you're considering checking out or just about what PSU life is like in general, feel free to ask on here or message me!

Just as a general comment: most of the graduate students I am friends with at Penn State live farther off campus and have a car, or just take the bus in during the week. The farther off campus you go, the nicer the apartment, generally speaking. To be honest, I would suggest that you avoid living right down town near campus, as that is where all of the undergraduate students live, and Beaver Ave. and College Ave. tend to be fairly crazy places most nights of the week, and are basically insane on weekends (i.e. if you are not interested in hearing people screaming all night Thurs.-Sun. in your building and in the streets and finding half-eaten slices of pizza and other gross things in your stairwells and hallways, avoid the close to campus living options).

The absolute nicest off campus living area in my experience is The Retreat, but it's also more expensive than other options--the apartments there resemble town houses, most allow pets, you'll likely get your own room, there's a pool, little backyards, and things that you just would not otherwise have closer to campus. Park Forest is also a really nice area with townhouse-like apartments.

Another apartment option that is slightly closer and likely more affordable would be University Terrace. It's pretty far east from campus, but if you don't mind the walk it's not terrible, and you can certainly take a bus if you need to. A lot of undergraduates live out there, but I think it's at least slightly more tame than living in the middle of downtown. There are lots of houses on West College Ave., and if you can find a solid group of roommates to live with, that could be a decent option too. White Course Apartments is Penn State's "graduate and family housing" option, but I don't know much about it and never went there.

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I will be starting my PhD at Penn State in the fall.  Anyone else headed to State College? Looking for housing? 

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On March 14, 2017 at 4:45 PM, hantoo said:

Hey Everyone,

I just finished undergrad at Penn State and know State College extremely well, and had friends that lived all over the area, and I myself lived downtown 2 out of my 4 years there. If any of you have specific questions about anywhere you're considering checking out or just about what PSU life is like in general, feel free to ask on here or message me!

Just as a general comment: most of the graduate students I am friends with at Penn State live farther off campus and have a car, or just take the bus in during the week. The farther off campus you go, the nicer the apartment, generally speaking. To be honest, I would suggest that you avoid living right down town near campus, as that is where all of the undergraduate students live, and Beaver Ave. and College Ave. tend to be fairly crazy places most nights of the week, and are basically insane on weekends (i.e. if you are not interested in hearing people screaming all night Thurs.-Sun. in your building and in the streets and finding half-eaten slices of pizza and other gross things in your stairwells and hallways, avoid the close to campus living options).

The absolute nicest off campus living area in my experience is The Retreat, but it's also more expensive than other options--the apartments there resemble town houses, most allow pets, you'll likely get your own room, there's a pool, little backyards, and things that you just would not otherwise have closer to campus. Park Forest is also a really nice area with townhouse-like apartments.

Another apartment option that is slightly closer and likely more affordable would be University Terrace. It's pretty far east from campus, but if you don't mind the walk it's not terrible, and you can certainly take a bus if you need to. A lot of undergraduates live out there, but I think it's at least slightly more tame than living in the middle of downtown. There are lots of houses on West College Ave., and if you can find a solid group of roommates to live with, that could be a decent option too. White Course Apartments is Penn State's "graduate and family housing" option, but I don't know much about it and never went there.

This is a lot of great info, thank you! Do you have any knowledge/comments on Lion's Gate or Vairo Village? I've also been in contact with some people from ARPM but I see that they have a lot of not so hot reviews online. 

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2 hours ago, scarvesandcardigans said:

This is a lot of great info, thank you! Do you have any knowledge/comments on Lion's Gate or Vairo Village? I've also been in contact with some people from ARPM but I see that they have a lot of not so hot reviews online. 

You're welcome! Unfortunately I don't know too much about Lion's Gate and I don't think I have any friends who live/have lived there. I can say that Vairo Village, from what I've heard from students who lived there, is pretty nice, and it is certainly a pretty popular place to live for graduate students or people who just want to live farther away from campus and the chaos of downtown. It's accessible via the Cata bus service as well if you don't have a car/would prefer not to drive every day.

The apartment I lived in for 2 years was originally managed by the Apartment Store but transferred to management under ARPM halfway through my first year living there. I was not a big fan of ARPM because I felt the previous property managers were much nicer and MUCH more prompt when it came to maintenance issues. However, ARPM was certainly not terrible, and I actually lived next door to their main office in Beaver Terrace, so when I really needed something I just walked over and asked and they would handle it very quickly. Also, they have a more convenient process of handling security deposits, etc., which can make things much easier if you have roommates and/or if your roommates change year to year.

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I'm attending PSU starting in the Fall, and am in the process of looking for housing. I would like to live with a roommate to offset costs, but haven't really found many posts of people looking for roommates. When I moved into my current apartment (in Boston, MA), there were tons of posts of people looking for roommates to fill spots in existing situations, but that doesn't really seem to be the case in State College. Does anybody have any experience or advice for finding roommates? It seems like some realtors/property managers will match you up with roommates -- is that correct? Thanks in advance!

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Hey @othersamantha! There's a FB group for PSU housing that's actually pretty active, as well as a Free & For Sale group- both require PSU email validation to join, so they are populated only by students and community-members. Craigslist is also a really good option- it's used widely here, and is less sketchy than it can be in larger urban areas. Of course, use your best judgment, be careful, bring a friend to check places out (all the same apartment hunting tips as always apply), but lots of people post on CL looking to fill houses. Yes, it's true that some realtors and property managers will assist with roommate matching, but it's not usually about personality matching- mostly it's just about two people who need housing. Your mileage with that route may vary- if you have few needs when it comes to a living space, and require little of a potential housemate, it might work out well for you, but if you are particular about keeping the house clean, and hope that your roommate shares that trait, or some other similar kind of thing, use caution. Your department may know of students in the department or surrounding departments who are looking for housing, and could hook you up with contact information- that varies by department, for sure. Some are closer than others. Finally, the off-campus housing website through student affairs on the Penn State website has some listings- it's not great, but it's there, and worth looking through. Good luck!

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Hi friends! My partner has decided to move to State College in the fall and I am sticking my feelers out there for any potential leads for jobs. I can talk more privately about his skills but essentially he has multiple years of experience in home repair and construction, primarily, among other things. He's also looking to enroll again in school so anything part time or with flexible hours as well. Maybe not the best place to look but I'm putting it out there just in case. If anyone has any info please let me know! 

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Hello all, I am starting my doctorate at PSU in the fall. My husband and I bought a townhouse 10 mins drive from campus on CATA bus route. The only trick is, he has to stay in Philly this year while finishing his MBA. So, I am looking for a roommate/roommates from the end of Aug. through the end of next Aug. I will be at the house during the week, but in Philly on weekends. Currently, I'm thinking rent will be $500-$550 per bedroom (I am planning to rent out at least 1 and maybe 2 of the 3 bedrooms). If you or anyone you know are interested, please PM me. Thanks!

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