Choosing between UNH/Penn State Scranton

Hi! Hope everyone is doing well. This is a “help me decide” thread –– I applied to 11 colleges and only got into 2 –– Penn State Scranton and UNH –– and am trying to decide which to attend. (I’m waiting on decisions from 4 schools, but got rejected from the other 5 && odds are not looking good for the ones I’m waiting on.) I know that there probably aren’t many people who know enough about both Penn State Scranton and UNH to give advice on the decision, especially since Penn State Scranton is such a small school; however, if you are one of those people, I would really, really appreciate advice. Does anyone know anything about the pros/cons of each school? I’m looking for literally any information on how these two compare –– socially, academically, in terms of the entire college experience, in terms of job placement/internships, etc. I’m feeling very 50/50 on the decision, and any information would be extremely helpful.

Other info –– I’m planning to be an English major (goal is to work in the publishing field). However, I’m also thinking about Spanish/International Business, but I’m not 100% sold on any major/career path yet.

In sum –– my two college options are Penn State Scranton and UNH. Which do I pick? What do I do?

Thanks so much!

What are you looking to major in? Is one in state for you?

Thanks for the reply!! I’m leaning most strongly towards an English major, but that could change. UNH is in-state for me, but my whole family lives in PA, hence the Penn State application.

Gotcha. I went to UNH (on a medical leave right now) and I enjoy it! I can’t speak to Scranton though. @Pathnottaken also has a child at UNH, so we should be able to answer any specific questions you might have!

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Penn State Scranton is extremely small. Some community colleges are larger. My son was accepted there three years ago as part of Penn State’s 2+2 program for aerospace engineering. After two years he would then go to University Park (main campus). As an OOS student it was not worth it, declined the offer, and had better options. The school doesn’t even have housing. You would have to rent off campus. If you are looking for a college experience then perhaps UNH is a better option or if you want a Penn State education then request to be reconsidered for a larger Penn State Commonwealth Campus like Hazleton or Abington or others like Altoona or Harrisburg. Good luck!


It has been a tough year for acceptances, but you have a great option in-state. I know that college bound students sometimes want to get away, but UNH is big enough to find a new path if you want to and over 50% and of students are out of state. (S19 is at a similar sized college in our state and rarely sees anyone he went to HS with unless they make plans to meet up.)

Since you have a variety of majors and careers you may be interested in, UNH will give you more options with far more majors and opportunities. UPenn Scranton offers 2+2 options for many majors where you would transfer somewhere else after two years.

The day to day college experience would have a very different feel. UPenn Scranton is a very small commuter school while UNH has 30+ dorms on campus and housing all around town.

UNH’s English Dept has a great reputation and they keep the class sizes small. The Business school is well funded and has great opportunities.

UNH has far more student groups and activities compared to UPenn Scranton. As they have transitioned out of Covid protocols there have been more and more activities taking place on campus. The Amtrak station on campus gets you to Boston or Portland if you want a change of scenery on the weekend.

Remember, you can also study abroad or in the National Campus exchange for a semester or a year. With your interest in Spanish, this can be an excellent opportunity.

(Of note, beyond the obvious “Office” references about Scranton, they are home to the most northern Waffle House franchise. AKA - the closest one to UNH…)

You can message me with any specific questions. D21 has been very happy with her decision. Great support from staff and professors. Smaller class sizes than her peers at public and private schools. Unlimited research opportunities for undergrads if you want them.


Is there a difference in cost? Would you need to take on debt to attend either of them?

We visited the UNH campus several times for a variety of reasons, and it is a very attractive campus. It looks like quite a good choice to me. I am not however familiar with Penn State Scranton.

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