Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania


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Summer
What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I found out I was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, I remember running from our home office to the family room...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

When I found out I was accepted to the University of Pennsylvania, I remember running from our home office to the family room and practically leaping onto my parents’ laps. It was all I could do to contain myself while they got up from the couch to read the acceptance letter. Penn was my dream school, and only in my wildest dreams had I hoped I would be accepted. But in a few short weeks, as the euphoria wore off and I began to think about traveling across the country to a school I knew very little about beyond its prestigious reputation, I began to get apprehensive. I knew nothing about city life, nothing about the East Coast, and I was used to standing out for my academic achievements in my small high school. By the time I had packed to leave the fall of my freshman year, I was dreading it something fierce. However, I soon found out that, while Penn is a place of intense academic focus, it is also a place full of lovely and unique people from all over the world. I learn from my peers just as much as I learn from the classroom, and I find that students are surprisingly encouraging and willing to help each other when academics get tough. I began taking Arabic my first semester without ever having seen a written Arabic word, and while it has been the hardest subject I have studied at Penn, it has also been the most rewarding and the area in which I am able to see the most progress. Coming to Penn has been the best and most important decision of my life. The school is challenging, there is no doubt about that, but the opportunities we have are unbeatable. During my first semester, I heard from Philadelphia government officials, a foreign ambassador, and the director of the CIA, and I was only able to take advantage of a handful of the events and guest speakers available for learning beyond the classroom. Philadelphia is a charismatic and incredible city that I have grown to love for its unique neighborhoods and art-driven culture, and I have enjoyed living off campus and getting to know residents beyond the Penn bubble thanks to my church and other off campus activities. Overall, Penn has opened my eyes to a world beyond my small town life in the Midwest. I have gained friends I will have for a lifetime, I have learned how to live in small dorm rooms and old row houses, and every day I am getting to hear from professors who are the experts in their fields. As cheesy as it sounds, I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to go to Penn, and I know without a doubt that it was the right school for me.

Pooja
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The University of Pennsylvania is an amazing Ivy League University that strongly emphasizes the importance of academics. Howe...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The University of Pennsylvania is an amazing Ivy League University that strongly emphasizes the importance of academics. However, on top of the superb education, the school focuses on other aspects of students. There are a variety of student groups on campus, filled with the most passionate dancers, language-speakers, feminists, and more. The school is very politically oriented. It may be surprising to many how much of a focus partying is in the school. About 80%, if not more of the students regularly party, while managing to participate on clubs, and keep their grades up. Most students are extremely happy with their campus. I would definitely recommend considering this school as one to apply to. The campus is also beautiful.

Sarah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Looking back on my time at the University of Pennsylvania is bitter-sweet. My time spent at Penn was filled with social highs...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Looking back on my time at the University of Pennsylvania is bitter-sweet. My time spent at Penn was filled with social highs and academic lows. The students there are passionate, driven, and extremely intelligent. For the most part, everyone is extremely friendly and open but at the same time very focused on school. I truly felt like a little fish in a big pond, something I was not anticipating upon enrolling as a freshman. The most important thing I learned from Penn, though, is that you can't set your goals or measure your self-worth based on those around you. Each student at Penn is unique and to compare yourself to your peers at this institution is to set yourself up for failure. While I experienced some disappointment as an undergrad, I ultimately learned how to thrive on my own and what practices (socially and academically) were best for me. I am grateful to have attended this prestigious university and would not have traded it for a thing.

Catherine
UPenn

UPenn

Amanda
Penn

Great school

Penn

Great school

Brittany
Pleasantly surprised

As a first year at Penn, I honestly didn't know what to expect. The Ivy league stigma definitely exists here. Plenty of kids ...

Pleasantly surprised

As a first year at Penn, I honestly didn't know what to expect. The Ivy league stigma definitely exists here. Plenty of kids are smart, but there are also tons of rich kids from around the world. I feel like Penn is big enough so that you have a healthy variety of people. There's the artsy group, the nerdy group (go Penngineering!), the fratty group, etc. Besides the food, there really isn't anything disappointing about Penn. All in all, a very good top-tier school.

Malia
Best Decision I've Ever Mde

Coming to Penn was the best decision I could have made for myself. I remember a few years back when I was applying to college...

Best Decision I've Ever Mde

Coming to Penn was the best decision I could have made for myself. I remember a few years back when I was applying to colleges I read every Unigo review to help with my decision. In the end I don't remember why I chose Penn all I know is that I am so happy I did. I can honestly say that this campus has the perfect work/social life balance. If you like to work hard and play hard then this school is for you. There are always social events going on so it's easy to get distracted but if you learn how to prioritize you will end up having the time of your life here.

Sonali
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates were, honestly, either Pre-Med or Business students, and almost ubiquitously involved in Greek Life. They were ...

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates were, honestly, either Pre-Med or Business students, and almost ubiquitously involved in Greek Life. They were really friendly and enthusiastic when we worked in groups or got coffee or frozen yogurt, but it was hard to really connect with them because I was none of those three things: a Cognitive Science major that wanted to go into the film/documentary industry.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would strongly suggest going to a different school. I chose Penn because of the pressure in my high school to go to a prestigious college for validation and because it was the only Ivy League school I got into. I did no research into the social life/academic advising at Penn, and I honestly was not a good fit for Penn. I would tell myself that, over the next four years, I was going to find myself as a person, and be able to validate myself because of the difficulties in my family I would go through, and so I should go to a school that was going to make my life easier and more exciting, where I could make lasting friends who thought like me.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

How different I am from the rest of the Penn population-- where they are a little snooty about the reputation of Penn, I prided myself on being open-minded and understanding of the merits of all colleges, no matter their ranking!

Emily
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The amount of diversity Penn has, the strength of Wharton, its business school, and the location. I came into the application...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The amount of diversity Penn has, the strength of Wharton, its business school, and the location. I came into the application process knowing I wanted to attend an undergraduate business program so Wharton was at the top of the list. But Penn really comes together because it is right in the heart of the city, which really adds to the experience at the school.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

It's okay to be lost and it's okay not to be the best in everything you do. High school offers a very structured education system: take these classes and you'll graduate, and room to ascend to the top of the class in regards to academics and extracurricular activities. I knew what I was doing. But now in college, in a place where it's supposedly time to figure the rest of your life out, there are so many high stake decisions to be made. Don't be afraid of them. No matter how impressive others might seem, they are still floundering as well. We're all lost and trying to figure ourselves out. At the same time, with thousands of other high achievers, there will always be someone who is more assertive than you, who has a more impressive resume, who just understands economics better. Don't be afraid of them either. College is a time to learn and explore and without someone like that around, how are you supposed to grow? To gain attributes you like about them? In college, everyone is finding themselves so don't be afraid because you are not alone.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

The lack of diversity in regards to the business program, and how openly pro certain causes the school is due to the demographics of its students.

Kerry
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

My high school years were a dark time for me. I had grown up in a dysfunctional family, and the dysfunction was at its peak. ...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

My high school years were a dark time for me. I had grown up in a dysfunctional family, and the dysfunction was at its peak. I was living in a state of deep depression and anxiety. A lot of this anxiety was focused on what my future life would be like, and if things would ever get any better for me. While I wanted to go to college, I was so insecure and unsure of my own abilities that I doubted it was something that I had any chance of succeeding in. This insecurity led me to putting off college for four years while I worked miscellaneous jobs around my small home town. My advice to my younger self would be not to give up, and to trust that college is something that I can not only handle, but excel at. I would say that while attending college, I would meet people more accepting than I had imagined people could be, and that they would change my outlook of the world entirely. I would tell myself that there was a way out of the environment I was living in, and that there was hope for the future.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

The thing that I wish I knew before I started here was how important it was to get your time management worked out right out of the gate. As soon as classes begin, and you have your syllabi with the dates of your tests, what papers you will need to write, etc… Add all of these to your calendar and keep on top of them. Start studying for that test two weeks ahead of time, start that paper maybe even a bit earlier. The key is time management.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Penn is a school filled with hard working people trying to get the most out of their time here. The classes are difficult, and can give you a very large workload. While it can be intense, the campus also has a lot of fun things going on, so it’s not just stress 24/7. I would say that the only people who shouldn’t come here are people looking for a more laid back atmosphere, and wouldn’t enjoy the intense, fast pace of the school.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 11,525
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $45,890
  • Acceptance rate
  • 13%

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