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Sara
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The student body is really diverse so it's hard to pin down a stereotype of all students when I think about UPenn. There are ...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The student body is really diverse so it's hard to pin down a stereotype of all students when I think about UPenn. There are a lot of Jews, if anything, and Asians, but you can't tell apart the frat boys from the nerds because we're all nerds.

Gionni
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love my school. Going to Penn is actually one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone is smart. Plain and simple. ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I love my school. Going to Penn is actually one of the best decisions I have ever made. Everyone is smart. Plain and simple. But not only are they smart, they're hard-working and actually doing exciting things. I just completed sophomore year. My friends and I are already making amazing things happen. This summer, I am going to study and travel in Argentina and Chile. I have friends that are working on cancer research, managing housing services on campus, travelling to France, working in bio labs, starting their first businesses, and working for nonprofit organizations. They're amazing. One of the most fun parts of going to school there is discovering the things people either have done or are planning to do. It's not about how smart they sound when they talk to you on the way to class... We talk about parties and movies and books like everyone else. It's about realizing that your friend is the Girls State Chess Champ or won national titles playing tennis. The people at Penn are amazing. That being said... if you're looking for constant recognition from others outside of the Ivy League you won't necessarily find it going to Penn. Very few people actually know what (or where) the school is. They all just say "Oh, that's nice." No one is going to gasp or "ooohhhhh" and "aaahhhh" like they will if you tell them you're going to Harvard. If that's the sort of thing you're looking for, you should look elsewhere. Among scholars and those who went to Ivy Leagues, it is well known. That's always a running joke with students. Everyone will think you go to Penn State.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are so many groups on campus. It's overwhelming how many options a person has. I've been involved a lot with the Latino community on campus. La Casa Latina is a cultural center for the Latino kids on campus. It's great because it creates a sense of community and introduces us to one another. Through La Casa, I joined the Mentorship Pathways Program which paired me with a senior English major. We went to several programs about resumes, maximizing study times, bowling, and a play. It was great. I also joined the Penn Latin and Ballroom Dance team. I had so much fun on the team. I learned Cha-cha, Rumba, Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Samba, and others. It was a lot of fun. I plan on joining Onda Latina in the future. It's a dance team that performs as a show.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics vary greatly depending on the classes you take. I am an English major with a minor in Spanish and Fine Arts. All of my classes are small. All of my teachers know my name. I've had lunch with them or eaten dinner at their houses. My first big lecture class was taken to fulfill a requirement. It's the only class I've taken with more than 50 students in it. The majority of my classes range from 12-30. In my small classes, participation is very important. The classes are difficult. Even in a difficult school like Penn, some kids will always just skate by. Some people are just born so intelligently gifted that they face few challenges. I'm not one of those people. I do well but I work hard to do so. I spend a lot of time studying/reading/doing homework--hours per day but it's worth it. You won't find an experience like this in many other places.

Jessie
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotype is that Wharton students are competitive and cutthroat, the Nursing kids have it too easy, the College of Arts...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

The stereotype is that Wharton students are competitive and cutthroat, the Nursing kids have it too easy, the College of Arts and Sciences Kids are too lax, and the engineering kids have it rough and have no lives.

Max
Why did you decide to go to this school?

I knew that I wanted to be in a city, so I considered schools such as Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown, and University of C...

Why did you decide to go to this school?

I knew that I wanted to be in a city, so I considered schools such as Harvard, Columbia, NYU, Georgetown, and University of Chicago. I visited all of these schools, knowing that the academics at all of these institutions were top notch, I decided to pick on other merits. After visiting all of these schools, Penn and Columbia had the kind of urban environments I was looking for. The thing that really swung it Penn's way was the social life. Penn has both an on-campus and off-campus social life centered around the Greek community, which Columbia lacks. Philadelphia was also a much more manageable city that New York, and seemed like a more moderate step-up from my hometown of Baltimore.

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

Study what you're passioante about. The money will come.

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

Study what you're passioante about. The money will come.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

It's an amazing school, but extremely professionally oriented. Not a lot of room for exploration.

Nkenge
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, I find my school to be a great environment for college students. The University of Pennsylvania academically is one ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, I find my school to be a great environment for college students. The University of Pennsylvania academically is one of the best schools in the world, but unlike its Ivy League counterparts it has and is known for its strong social culture. This makes for the work hard, play hard attitude that so many of its students have. Many top tier schools have strong perceptions as being overly stressful and too work oriented. At Penn, we pride ourselves on having a strong work-life or school-fun balance. Also, the location is great as well. Penn is located in Philadelphia, but the school has its own campus, which many colleges in cities do not. So, if you are looking for the city life, you can walk just a few blocks off campus and be in the heart of Philly. But, if you prefer a traditional campus and college community, Penn offers that as well.

Brenda
What are the academics like at your school?

For the big lectures, it's really hard for the professors to know your name - unless you're always at their office hours. The...

What are the academics like at your school?

For the big lectures, it's really hard for the professors to know your name - unless you're always at their office hours. The professors definitely know you by name and more in the smaller classes though. Before coming to Penn, I thought I prefer big lectures, but I definitely prefer smaller classes now. It's also a lot easier to meet others in a small class. With smaller classes though, of the classes I've taken so far, participation is a huge factor in final grades. Sometimes it can make up to 20% of your final grade. Professors not only expect you to come to every class, but contribute to class discussion. Speaking for the College, everyone is really nice and willing to help one another. No one's really out to get one another.

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

People tend to think that Penn has a lot of rich, snobby white folks. Though there are a number on campus, the majority of students are very nice. Penn is also considered the "social ivy" and that is definitely true. Everyone works hard, but they definitely know how to go out and have fun at the same time.

Qianna
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Penn is a virtual hotbed of over-achievers, so you better bring your A-game.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Penn is a virtual hotbed of over-achievers, so you better bring your A-game.

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

If I could go back in time to my senior year in high school, I would have one message to convey: time management is the key to success. While in college, it felt as if there was never enough time to get anything done. Never enough time for homework. Never enough time to properly train for the track and field season. Never enough time to get to my part-time job. Looking back, I realize that the real problem was that there was far too much time, and a good deal of it was squandered over-sleeping, watching my favorite television shows or spending far too many hours in online collegiate chat rooms. I would go back and tell myself to make sure I got to class on time, but also make sure I get in a good night's rest, allocate at least 4 hours a day to either studying, homework or both, and that it's okay to have a good time but you have to pace yourself. I'd tell myself that my college years are going to be some of the best years of my life, so make sure to make every second count.

What kind of person should attend this school?

The University of Pennsylvania has a well-earned reputation for being very academically competitive. Thus it is best suited for very driven students with a good work ethic. There is a good amount of diversity among the student body, however I'd like to see attendees who are more willing to think outside the box and bring fresher ideas into the classrooms.

Luis
What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

I think most stereotypes, if any, that you'll find at a school like UPenn exists primarily within the Greek community. There ...

What is the stereotype of students at your school? Is this stereotype accurate?

I think most stereotypes, if any, that you'll find at a school like UPenn exists primarily within the Greek community. There are certain fraternities and sororities that have developed reputations and seem to recruit students who fit that mold. For example, Delta Upsilon is often cited as the fraternity with the highest collective GPA on campus, recruiting ITAs (Information Technology Advisors) and Asian nerds. While this may not always be true, there seems to be a "type" of person that typically joins this fraternity. Futhermore, aside from stereotypes, UPenn is organized according to social circles. These circles are developed by people who all share a common interest. Whether its the Penn Democrats or the Latino Coalition, there is a support group for all types of people and a good chance that you'll meet someone just like you. Each circle elects its own leaders and these individuals act as representatives of these communities to higher university officials. This does not mean you are automatically placed within a specific group of people, however. It is very easy to navigate across social environments. There is room for everyone and anyone.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The most popular organization would have to be the Undergraduate Assembly. A group that I am involved with is the Society for Pre-Law Students of Color. We are hosting a conference next week (see tinyurl.com/RPAC2012 for more details). Students do not leave dorms open, typically. There are horror stories of thefts and no one wants to risk something being stolen. In smaller dorms, however, the culture may be a little different depending on the level of trust among hall mates. There is really good security everywhere as well. Athletic events are pretty popular, and there are a select few games that are promoted heavily, with free tickets given out on Locust Walk. Guest speakers come all the time, and shows presenting comedians and other artists are regularly planned as well. The dating scene is what you make of it. There are plenty of fish in the sea. I met my closest friends during my first year and continue to make friends now. when you live with a person you really get to know them. If I am awake at 2 AM on a Tuesday I am probably doing work that I procrastinated on. As with any college, people party all the time, but the majority of parties happen on the weekends. Fraternities and sororities are not that important. Only about 30% of the students here go greek, so don't feel any pressure to do so. Last weekend, I spent time with my girlfriend and went to North Philly to eat at an authentic Puerto Rican restaurant. You can do so much on a Saturday night that doesn't involve drinking: you can go to the Rave theater on 40th and Walnut, go out to dinner or bowling in Center City, or plan a trip to Penn's Landing to catch some fireworks. There is a lot of exploring to do. I live off campus so I have become a member of the greater Philadelphia community.

Details

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

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