Philadelphia, PA
University of Pennsylvania

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

At Penn, I have learned that one's academic pursuit ultimately is an independent endeavor. The resources are all available, b...

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

At Penn, I have learned that one's academic pursuit ultimately is an independent endeavor. The resources are all available, but they aren't useful unless one goes out to find them. As a student on the medical career track, I feel well-equipped to succeed in medical school. Penn's balanced culture of academic, social, and extracurricular activities has helped me lead a balanced lifestyle. That was one of the main reasons that I wanted to go to Penn, for its balance, and I feel that I have become a more balanced person because of Penn.

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

It is important to do well on your AP exams in order to receive credit because Penn only honors top scores. Also, if majoring in a science, it is good to commit early because the course load is very stringent for science majors. I wish someone had told me to try challenging courses from freshman year. In hindsight, I think it's far more valuable to challenge oneself from the getgo rather than easing into the more challenging courses after freshman year.

Andi
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn has a university campus within a major city, and students spend more time exploring downtown Philly after exhausting Uni...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Penn has a university campus within a major city, and students spend more time exploring downtown Philly after exhausting University City's shopping, restaurants, and bars. Some undergrads also get internships downtown, especially communications majors (eg, with local tv stations, newspapers, magazines, pr firms).

Describe the students at your school.

The typical Penn student is white (or Asian), upper-middle class, and from a suburban public high school on the East or West coast of the US. Many people are on financial aid of some kind, including work-study. There is little to no socio-economic snobbery; Penn tuition is a substantial expense for all but a tiny number of students. The financial aid rules leave a window of well-to-do students who are ineligible for work-study but still short of cash, and many of them work in the cafeteria ("dining services"), which is a non work-study job. They include some foreign students who are absurdly wealthy in their home countries but work for spending-money during the school year.

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

Penn has two world-class hospitals on its campus (HUP and CHoP: Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia). This doesn't affect the lives of most Penn students, but for those of us who live with chronic health conditions it makes a huge difference to have help literally at our doorstep. I was diagnosed with a major condition during my second year at Penn. Thanks to HUP, I had top medical care and though I could have taken a leave of absence, having HUP on campus meant I could get the help I needed without missing a semester. The College worked with me to rearrange my course-load and contacted my professors to get extensions of deadlines and explain my absence from class. I graduated on time with honors and distinction in my major. Without HUP on campus and helpful administrators, I might not have survived, much less thrived academically and socially.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Patrially accurate, but with 10,000 undergrads there is room for every kind of person. I was part of a more intellectual group of performers and writers, and loved every minute.

What are the academics like at your school?

Penn's core requirement is a huge strength of the University. No specific classes are required, but even the most reluctant Engineering student will have to write academic papers, and left-brain Theatre Arts majors have to take math and science. Luckily, a wide variety of courses are available, so English majors don't have to duke it out with the pre-meds if they don't want to fight for a place on thre curve. I took a psychology class and a course in linguistics, and loved both. Everyone has to take a foreign language or pass a proficiency test. I can't speak for Wharton, Engineering, or Nursing students, but I found my professors very accessible and easy to approach. Because I went to office hours and took multiple classes with my favorite professors, I had no trouble getting letters of recommendation for graduate school, even though I asked for them several years after college graduation.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Penn's large size means that just about everyone finds a group of friends easily. Many people become close with the friends they make in the dorms during the first weeks of school Freshman year, and those who don't like their hall-mates will meet their social group through extra-curriculars and student clubs. The trick is that you have to seek these groups out, and be willing to spend time at Hillel, the Writer's House, the Newman Center, or whatever extra-curricular "second home" interests you. There are plenty of students at Penn who don't drink alcohol, but people who are offended by the thought or sight of people who drink might feel uncomfortable living on campus.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Pre-professional; Rich; East Coast; work hard/play hard; competitive/cut-throat;

Tara
Describe the students at your school.

My peers at the University of Pennsylvania inspired me to think creatively and challenge everything I thought and knew; each ...

Describe the students at your school.

My peers at the University of Pennsylvania inspired me to think creatively and challenge everything I thought and knew; each person I met was unique and I learned a little bit from each person. It was like opening a giant box of crayons and seeing all of the different colors, each one brighter than the last. It was intimidating, at times.

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

My college experience was a unique, though not ideal, one. The most valuable thing I learned was to persevere and to believe in myself. During my freshman year, I was diagnosed with a rare disorder that required a Bone Marrow Transplant, resulting in a two year medical leave. My medical complications created a seemingly insurmountable challenge. It was difficult for me because I had been looking forward to attending college for so long, and I hated that once I was there, it would be interrupted. I was also afraid that I wouldn't be able to go back. I did get through my medical issues and I returned to school in what would have been my senior year. It was hard to see all of my friends graduate, but I soon realized that I could still do it, despite lingering health concerns. I had made it this far, so I continued to push. I wanted to get everything I could out of my college experience. I studied, I socialized and I pursued my interests. I learned that no matter how difficult a challenge might be, I would only have to push harder and I would achieve my goals.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

The University of Pennsylvania is not a place for the apathetic and lazy student. There is so much to learn and so many opportunities, a person attending this school should be ambitious and hungry for new experiences.

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

I have gotten reassurance in my lifes path. I have finally got to indulge myself with people who have the same interests and...

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

I have gotten reassurance in my lifes path. I have finally got to indulge myself with people who have the same interests and not always the same beliefs. But its from those people i have learned new perspectives and outlooks on life. I'm pursuing a career in teaching at the grammer school level. it has been valuable attending college because i can see my dreams becoming a reality. Every semester that passes i feel that I am one step closer in completing my goal of becoming a teacher. My drive and determination of becoming a teacher pushes me harder and harder with each new semester. Knowledge is king.

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

My college experience has been very interesting. I am currently enrolled at Lincoln University in PA. When I first arrived on...

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

My college experience has been very interesting. I am currently enrolled at Lincoln University in PA. When I first arrived on campus, I didn't know what to expect. I wasnt sure if I was going to adapt to this big change, especially with me being so far away from home. It is now my 2nd semester of my freshman year and I've realized that I have already changed drastically. What I have gained from college is a sense of accomplishment that I have never felt before, confidence in myself and work, and admiration from my family and others. I've learned to adapt to diffrent environments and situations, and to make desicions based on my own beliefs and morals. I've gained an understanding of myself, and is being introduced to a new part of me everyday. Its has been valuable to attend this school because I've realized that I am blessed to have an opportunity, to advance exceedingly beyound boundaries that I've always been too afraid to overcome. I've learned that good things do happen to people like me, and to value my life and opportunity to shine!! :)

What's unique about your campus?

The best thing about Lincoln University is there is a lot of diffrent people from many diffrent places.

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

The worst thing about Lincoln University, is the cafeteria food and the fact that everything is so dar aprat. The closet supermarket is miles away!!!!

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

My school has all of its academic departments, graduate and undergraduate, in one campus setting. This enables me, as an unde...

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

My school has all of its academic departments, graduate and undergraduate, in one campus setting. This enables me, as an undergraduate, to have walking distance access to all of the various graduate and undergraduate departments and classes, without taking a shuttle or commuter vehicle to certain departments such as the School of Medicine. My campus is extremely diverse, with numerous international students, and even a residential program called Living Cultures in my college house. Also, my school has numerous opportunities to acquire preprofessional experience, through schools such as Wharton and the Nursing school.

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

I have not only been able to refine my academic study strategies, but also I have learned so many essential life-skills such as doing laundry, buying groceries for myself on a weekly basis, as well as maintaining and cleaning my dormitory room on a regular basis. So far, I have met so many people from various ethnic backgrounds who have so many experiences and talents to offer. Not only are the students excellent in numerous fields, the professors also are so willing to help and share their knowledge with me about their field of study. It has been valuable for me to attend, as I have gained so many important skills that will help me later on in life, as I aspire to become a researching medical physician. I have been able to involve myself in organizations that provide public health service to countries around the world, including Peru and even my country of heritage, Sri Lanka. I have also been able to collaborate with wonderful musicians from across the globe, such as the Netherlands and Austria, and grow in my musical passion. My interest in academics has only skyrocketed, and I look forward to exploring more academic fields.

What kind of person should attend this school?

A person who values being well-rounded should attend this school, as Penn is located in the heart of the West Philadelphia community. As a result, there are numerous opportunities for a student to give back to campus, thus having a keen interest in community service and volunteersim is essential. Furthermore, there are so many interdisciplinary majors and classes available, thus this student should be interested in multiple disciplines and curious enough to explore new academic fields. Also, this student should have a strong ambition to excel in all aspects of life, in being a leader to excelling in academics.

Julio
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

The University of Pennsylvania is best known as the first university in the United States. The University of Pennsylvania tra...

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

The University of Pennsylvania is best known as the first university in the United States. The University of Pennsylvania traces its origins to 1740, when a trust was formed to establish the Charity School of Philadelphia. In 1749, Benjamin Franklin proposed a radical new curriculm be taught, one that is now known as the first modern liberal arts curriculm. It is also known as the home of the first medical school in America. Since its inception, the University of Pennsylvania has produced 23 Nobel laureates and countless graduates.

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

College is not only a central point of intellectual growth in the tradition sense, but a beacon of worldly knowledge. The college experience is comprised of its students and he or she's experiences in life. During college, students are able to easily interact with other students from many different background, cultures, and ethniticies. This promotes the diffusion of knowledge, or the acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation. One's college years also present one with the able to grow individually, seperate from one's guardians.

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

I boast mostly of its recognition as an Ivy League member and that the University of Pennsylvania is home to the first medical school in the United States.

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

Take a look around you. What do you see? Your room, your current friends and classmates? Now think bigger, outside of your h...

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

Take a look around you. What do you see? Your room, your current friends and classmates? Now think bigger, outside of your home, your school, your city, or even country. In college, I have been able to meet so many amazing people from all over the entire world. They each have their own unique experiences to share and have really helped broaden my perspective. The places we come from all have their own cultures and only through meeting others and sharing our cultures with them while learning about theirs can we truly learn and live.

What's unique about your campus?

The best thing is the social aspect of the school. Even though UPenn is an Ivy League school, very few people just sit in their rooms all day and study; most people are really friendly and social, so making friends is a breeze.

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

The worst thing about my university is that only about 2/3 of students get housing on campus.

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

One year into my college career, a swelling is growing inside. A sense that's immense, of something much greater, of words an...

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

One year into my college career, a swelling is growing inside. A sense that's immense, of something much greater, of words and ideas all echoing close and intense. I've learned new confidence, fed by practiced competence, and a wakening awareness of something--many things--more. For when I was a child, the kind who rarely smiled, such expansive futures were not to be--not for me. For I came from a place not so much full of grace, but of an empty, a doom and a dreary tomorrow or two. Onto the campus I stepped with much fear, my heart thumping hard and afraid! And the sun lit up bright, showed me all would be right, just a little effort be made. I found new ways to open, new ways to see, new ideas to think on--and a new, better me. So class by class, I've gained a new sense of ID-of loved and unknown ones, all part and parcel of me. Such values as these are rarely expressed, for it seems so unfair, to have their meanings compressed; but assured may you rest that what I've gained from college is the quintessentially best.

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

Aside from graduating with the skills I need to start a promising and fulfilling career as a nurse, one of the most importan...

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

Aside from graduating with the skills I need to start a promising and fulfilling career as a nurse, one of the most important things I got to do in college was to learn a lot about myself. The stress of juggling classes, work, and extra-curricular activites taught me how to handle a busy schedule. I learned how satisfying it can be to set goals and then work hard to achieve them. I also met wonderful, inspiring people who started out as my classmates but ended up as my close friends; these relationships continue to inspire me, long after we tossed our graduation caps into the air. All of the late nights and hard work were worth it because they helped me become the person I am today!

What's unique about your campus?

I loved being in class with students who were as passionate about their education as I am.

What kind of person should attend this school?

Students who are driven to succeed will do well at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as students who are inspired by the success of their peers but confident in their own abilities at the same time.

Details

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

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