Philadelphia, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 920 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Student

Greek Life: Social Life With the Greeks – Greek life is quite enormous on Penn's campus, but it does not affect the social life on campus because there are many other activities in which students participate. Greek students are viewed as, groups that want to enjoy life on and off campus. There is plenty of Greek housing available in the University City area. Most of the Greek houses are beautiful four bedroom stone houses, which are close to campus

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Very Unique Majors, and Very Bright Students – Majors like Biological Basis of Behavior, Sealth and Societies, the Vagelos program and the Huntsman program are very unique to Penn and great opportunities. The students are incredibly smart and engaged.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: Sports Are Fun but Not Central – There is a good amount of support for sports teams, and there are lots of great traditions.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Housing Is Not Guaranteed – Many students are unable to get on campus housing, and need to go off campus. Often these houses are very nice, but having a whole year lease is a pain.

5 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: Best 4 Years Ever! I had a fabulous time at UPenn! I was very happy with the academics, research opportunities, extra-curricular activities, and student life in general. The administration really listens to students and responds to their wants and needs. I was able to find my niche in the performing arts community (theater and dance), but felt at home in professional student groups and just hanging out around campus. I'd choose it again in a heartbeat!

2 people found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: Guys Look Better Than Girls – On average, just walking around campus, you'll notice that guys tend to be better looking than girls, but there's still plenty to look forward to. There's a wide variety of backgrounds and interests, so you'll be able to find someone you'd like to date whether you're artsy, sporty, geeky, or all about high-rollin'.

3 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Local Atmosphere: Supermanageable City – Philadelphia has all the benefits of a big city in a manageable size. The areas of University City, Center City, and Old City are all very walkable, with easy subway and bus access. The city offers great restaurants, including a bounty of BYOBs, as well as great cultural activities at places like the Kimmel Center and Theater District. For history buffs, Philadelphia has few cities that compare, with many "firsts" of the U.S. and of course, the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It would be nice if it was easier to get to areas like South Philly, which offer a great neighborhood vibe and different aspect of the city culture.

4 College Freshman

Computers: The computers labs are campus are really nice and have new Windows 7 pcs with i7 processors. Sometimes the Van Pelt labs get crowded, but the labs at Huntsman are always open. There's also a few places with macs if you'd prefer that. The wireless is usually pretty fast, it just sometimes gets slow inside my room.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: A Wide Variety of Dining Options to Choose from – There are a lot of different kinds of restaurants: Mexican, Japanese, Indian, Chinese...I certainly was not disappointed. Many healthy options are available, if you're into that (and many not-so-healthy items-if you're into that). Of course, there's always Wawa for those late-night drunken escapades.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Snowing a Lot This Year – roads & pathways are cleared of snow although off street parking is not around campus.

4 College Junior

Nightlife: Work Hard, Play Harder – Penn truly lives up to its reputation of being the "social ivy." Students go out almost all nights of the week frequenting bars on campus, frat parties, house parties, or events downtown. Downtown events require taking a cab or SEPTA while all other events are reached by walking.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Computers: All Penn students that I know have their own personal computer. However, there are a great number of computers available for use in all libraries with easy printing ability. Wifi on campus is fast and reliable--it can even be accessed from some off-campus buildings.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Weather: The beginning of the semester is mostly comfortable and sunny, especially when you bask in the sun while travelling from buildings. But it gets windy and chilly during December. Didn't experience enough snow to miss class or cancel class.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Food Trucks – ... heard that their foods smell and taste very delicious and that most are around campus noontime, which makes it very convenient and tempting.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Living in College as a Freshmen Commuter – Living in Philadelphia for most of my life, I rarely walk outside by myself because of stories of robberies and violence happening. But when walking on campus at night is very similar to Broad St (street of the arts) where lights and cars go by. Architecture rules on campus and around University City with the Philadelphia art museum and Center City.

4 College Junior

Greek Life: After Spring Rush is over, about 30% of the campus is a member of the Greek community. An overwhelming majority of parties at UPenn are hosted at fraternity houses and the Office of Frat and Sorority Affairs is one of the largest in the country. There are over 30 fraternities (including the multicultural frats/sororities) and 9 sororities now.

4 College Junior

Diversity: Penn's campus is remarkably diverse. Greek Life and Athletics are as diverse as the rest of campus. Rated #1 LGBT-friendly campus and with one of the number one Jewish student centers in the country, Penn is very accepting and accommodating of all people.

4 College Junior

Scholarships: Nice and Easy – The process is straightforward enough. In general, it all depends on how much effort you are willing to put into it. But, the school is relatively generous with scholarships and loans.

5 College Junior

Transportation: There are buses and shuttles around the clock. The subway also stops right at the school. Campus security can even escort people home. The only thing is, Parking is essentially non-existent. If you have a car, you will have a difficult time. I simply don't drive to school. The public transportation is so good, that you honestly don't need a car. Your'e in the middle of Philadelphia.

5 College Junior

Guys & Girls: Lots of Interesting People – A very interesting mix of people. Many beautiful girls. A roughly 25% Jewish population. Lots of intellectual types. Pretty much all cultural sterotypes are represented here.

6 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Scholarships: They Really Do Try Their Best – The Ivy League has adopted a policy where they cover all of your demonstrated need, its the "no-loan" policy. However, in my case, what the FASFA said i could afford, and what my family actually could afford did not match up.Thus I had to visit the financial aid office multiple times. They school does try its best to find aid to cover you.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: You're Grown So Live Your Life – The University of Pennsylvania is not strict at all. They understand that we are all young adults that need to take responsibility for our own actions. Even if a freshmen gets too drunk and needs to be admitted to a hospital, they have a program where the student won't get into any trouble, just because they were responsible enough to get help. UPenn trusts its students to make the right decisions at all times!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: There Are So Many Resources Available to the Students – I am in the Wharton School of Business. At an Ivy League institution alone, one expects everything to be top-notch. However, this school far exceeded my expectations. The professors are great, the food is great and there are so many resources available to the students. There is really no reason why any person would not succeed in a great place like Penn!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Penn is amazing. I absolutely love college life. Classes are stimulating and challenging, but it doesn't effect one's social life. Penn students like to work hard and party harder.

2 College Freshman

Parking: It can be incredibly hard to find a parking space on campus, however, there's almost no need for a car as a student. Because the campus is in a city with good public transportation, I rarely wish I had a car. The only times I would want a car are to go downtown on weekends, but it's probably better that I don't have one...


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Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad Outside of the Quad So pretty!
Photo by annieshin

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Perry Petra-Wong
Pasadena, Calif.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
View all previous student authors

Students seem to be extremely content and do not regret their decision to come to Penn, even though the school definitely has a pre-professional feel. Despite this fact, it is extremely common to find yourself in an intellectual conversation, and the students really do work hard, while remembering that college is about fun as well. The opportunities provided at Penn are astounding; in fact there is almost too much to do. Most students base the reasons for their happiness around the people, the academics, the urban environment, and the endless opportunities. People who enjoy their experience at Penn tend to appreciate city life, socializing, and a busy schedule. Usually, students do not hesitate to endorse Penn, and many feel that everyone should love the school as much as they do.

Many adults call their years as an undergraduate the best four years of their lives. Penn students certainly can not make that prediction so soon, but most would agree that their time at Penn has been the best years of their life so far. Obviously, Penn is not the school for everyone, but the student body consists of interesting, intelligent, and well-rounded people, which creates a stimulating and fun environment for most. If you come to Penn, I can almost guarantee that you will meet fascinating people, find something to be passionate about, and enjoy the benefits of living in a vibrant city. You can also feel confident that an education from Penn will prepare you for what lies beyond your undergraduate years. The Penn Overall Experience is defined by the combination of the rich history and academic rigor of an Ivy League school and the school spirit and propensity for socializing of many other schools. This "work hard, play hard" mentality is what many Quakers, and prospective Quakers, find so appealing.

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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