Philadelphia, PA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1007 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Ivy League in a Lively City – Although some students are too "scared" of West Philly horror stories or decide to not take advantage of the Philly area, Philadelphia is an awesome place to live. Whenever you get bored of campus, there's always something to do in Philadelphia. Tons of restaurants, Old City has a great night life, Center City has tons of shopping, Fitler's Square and the Schuykill River Park have a family-oriented, clean environment. There's literally endless possibilities. Philadelphia is a young city, filled with creative people.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: It's easy to get anywhere on campus by walking. SEPTA is the best option for travel into Center City.

5 College Freshman

Diversity: Penn is definitely one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. There are students of every ethnicity, religion, political view, and sexual orientation. Everyone is accepting of everyone else.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Campus Living – I really enjoy living on Campus at UPenn. The atmosphere is quite social and everyone makes friends really easily. The dorm rooms are a bit small in the Quad, and the shared bathrooms are a pain, but overall the environment is very friendly and healthy.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Parking: If You Really Want It, but No Need – Very few people have cars on campus. There's just no need for them. But if you really want to get a car for school, then Penn will let you park in the garage at 40th and Walnut, and there's pretty much always spaces from what I understand, but it's pretty far away from the center of campus.

4 College Freshman

Scholarships: Compared with other schools, Penn gave me a pretty competitive offer, and the process has all been pretty straightforward. Any times I had questions, I had no problems getting them answered.
And when I explained my circumstances, they were able to look and find a couple extra thousand dollars when I appealed the original offer. Very much appreciated!

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Weather: It's Never Sunny in Philadelphia ... . It rains a lot here. Much more than I realized it would.
Even so though, it also hasn't been as cold as I expected, and when it's nice outside, it really is pretty nice.
The weather's also pretty icky at the end of summer when it's still pretty warm and humid, if you don't have any AC in your dorm.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Very Good Campus Computing – I am a freshman and have been able to get by so far this year without a laptop. I am only one of a few, and it often does get to be a hassle sometimes not having my own computer; however, it's definitely doable. There are 24/7 computer labs in all of the college houses. There are also computers available at different libraries around campus. Printing is not free, but if you are in desperate need for free printing at some time, you can always go to the Arch building. I've heard that the WiFi reliability isn't always that great, though.

4 College Freshman

Weather: Much Better Than What I Expected – It is actually not as cold as people said. This year, the temperature is still higher than 32 Fahrenheit in December. However, it is very dry here.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Not a Problem at All – Never really encounter any one who uses drug for a long time. Penn is an Ivy League school. People really care about themselves.

4 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: At Upenn, there are many cultures represented, but none so much as an American urban class. People pay a lot of attention to their looks, almost too much so. Most girls you meet are attractive and know how to have fun, while most of the boys try to look cool and collegiate.

6 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: Finding off-campus housing is not that hard in Philadelphia; in fact most upperclassmen choose to live off campus. However, it can be expensive, though not as much as in other major cities.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Highly Competitive – At the University of Pennsylvania, I am in the College of Arts and Sciences, and so far I am satisfied with my choice. Upenn has high standards for academics and most people there are extremely intelligent. Professors are very helpful, but only if you reach out to them for help-if you stay in the background it is easy to fade into anonymity. All of the professors are highly accomplished in their fields, and the quality of the education is superb.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: Dorms Are Bleh, Everything Else Is Great – The gym is huge, the libraries are fantastic and have a 24-hour reading room, and if you forget your laptop, you can find a computer pretty much anywhere.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: High Rises – The High Rises are great for upperclassmen who want a kitchen and bathroom but still want to live on campus.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: 40Th Street – There are a ton of off-campus places to eat on 40th street between Locust and Walnut and on Walnut between 39th and 40th.

3 College Sophomore

Computers: Wireless is good but for the computer labs in individual schools you can only log on if you are a student in that undergraduate school

4 College Junior

Facilities: Incredible Opportunities and Great Diversity - Almost Anyone Would Fit in – There are so many networking opportunities, incredible research opportunities, and great on-campus recruitment (OCR). We have astounding professors who do or have done amazing work. The student body is ridiculously diverse - pretty much anyone could fit in here. I've never been in a more diverse place, whether it's personality, religion, race, nationality, social scene, sexual orientation, etc. However the pre-professional atmosphere can get to some people. Many people know exactly what they want to do in life and are totally focused on achieving that, which can be super stressful for those who have no idea what they want.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Not Much Need but What's Available Is Great – Public transportation and walking suffice, but Penn has a free van service every night 6pm-3am and they cover a pretty large area (maybe about 20x20 blocks?)

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: Only the Best of the Best for West Philly – Not only does the school have its own police force (with actual police, not just security officers), but they inform you all the time of the best ways to keep yourself safe. I use the walking security guards and the free vans if I ever feel unsafe and there are always convenient ways to walk home that are well-lit and covered in security. Blue lights are all over the place. However, Penn is located in West Philly, so occasionally unsafe things do happen, which is pretty much impossible to eliminate. Police usually patrol at night around parties only to make sure everything's going okay and that people are safe and they usually don't break up parties and when they do there are rarely arrests

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Applied Early Decision, No Regrets – I absolutely love Penn. In my opinion it delivers on everything the glossy admissions brochures sell you. I wouldn't change a thing about my experience here so far.
One of my favorite aspects about Penn is its "Work hard, play hard mentality." It's an ivy league school, there is no doubt that you will be academically challenged and have to study hard. That being said, unless it's finals season, students are willing to leave the stresses of school work behind on the weekend. Penn students love to party and the parties on campus reflect that. And if the typical college party isn't your scene tons of students find other ways to have fun from having chill get togethers in someone's apartment or exploring Philadelphia.
Honestly, Philadelphia is on of Penn's best assets. It's an amazing city and a great place to go to college.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: More Dining Dollars, Less Meal Swipes – "More dining dollars, less meal swipes" is the advice that every upperclassmen will give an incoming freshman (unless you're an athlete, then unlimited meal swipes is usually the way to go!).

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Amazing on-Campus Security Force – Penn Public Safety is amazing and I think it is a part of Penn that most students take for granted. Penn has consistently been top ranked in terms of on campus security. We have our very own police force that can do all the same things that the Philadelphia police department can do.
At night, you always see Penn police on their bikes patrolling campus and because of them, I've never felt unsafe. However, if you do every feel unsafe, they offer walking escorts and van escorts that will meet you and walk you home.
There are also emergency call boxes all over campus. The division of public safety also has a text/email alert system that it sends out to the Penn community when a crime nearby has taken place.
That being said, the area immediately surrounding Penn is safe, but a few blocks from campus can get sketchy and sometimes the sketchiness will spill over into areas around Penn so you just have to be safe and smart about things.

1 College Freshman

Computers: If you're not in Wharton, you don't have access to 3/4 of the computers on campus. I hate Penn.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: Social Scene/Academics – Everyone at Penn is super serious when it comes to academics, but also loves to have a good time. Students achieve the ultimate balance between classy partying and ivy league academics.

2 people found this useful Report

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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 . . .

Applicant Status At University of Pennsylvania

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