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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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Students really are from all over the world at Penn. Most students come from a fairly privileged background, but thanks to Penn's good financial aid, anyone qualified can come. Also, Penn has lots of religious organizations (even a kosher dining hall) and a hugely active LGBTQ center.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Obviously, Penn is in a city. But with the largest private police force in the city and the 3rd largest in the state of PA, security is omnipresent. PennCards are needed to enter most buildings and blue emergency phones cover campus. Friendly security officers are available to walk or drive you home from anywhere in University City at any time of day or night with a quick phone call.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: The southernmost Ivy! The weather here is classic Mid-Atlantic. Nice summers, cold winters. Some rain, some snow. But we are the southernmost Ivy, so keep that in mind!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: There are tons of options for any student. Freshman, if you want a classic college experience, live in the Quad (Fisher-Hassenfeld, Riepe, or Ware College Houses). For apartment-style living, live in a high rise (Harnwell or Harrison, or Rodin as an upperclassman).

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: I decided to attend The University of Pennsylvania mainly for its reputation of having very high academic standards, particularly one of the best nursing programs in the country. As a current student, I now am beyond happy with my decision because I have experienced that Penn has so much more to offer than a highly beneficial educational experience. I continue to be amazed at the professors that Penn has, and have yet to dislike any of the teachers who I have had the pleasure of being in their classes. The opportunities for extracurricular activities are extensive and no areas of interest seem to go unnoticed. Penn is also very involved with the surrounding West Philadelphia community and has many ways to become involved in community outreach. In this sense, Penn is a great school to attend for a well-rounded college experience because a prestigious education is combined with a versatile social life, community interaction, and city living.

4 College Freshman

Facilities: The libraries and study areas are awesome. Theres something for everyone whether you need absolute quiet or some friendly chatter. Even during finals you can find somewhere to study. The bathrooms leave something to be desired, but they work for what they are supposed to do.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Majors: The nursing program is awesome. I feel like I have already learned so much vital information and I've only had a semester's worth of learning. The nursing community is very different than any other school at Penn. It is a lot smaller and so you really get to know all of the nurses at Penn. There is a lot of work, but if you study and follow the guidelines your teachers give you for studying the classes are very possible to pass.

2 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Not many people do drugs at Penn, but it does depend on who you hang out with. Usually theres at least one person smoking week and then people take adi, but other than that nothing is too serious. Most people just drink.

4 College Freshman

Majors: Nursing is very difficult and there is a lot of studying, but it is very interesting and worth the work because we are actually learning things that are relevant to our work as nurses.

3 College Junior

Scholarships: Very disorganized office. I would recommend contacting a specific financial aid officer.

4 Recent Alumnus

Transportation: Transportation is extremely convenient including every mode of transportation. The cost of traveling is not expensive.

3 Recent Alumnus

Guys & Girls: Guys and girls come from all over the nation and the world. The university is definitely a not party school. Generally the students are very focused and career minded.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: Parking on a UPenn owned campus lot is almost $2000 a year for commuters and $2,300 a year for 24 hour spots.

Street parking is available throughout campus, but spots close to campus are all metered, and the ones further west (free parking) fill up very quickly. It typically takes me 15 to 30 minutes to find a spot during school hours.

3 College Freshman

Facilities: My school is set in aside from a small town and is academically successfully while keeping up in sports also

4 College Freshman

Transportation: The transportation is pretty nice around Penn. There are buses, cabs, subways, and trolleys. Even if you're not from Philly, and are not familiar with the public transportation, you can easily ask your friends or just search it up to find the routes. Fares are not too high, around 2 dollars per ride for buses and subways.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Campus police can be strict, but not too much as long as you keep the streets clear. Most of the fraternities/sororities do a good job of this, and they also keep underage drinking indoors and under control, so most of the times there is not much of a campus-wide problem. But if your music is too loud, obviously they will come visit you. And as always, when you get caught it probably won't do you any good, so be careful in advertising your parties.

4 College Freshman

Nightlife: The Frat parties are always free, so it's easy for those who are underage to have fun. There are parties Wednesday-Saturday almost every weekend. There is public transportation to take you downtown to the Frat parties at clubs in Center City.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Housing: The nice off-campus housing options are kind of expensive but easy to get an apartment. There are a lot of other off-campus options at more reasonable pricing but of course there is more demand for those places.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: A lot of people use adderall for midterms and finals, but the vast majority of drug usage is marijuana. Marijuana is heavily prevalent on campus but it is not as popular as drinking.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Fraternities and sororities are definitely involved in Penn's social life. However, you do not have to ever step foot into a frat or sorority. There are so many clubs and other organizations that they aren't necessary, even for big parties. On the other hand, there are enough of them (and they are diverse enough), that if you are looking to join Greek life, you'll have lots of opportunity.

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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