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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3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: You Make It What You Want It to Be – Rushing is a landmark time in the spring semester. Some students who decide from beforehand that they will participate will reduce their workload because they know that rushing will take up a huge amount of time. Apart from rushing, once you're in you pretty much have complete control over how involved you wish to become in Greek life. A party atmosphere surrounds the sorority and fraternity houses and they are typically at their most active starting Thursday and up until Sunday night.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: A Wide Mix – In Philly you get what you paid for. It is relatively easy to find economic apartments through Craigs list however you may have to forgo air conditioning, extra living space, and cleanliness. One of the best things to do is get together with friends and rent a house which there are a few available near campus.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Food and Culture – Philadelphia is a very international city with a plethora of restaurants, concerts, and recreation activities in general. UPenn is located in University City right beside Center City and is an easy walking distance from Trader Joe's, the Zoo, and the Art Museum among others.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Athletics: Hardly Any School Spirit – UPenn is not really a sport school. Homecoming is the hilight of the year when everyone gets to throw toast on the filed. The Penn relays are also held there in the spring which brings people from all over the country. But other than that, Penn students are not so into sports.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Housing: The Quad Isn't Everything – As a freshmen, everyone wants to live in one of the three dorms in the Quad. I must say the Quad is really oretty and does have a lot of things to do, but if you don't live there freshmen year its no big deal. I would personally reccommend Hill because it tends to be a bit friendlier. If you live in the quad you may find a lot of cliques develop which is something that should be left in high school.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Facilities: Preetty Good – The facilities at Penn are pretty good. Given that the school is the third oldest in the country, I must say its not that bad. You're especially lucky if your int he Wharton school. All of those facilities are like new.

3 College Junior

Diversity: Lots of Diveristy, Little Mixing – Pretty diverse campus but a lot of self segregation occurs. Most people befriend and associate people that look like them.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Lots of restaurants within walking distance. There are a lot of fine dining options as well as restaurants that offer cheaper items for us poor college students.

1 College Senior

Parking: Forget It Unless You Have to – The parking on campus is non existent. You have to pay to park on the street or monthly parking. The monthly parking will cost you around $200.

1 College Senior

Guys & Girls: Penn students are here because of their ability, but not their looks. Most are nerdy, but not in a hot way. The guys tend to be the nerdy/brainy type. The football team isn't even that great looking. Girls are not any better either.

4 people found this useful Report
3 College Senior

Campus Dining: Not a Great Selection – There are some decent foods in the dining hall, but the selection is lacking. Since Penn is around decent restaurants, it seems to not have as many foods to choose from within the dining hall. This aspect keeps me from eating in the dining hall on most days. Luckily, there are other food choices surrounding the campus!!

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life seems to have a pretty significant presence, but I would say the majority are not involved, or if they are, not significantly. It's not really a big deal either way, and you can go to parties and stuff whether or not you are affiliated with the frat.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Safe, but Be Smart – Obviously, Penn is in the middle of West Philly, so there are things that happen, but I've always felt safe, even late at night. Campus security and campus police are pretty much everywhere, and there is the blue light system. Nothing has ever happened to me yet, but I've heard of people getting chased when they are walking home alone at night, so just be smart.

4 College Sophomore

Nightlife: See What You Like – Freshman year everyone goes to all the different frat parties, especially first semester, but come winter and spring, people begin to figure out where they like to go best, and usually stick to those places. There are basically two bars- one is impossible to get into if you are under 21, but the other is pretty easy to get into. Most fun are probably house parties at sports teams houses, and pretty much everything is within walking distance.

3 College Sophomore

Transportation: Full Range of Options from Free to Mid-Priced – Most people walk or take the SEPTA (bus, trolley, and subway lines) but there are always cabs available on the bigger streets. SEPTA tokens are $1.55 and it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the routes. The train station on 30th street is a walkable distance from campus and the Philadelphia Airport is about $30 away by cab.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Just Be Responsible. The administration and the advisers know what's going on; many of them are cool about it as long as you're safe. There's increased vigilance during Spring Fling because that's when the entire school goes crazy, and I have heard stories of parties getting busted but students usually do not get in trouble. Penn does a good job of letting kids have fun while encouraging them to take responsibility for their actions. If you are caught, they won't punish you but you're trusted to know not to do it again.

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Pretty Good Variety but Watch That Wallet! Lots of places around campus but it's easy to spend a lot if you eat out often. There are good deals around and always something new to try especially if you head a little ways downtown. On campus, my favorite is Hummus (affordable Mediterranean cuisine). Campusfood is also great around Philadelphia and sometimes they make deals with your class board to provide coupon codes for online ordering.

3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Drinking Is the Name of the Game – MOst people are into drinking, the drug scene is limited and consists primarily of weed and blow

3 College Junior

Diversity: Good Mix – There is a good mix of students from all over hte country as well as the world, and the spectrum reaches from one end of the nation's socio-economic status to the other.

4 College Junior

Computers: As a student in Wharton, I have most of my classes in Huntsman Hall. The computers that are available there are top of the line, and are always in perfect working order.

3 College Junior

Facilities: It's a Community – I don't know how to put it differently but you definitely feel like a part of the school when you go here.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: Housing Is Important – Try to live closer to campus. I would live closer to campus for sure. The winters are crazy cold and there are some unsavory types walking around late at night. U of Penn is pretty unique due the age of the campus. Its the first "university" in the united states. If you like Ben Franklin, this is the campus and city for you.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: Know the Right Places – Philadelphia has a lot to offer in terms of history and a rich cultural atmosphere. Many parts have a strong "inner city" feel to it and don't have much to offer. If you go to the right places you will have a blast.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: Football is the biggest sport at Penn; the homecoming game is always anticipated. Outside of that, however, I feel that many students aren't really into the sports scene. But we do host the Penn Relays every spring, and that receives a lot of spectators. The facilities are great, with Franklin Field and Pottruck gym (free for students).

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: The options for freshmen aren't too great. Most feature community living with communal bathrooms and small rooms. The housing for upperclassmen gets better; Penn offers high-rise apartment style living that is easier to get for upperclassmen. However, the housing process is somewhat tough to get through. And the cost of rooming on-campus is pricey as well, although it is convenient. The laundry is free, which is one of the best things about living on campus, and many dorms feature music practice rooms and exercise equipment.

1 person 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 . . .

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