Location
Philadelphia, PA
Undergrads
10,324
Tuition
$43,738
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 1007 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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College Freshman

Health & Safety: Though the school is in West Philadelphia, the security at Penn is phenomenal. There is security at the entrance of every dorm, and you can't walk a block without seeing a guard on a bike. Blue light phone are all over campus, and students have to walk quite a few blocks to get into a bad area.

High School Student

Health & Safety: If anyone is worried about security, there is 24-hour access to Penn security escorts, and they will take you anywhere in University City. The incidences that occur are almost always a result of overconsumption of alcohol or plain stupidity. I feel 99 percent safe anywhere on campus at all times. Only when you go out into West Philly does it start to get sketchy.

High School Student

Off-Campus Dining: Wow! Philly has so much to offer in terms of food. From your street cart cheesesteaks to the gourmet Starr restaurants, there is an amazing place for any occasion. Couldn't have asked for more!

Niche User

Computers: Your own computer is not necessarily needed, but you'll find it wonderfully convenient when you realize you have a 10-page paper due in a few hours. Finding a computer lab that's open may not be the easiest thing to do early in the morning. However, when you do need a computer during regular hours, computer labs are all over campus. Most are occupied by a good number of students, but usually there are a few computers available to use.

Niche User

Campus Dining: The best dining on campus would be at 1920 Commons or Hill. They have a larger selection, plus they're more social.

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Campus Housing: The high-rises are home to various floor events that try to emphasize a certain program that students should follow. For example there is `Latin America,' `Arts House,' `International Program,' and `Ancient Studies,' among others. You have to apply to get into these.

Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: I recommend living on campus for social reasons. There is a lot of off-campus housing. Popular among students is Hamilton court on 39th, and a little more upscale is Chestnut Hall, also on 39th. Houses are also popular; Beige Block is the party area. Be wary of going past 42nd Street.

Niche User

Guys & Girls: Guys are . . . not all that bad. Girls are . . . not bad either. Although, lots of guys think the girls are ugly and vice versa. I wouldn't call either necessarily `hot.' The most attractive ones are usually in fraternities and sororities.

Niche User

Greek Life: Greek life dominates the social scene, but you don't have to be a member to participate. Parties are almost always open to everybody, and non-Greeks can easily be invited to invite-only parties with Greek members. About 30 percent of Penn students opt to join the Greek system, but you definitely don't have to in order to have a good time.

Niche User

Drug Safety: You can do drugs if you want, or you can stay away from them. There's not too much peer pressure for it, although there is definitely a large drug scene, especially in the fraternity and sorority system.

Niche User

Computers: The computer network is great and fast, but it just cuts out every once in a while. Beware of viruses on the network, and from experience, the government can track you down for downloading movies and music. Don't get indicted! I've never used the computer labs; just bring your own if you can.

Niche User

Campus Dining: Penn Dining is not to be trusted . . . . Not only that, their food is total crap. Variety is good, but only if something tastes good. I can remember so many times in my freshman year getting lip from the ladies that served me and finding hair in my food. Penn Dining is just a horrible experience.

Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: If you can, try to find off-campus housing. Off-campus housing is pretty convenient and much cheaper. On-campus housing is ridiculously expensive, but it saves you the trouble of having to look for an apartment.

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Guys & Girls: It just seems like East Coast girls don't care as much as West Coast girls when it comes to appearance. But in an attempt to be fair, the girls at Penn are a pretty good lot.

Niche User

Greek Life: Greek life is surely prevalent, but I wouldn't say that it dominates the social scene. There are plenty of mixers, frat parties, and rush and pledge activities, which will cause a stir. But, there are many other social outlets for those looking for activities beyond the fraternity and sorority houses.

Niche User

Drug Safety: Alcohol seems to be the drug of choice. Marijuana and cocaine are also used, but to a far lesser extent.

Niche User

Computers: About the computer labs, I have absolutely no clue because I never use them. I would say that having your own computer is a must. There are obviously ways to work around not having a computer. You can always rent one at the library, and I would assume that the computer labs have fabulous accommodations. But seriously, why make life more confusing? At Penn, everyone seems to have a million things to do and barely enough time to do them. Writing a paper is stressful enough, why pile computer rental issues on top of that?

Niche User

Campus Dining: On-campus food is generally cheap, with a million food carts, pizza and cheesesteak places, markets, and restaurants. Lunches for the typical student should run no more than five dollars, and dinners can be had for just as cheap. If you do decide to come, the first thing to do is get a crepe at Le Petite Creperie; they are known throughout the city for having the best savory and sweet crepes in town. If you eat meat, go to Lees, Billybobs, or Abners for a cheesesteak.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: For dinner, Pod, Beijing, White Dog Café, New Deck, and La Terrasse are popular among students.

Niche User

Campus Housing: English house is the newest of the dorm rooms, and they are pretty nice. The high rises usually house upperclassmen and are the quietest of the dorms. These are apartment-style dorms with personal bathrooms and kitchenettes. The furnishings here are not the best on campus, but because of the personal space it can give students, many people clamor to get an assignment here.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: It's really convenient; lots of people live off-campus. University City has tons of apartments and houses for students to rent. It can be a little expensive, but it's not that bad.

Niche User

Guys & Girls: Girls are pretty bad looking . . . certainly not like Miami and California. You're going to an Ivy League school; most people are going to be pretty bad.

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Greek Life: Greek life is big, but I wouldn't say that it dominates the social scene. You can do whatever you want at Penn.

Niche User

Academics: I have enjoyed both the breadth and depth of the classes made available to me. The requirements are flexible enough to permit a wide range of study.

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Computers: There is no one main computer lab. A lot of computers are spread out at different places, so you should definitely bring your own to work with in your room. Once you are online, it is easy to access Penn resources.

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Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad
Outside of the Quad Outside of the Quad So pretty!
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Perry Petra-Wong
Hometown
Pasadena, Calif.
Major
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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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.

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