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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Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Off campus, there are a variety of good restaurants. All of Stephen Starr's restaurants are commendable: Buddhakan, Continental, Alma de Cuba, and Morimoto are just a few. If you like Japanese, there are several great Japanese restaurants-check out Kisso.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Any of the many Old City restaurants are not too far away and very popular for a night on the town with friends.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: There are plenty of good restaurants downtown. If you want to break the bank and get unbelievably amazing food, I would recommend going down to restaurants like Le Bec Fin, but plan to spend over $100 a person there.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: My friends and I always go down to Chinatown on the weekend to eat. There's great grub there for, like, $4. If you want variety, there are great Korean, Japanese, and Italian restaurants all over. And you should definitely try the cheesesteaks!

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Off campus, there is Le Bec Fin, Morimoto (the Iron Chef), Susanna Foo's (a French/Chinese fusion restaurant), and Striped Bass (fresh seafood). All the previously mentioned placed will cost a pretty penny, about $60 per person. There's also a recent movement toward Latin/Spanish food, and one of the good places is Alma de Cuba. If you come to Philly for nothing else, at least come for the restaurants.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Food's pretty good. Of course, campus dining sucks, but there are some pretty good restaurants around, and the food carts are a good places to get a quick bite to eat. The Thai restaurants are all really good, but Pattaya Grill is my personal favorite. White Dog and La Terrace are expensive, but also really good. Beijing is the most widely-known Chinese restaurant, but the general consensus is that it sucks. There are also plenty of Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants around, but my Indian and Middle Eastern friends all agree that the food is as unauthentic as you can get.

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: Don't ever stay in North or Gregory! North is the crappiest dorm in the world, and Gregory can't be any more isolated. Hill and the Quad are awesome fun places; High-Rise East rocks, as well.

Niche User

Campus Housing: For freshmen, living in the Quad is a must. Thanks to a comprehensive renovation, the exterior is exquisitely manicured and landscaped. The dorm rooms are comparatively large, with a number of singles available to freshmen. Almost all come equipped with a sink and air conditioning. The high-rises are in need of some refurbishment, but the first stages of repair have already started. Within-room kitchen facilities and private bathrooms (similar to off-campus apartments) make them attractive to a number of students. A sizable portion of upperclassmen move off campus to nearby apartments or into Greek houses.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Housing: The dorms are cool. They're better than the street.

Niche User

Campus Housing: Dorms are very varied though none are unbearable. Some are clearly better than the rest. Living in the Quad is the best because of all the people, but singles in Quad are really small. Hill and Kings Court/English House are isolated but have dining halls conveniently on their first floors. Rooms in Hill aren't air conditioned though, and most Quad rooms are. Stouffer and the high rises have big rooms but are isolated for freshman because mostly upperclassmen live there.

Niche User

Campus Housing: I think the dorms are exceptional. For freshman housing, most people prefer the Quad. The rooms are nice and big and really convenient during Spring Fling. Hill has tiny rooms and no air conditioning, but it's really convenient for dining, especially in the winter. Also, it has suites and couches in all of the halls, so people in Hill tend to bond more quickly than they do on the Quad. It's some nice community living. Personally, I'd be most concerned with avoiding the low-rises, unless you place a higher value on quiet than an active social life.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Housing: Hill House rocks! Perhaps I'm simply biased, but Hill House definitely has a personality all its own. As a mainly-freshman dorm, Hill House nearly coerces new students to socialize with one another with open lounges just a few steps away from each dorm room. Although the rooms are probably the smallest rooms in which you'll ever live, they develop an atmosphere of home and hopefully friendliness, as you and your roommate get to be quite close to one another, whether on purpose or not.

Niche User

Campus Housing: Hill is a freshman dorm, so activities throughout the year allow time for meeting new people from other floors of the house. The Franklin Shield goes to the suite that earns the most points throughout the year by performing well during the various activities or answering trivia correctly each week. This competitive feel tends to draw the suites closer together, encouraging bonding between freshmen.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Housing: The dorms seem decent, but I'd advocate Hill above the rest of them so far, especially for freshmen because it's more social.

Niche User

Campus Housing: The Quad is your typical freshman dorm. It's beautiful architecturally, but I hated the rooms. The high rises are more like apartments. DuBois is predominantly African American. Gregory attracts a lot of foreign students. Hill has a dining hall inside, and there are others. They aren't bad at all. The high rises have bigger rooms, and I also liked those in Gregory.

Niche User

Campus Housing: If you want to meet a lot of people, live in the Quad. Most freshman live there. The bad thing is you don't get your own bathroom. I need my own bathroom; that's why I chose one of the high rises. There are mostly upperclassmen in the building, but they reserve something like two floors for freshman. I was lucky enough to have a very social floor, and I met a lot of people.

Niche User

Campus Housing: Hill House sucks because there is no air conditioning. Kings Court/English House is supposedly far, but it's really not-it's actually pretty nice for a freshman dorm. The Quad would be my first choice if I were a freshman because it looks really nice, you get to meet cool people, and air conditioning is being put into the dorms. I would avoid the high rises as a freshman because they're pretty secluded. Go there after freshman year once you meet people.

Niche User

Campus Housing: The dorms are cool. All freshmen want to live in the Quad. I would encourage it; it's a great experience! The best dorms in the Quad are Spruce House, Fisher Hassenfeld, and Ware. Spruce has air-conditioning. The rooms in Goldberg and Ware are the biggest. They're actually renovating some of the other dorms in the Quad, so some others may soon have air conditioning.

5 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Housing: For freshman, living in the Quad is best. Hill is also good for freshman, but the rooms are smaller. If you are going to live in the Quad, I'd recommend Spruce House, as it has air conditioning and heat as well as wood floors. Ware is mixed, as is Woodland. The high rises are a bit nicer in some respects, but they are much less social. The Quad is the place to be for freshman. I really loved it. Quad pride!

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Housing: After any room in the Quad, I would say you should live in Hill as a freshman because that is the next most freshmen-populated dorm, and people seem to like it. The high-rises and Mayer are very nice, but not quite as freshmen-friendly, although they are not bad places to live by any means.

2 people found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Housing: As a freshman, I would definitely live in the Quad. It's air conditioned and newly renovated. The Quad is full of freshmen, and it makes it so easy to make new friends because you all live in the same area. The high-rises are for people who are more secluded and don't want to be around everyone. My friends that lived in the high-rises wished they would have lived in the Quad. Stay away from Hill college house if you can; they have fun there, but it gets so hot when it's warm out.

1 person found this useful Report
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

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: Because of the number of off-campus housing options, prices tend to be relatively inexpensive. Renting a large house with friends becomes a popular idea among students, who often only have to walk a few blocks to class in the morning.

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Outside of the Quad
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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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