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

Overall Experience: I've had a great experience at Penn thus far. The key, just like at any other school, is finding your niche. Because Penn is big, this can take some time and patience. Once you find your crowd, you'll make friends with some of the brightest, most interesting people you've ever met. If you don't like the face-paced intensity of East Coast cities, Penn might not be right for you. It has its flaws, but what school doesn't?

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Philadelphia is full of good restaurants. Just get in a cab and go downtown. There are also tons of restaurants right around campus.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Off Campus is host to a wide variety of dining options. China Town is an interesting diversion. In Rittenhouse Square, Alma de Cuba and Bleu are tasty. Moriarty's is home to some of Philly's finest wings. And Pat's and Geno's have a long-standing rivalry over the best cheesesteaks.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Cheesesteaks are everywhere-Pat's, Geno's, and Jim's are the best. I had all three in a span of an hour and a half once, but I'm a fat kid. Pat's is a messy cheesesteak but my favorite. I particularly enjoy it for the quality of its steak; it's a little sparse with its onions though. Geno's is a more refined cheesesteak, more onions, not as messy, but also not as good. Jim's is like a cheesesteak one would see on a billboard. It has the soft, fluffy bread, the steak that is diced into a million little pieces so that it's easy to chew, a just enough but not too much onions or cheese. If you want to talk cheesesteaks, just give me a call.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Restaurants are the best here; remember, you're in a city. Restaurateur Stephen Starr created a string of eclectic restaurants that are very unique and only a cab or subway ride away. Food is a bit pricey, though. Check out the Continental, Pat's for Cheesesteaks, and Striped Bass.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Well, there are restaurants off-campus, which are really just as close as any of the dining halls. My favorites of those are Cosí, Izzy and Zoe's, and Bubble House. If you travel a bit into Philly, there are lots more, including several famous Cheesesteak spots.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Center City, a quick subway ride from campus, provides a huge variety of foods from all different cultural backgrounds. Italian, Chinese, Cuban, and Caribbean are just a few types you might find. Of course, a few Penn favorites are always great places to visit, such as Abner's, Allegro's, and the New Deck Tavern.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: I haven't been many places, but Geno's is good, and there are a million other places to go. There's even a Hawaiian restaurant.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: The restaurants around campus and in Philly are awesome. Whether you're just looking for a cheap meal or want to go all-out, you can always find something to suit your tastes.

Niche User

Off-Campus Dining: Most restaurants on or off campus come at a price unless you go to Chinatown, where you can get pretty full off of $20. Philly has a lot of good Italian places. Don't try the seafood unless it's Cajun.

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

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.

Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: I'm living off campus as a sophomore, and I couldn't be happier about it. A lot of people opt to live in their fraternity/sorority houses as well. It's easy to find housing, but you have to start looking early. The perks of being in campus housing are Ethernet connections and regular bathroom cleanings, but off campus allows a lot more freedom. So many students live off campus that you don't really feel detached from life at all.

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Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: It's very convenient to live off campus. You have to be careful where you choose to live, but the value is better and the community is less irritating.

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Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: After freshman year, most sophomores will live in either a high-rise apartment or in a frat house. But even by sophomore year, loads of people start to get off campus. It's cheaper, nicer, and really useful if you plan on staying around over the summer. Most upper classmen chose to live off campus, either in a house or in a Hamilton Court apartment. If you want to live off campus, you had better start looking early because come February, most decent off-campus housing is gone.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Off-Campus Housing: I've seen a lot of people who are very happy living off-campus, and it seems to cost about the same price. People seem happy either way, and the amount of people on and off campus is about equally split in numbers.

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

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

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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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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