Location
Philadelphia, PA
Undergrads
10,324
Tuition
$43,738
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 985 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Freshman

Greek Life: Not as huge as with big Southern state schools, but Greek life is the center of the party scene. On the other hand, there are lots of people who don't join who still go to the parties.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Computers: The WiFi fails sometimes, but printing is available in lots of places, and almost everyone has their own computer.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Transportation: Very few people use the campus shuttle because it's a hassle, but public transportation is convenient and fairly cheap.

3 College Freshman

Athletics: Not very many people pay attention to athletics.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Unbearably cold in the winter, humid in the summer.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: It's in Philly, so it's just a short train ride into Center City, where you can find plenty to do.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Several different places to eat near campus, with pretty good food.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: It's very much an Ivy league with a state school atmosphere - very career-oriented and serious students, but people still know how to have fun.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's something to do, almost always guaranteed, Thursday through Saturday. A lot of the party scene centers around Greek life, but you don't necessarily have to be in fraternity or sorority to go to the parties.

4 College Junior

Academics: Linguistics at Penn is one of the best in the world, but the undergraduate curriculum seems to value breadth rather than depth, and I never felt like I really built up my knowledge of any one thing but rather took Intro level classes in several areas, which often meant relearning the same basic material, albeit with slightly different goals.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Computers: Pretty good wifi connections even outside, but you definitely need your own computer. Professors seem more and more accepting of emailed assignments so a printer isn't even always necessary anymore.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Greek Life: I think there's less of a divide at Penn between people in frats and sororities and people who aren't because even though some of the stereotypes still exist, most of the students at Penn are smart and motivated and obviously educated, meaning that the stereotypes are less evident. Having never thought I would ever join a sorority or have friends in sororities, I was surprised by how many girls I really liked who also happened to be in sororities.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Nightlife: There are frat parties, house parties, parties with extracurricular groups, and a bunch of bars if you're old enough or have a fake. Going downtown to a club is only a short bus ride away, although I never did that. I think it's probably pretty great especially compared to non-city schools. Work hard, play hard.

4 College Junior

Scholarships: Since Penn has money, Penn can give money and was able to offer me a much better package than the "lower ranking" universities I applied to. My only complaint is that they don't offer any aid to graduate students in engineering, not sure exactly why.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Much cheaper than on campus housing usually, and usually homier and more comfortable, but it varies and it's still more expensive than what it would cost if it wasn't meant to be student housing, right up against the campus. Many buildings are not in very good shape, although they tend to be the beautiful old houses that have been converted into student housing which makes them better to live in, in my opinion, than some of the newer, monotonous and pristine student housing strips. There is definitely a variety of options from dirty cheap row houses and apartments to super expensive resort buildings.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Diversity: A very diverse place. Unless you join interest-based groups rather than cultural or religious or even "social" based groups, it might seem like the diversity of the school is still segregated, but once you join a choir or club you can become friends with all different kinds of interesting people.

4 College Junior

Health & Safety: One star removed because it is Philadelphia and there are real people living in the city and real problems that brush up against the campus "bubble." However, the campus is an extremely safe place and if you ever feel unsafe walking home to an off-campus location you can always ask a bicycling penn police man or woman to walk with you.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Housing: The dorms are much more expensive than they should be. Though they can be slightly closer to classes than other housing options, the comfort of the rooms isn't enough to really be worth it, in my opinion. With a few important exceptions, there isn't too much of a sense of community in the upperclassman dorms unless you plan to have several rooms on the same floor with all your existing friends. The few exceptions, such as program floors like the Arts House in Harnwell and Rodin in general, can offer more social outlets although usually you already know the people you interact with from other activities anyway.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: University of Pennsylvania has a lot of very convenient off campus dining options and the selection is continually expanding. There are chains as well as restaurants, although most of the restaurants are a bit pricy and are really only options when parents come to visit, for most students. There are occasionally promotions and discounts for students but only at the more commercial eateries like QDoba. There is a good range of kinds of foods from burgers to Mexican to Asian cuisines and steak houses, organic restaurants and seafood. Still, for a student on a budget who already has to afford the University's outrageous costs, it's hard to take advantage of the options due to cost. Even the most convenient supermarket is much more expensive than the quality of its products merits, although it's still more affordable to shop there and make your own food than constantly get take-out or eat out like many of the students do.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: Definitely an affordable city for off campus housing.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: There are a range of courses, as well as undergraduate and graduate schools.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Majors: Not many issues, although a few issues with email communication and responses.

3 College Junior

Campus Strictness: For an undergraduate campus, the level of strictness is relatively average.

College Junior

Greek Life: I am not very involved in Greek Life on campus.

3 College Junior

Athletics: There are many places for physical activity which is a great resource!

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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
Hometown
Pasadena, Calif.
Major
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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