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University of Pennsylvania Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 07/12/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    69 out of 74 people found this review useful. 1 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Those who balance their academic and social life. Penn is also called The Social Ivy as it is the Ivy League that has the most lively campus while being academically elite as well. This doesn't mean that you have to go party everyday and every weekend, but we do know how to have fun, so if you feel like getting away from the books a night, there's always something for you to do. We know how to have fun, but we also know that we're there to get the best education possible. The libraries are always filled and there are many places to study, including in your own dorm building so you don't even have to leave your dorm!

    Tips for prospective students

    You will meet many a variety of students and many of whom are just like you. It is a gorgeous campus with incredible and talented people. We're located in diverse Philadelphia; it is easy to go to historic Philly where you will find the Liberty Bell and much more! This is an urban campus with historic buildings to provide the comforts of home wherever you are from. Penn has the best undergraduate business school in the world, the Wharton School of Business. You dive into core classes your first year (no matter what specific school you're in at Penn-Nursing, Engineering, Arts and Science, or Business) and it's an opportunity seldom schools can boast.

    Bang for the buck

    No one really knows until they graduate, right?

    Am enjoying being here

    I think it's the perfect school for me.

  • 08/05/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    55 out of 56 people found this review useful. 2 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for outgoing students who know when to party and when to buckle down and study. You need to like living in a city and being around a diverse group of people. Penn really loves students who are passionate so show that on your application and in whatever you get involved in at Penn.

    Tips for prospective students

    Penn and college in general is an adjustment. I had to get used to pacing out my coursework and figuring out how to study for classes where a midterm and a final are your grades! (Yeah it is scary). My tips would be to not over schedule yourself your first semester. You are going to want to get involved in a lot on campus and in your dorm, so try and take a lighter load. Also don't be afraid to talk to your professors. They are great about offering extra help and resources or just chatting about their research. Use the office hours they provide. Lastly, make sure to remember that college is a time to try new things. Don't be afraid to join a dance group or volunteer at a homeless shelter. Explore the world around you.

    Bang for the buck

    I know that many students feel like Ivy league schools are too expensive and that you are only paying for the name, but Penn has the resources to get students excellent jobs after college. Besides that the learning environment, faculty, and students are worth it. In the end, I think it balances out.

    Am enjoying being here

    I always wanted to attend a city school so Penn is perfect for me. Be careful though because Penn really is in the heart of West Philadelphia. It still feels like a campus, but it is a city school. The diversity is what I really fell for. There are students from all around the country and the world and Penn embraces and enhances this diversity.

    Am learning a lot

    Penn's coursework is challenging, but I feel like you leave class every day exhilarated and excited to go back. The professors are really a huge part of that so I would check with students who already attend to make sure you snag the best ones. The history, language, and business classes have been my favorites and I have developed so many new interests and passions through these classes.

  • 11/03/2010

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    31 out of 32 people found this review useful. 3 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    The typical student here tends to be farely polarized: incredible work ethic and party animal. While Penn is ideal for anyone of this personality complexion, it isn't mandatory. I certainly didn't fit this mold--though I'm slowly being converted--and many of my friends don't either. Nonetheless, do not apply here if you aren't prepared to work hard and pull plenty of all-nighters.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit campus. Penn was bottom of the list for me, barely even a consideration. On my way to spend two days at Duke, I felt obliged to stop and spend half a day at Penn. I won't bore you with the details, but let's just say that I'm sitting in a dorm at Penn right now with no regrets.

    Bang for the buck

    After tuition, room and board, meal plan, and books, you're looking at $55,000 a year. And that's only going up. For a school that gives no merit scholarships and can only afford to aid the most desperate students, most people pay full price. While many top notch schools are comparably priced, I can't imagine how any education can be worth over $200,000. That being said, Penn's returns are better than anyone else's.

    Am enjoying being here

    The atmosphere here is unique. Sunday through Thursday, everybody--and I mean everybody--works hard. The libraries are full, people are studying over meals, and there are Facebook events for study sessions. But Thursday night through Saturday night, everybody releases their stress and anxiety. Penn students know when to buckle down, and the atmosphere itself is academically stimulating. But even Michael Phelps needs to take a breath during a race, and Penn students make the most of weekends to catch their breath, hang out with friends, and get the college experience.

    Am learning a lot

    The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League school, and is thus held too the highest standard in all academic areas. While Penn is known primarily for it's number one ranked business school, I can vouch for the legitimacy of the Engineering school. Every single class here is rigorous. As a result, a degree earned from the University of Pennsylvania, regardless of which school, carries a lot of weight in the professional world.

  • 03/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    21 out of 21 people found this review useful. 4 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Allied Barton on Penn's campus has been ranked the nation's best campus security. Penn is in West Philly which, in parts, is dangerous, so street-smarts are important when off campus. However, Penn security has a very broad patrol area.

    Greek Life

    Very present. You cannot really avoid it on the weekends, but you can definitely enjoy your Penn experience without it.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a club for everything. Seriously. And if not, you can propose one and Penn will fund it because they can.

    Great for these types of students

    Passionate Smart Driven Innovative Creative Leaders

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Greek life is very large at Penn (but 75% of students enjoy college without it) The Philomathean Society is both the oldest continuous organization and, specifically, literary society in the US. NSO (new student orientation) is absolutely amazing and is not lame or awkward like at most schools. Penn spends over a million dollars every year on just this one week. They even rent the Philadelphia Museum of Art for an evening and have the event catered by a five-star chef. Hey Day is a tradition that Juniors celebrate when they move up as seniors. It gets pretty rowdy.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is expensive, but students receive an unparalleled education. It is definitely worth it.

    What to do for fun

    Partying is a major source of fun for many (most?) students. However, everyone enjoys going into Center City to shop, dine, stroll, or just hang with friends. Networking. Engaging with the community and volunteering in (virtually) everything. Sleeping is fun for every college student.

    Food and Dining

    Dining halls are not created equally. However, there are tons of dining halls and alternate options on campus (Subway, Starbucks, Burger Stop, and more restaurants than I can count).

    Dorm Life

    I live in a highrise (apartment-like dorm), so I am biased, but visiting friends from other elite universities say that our dorms, even our worst, are nicer than theirs. I haven't heard of any nightmare-roommate stories, either, which is good since roommates are picked at random if they are not requested.

    Academic Rigor

    Even if Penn seems impossibly difficult, there are so many resources that you literally have no reason to fail.

    Tips for prospective students

    Finish your high school career strong--don't let senioritis best you--and enjoy a well-deserved, relaxing summer. You will be plenty busy when you arrive on campus in the fall.

    In three sentences

    Penn students are defined by their passion, even if it is undefined upon entering freshman year. Classes are so difficult that you have to experience them to understand, but the sense of accomplishment that comes with mastery over them is liberating and pure euphoria. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Penn, though, is what you will learn outside of the classroom through your peers and their amazing cultures.

  • 04/01/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    16 out of 16 people found this review useful. 5 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    I personally think Penn is great for any type of student. No matter your race, gender, and/or sexual preference, you will be accepted at Penn. Penn is also good for those students who like to party but then get down to work during the week and just for those students who only like to study.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study. I can't emphasize that anymore. In high school, you may be able to get away with not studying (I did), but you can't at Penn or anywhere else. Work hard and you will be awarded. However, don't forget to have fun! Penn has a great greek life and there are several parties or other events that are just as fun.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is definitely an expensive school but I believe that it is worth every penny. I know I am going to have a successful future because of Penn. I have an infinite amount of opportunities here and the long run I'm going to pay it all off and live without any financial worries.

    Am enjoying being here

    I did not know anyone else here. I was all alone at first and I was terrified here. But, everyone is so nice and kind! There is a reason why Penn is known as the Social Ivy. It's not difficult to make friends or to keep friends. I have a strong community here and I have a lot of support. There are also many great opportunities and events here. For example, just two days ago, I attended an event where America Ferrara was the keynote speaker and I talked with her and got a picture with her! Since I have come to Penn, I have seen three Broadway shows and I have had several new experiences.

    Am learning a lot

    I'm not going to lie. Penn is pretty rigorous and you can't afford to slack off to much. But, I am learning so much! I have never worked so hard in my life and I have never been rewarded so much. I definitely have a future because of Penn.

  • 06/11/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    13 out of 62 people found this review useful. 6 people found this inaccurate. 6 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students interested in Medicine.

    Bang for the buck

    It was founded by Benjamin Franklin!

    Will learn a lot

    The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA is the #1 school in the world for doctors and veternarians.

  • 05/08/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    9 out of 9 people found this review useful. 7 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Business students Kids that want an Ivy League education but also a social 4 years. Independent-not too much hand holding here. Students wanting to be in the city but still want a campus

    Tips for prospective students

    Study for the SAT and make sure you take the most difficult classes in HS, and then do well in them. If you're going into Wharton, you need to have taken Calculus and done well on the Math 2 Subject test. Show that you're interested in business, and can bring something to the community to make it better.

    Bang for the buck

    Unless you get substantial financial aid (which is quite possible), you'll be paying the sticker price of $57k+. Which is quite a lot of money. Penn doesn't offer any merit or athletic scholarships either, so don't count on that no matter how smart or athletic you are. That being said, Penn students (especially Wharton) come out of school with great jobs and make the big bucks, so taking on a little debt is manageable.

    Will enjoy being here

    Very exciting culture, and known as the social ivy, so they like having fun. At the same time though, there will be a lot of work, and you'll be in a very cold place, especially if you're coming from CA.

    Will learn a lot

    It's an Ivy League school. Education should be tough notch, as academics are taken very seriously.

  • 07/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 9 people found this review useful. 8 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Penn has its own police force, which is the third biggest in the state of Pennsylvania (following Philadelphia's and the State Trooper). There are numbers to call for a ride or a Penn cop to walk with you wherever you are going (and whenever). Obviously living in a city, some instances to happen, but as long as you are smart, you shouldn't have any real problems.

    Greek Life

    About 25% of people are involved in fraternities and sororities, but when rushing and pledging start in the beginning of the spring semester, it is noticeable. There is no social reasons to join, you can make friends and go to parties without being a member (but it is easier for girls to get into parties - it's all about the ratios at Penn).

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Don't sit on the Ben Franklin status that sits on the bench, people alway pee on it (really). Don't walk over the compass or you'll fail all your midterm (unless you have sex under the button to break the spell).

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is a very expense private college, but the financial aid department is great. Also, going to such an elite school, there are perks (both opportunities from staff and alumni and the name recognition when your job search begins)

    What to do for fun

    There is a huge social scene at Penn. You don't need to join frats or sororities to go to parties. Clubs and sports often take the place of Greek life because they are so active. There are also many bars in the area and clubs downtown. Sports are not that big at Penn (because we're not that good), but you can always head downtown to see a good game or see a cultural attraction. Plus, there is always hanging out in a dorm without any parents to bother you!

    Food and Dining

    Cafeteria food is exactly like you would expect: so-so, but there are three different dining halls, so there is at least a choice (and everyone has their favorite between Commons, King's Court, and Hill). Philadelphia has awesome restaurants on a bus/subway ride away, but there are not many restaurants directly off-campus (beside Bobby's Burger Palace, which is to die for!)

    Dorm Life

    Living in the Quad freshman year is an awesome experience, mainly because it is almost all freshmen. There are no parties in the dorms, but they are great for building relationships with new friends. As an upperclassman, there are a variety of on- and off-campus options.

    Academic Rigor

    It's an Ivy League school, so we definitely get a lot more work and more difficult work than other schools

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard throughout high school in academics, testing, extracurricular activities, and making connections with teachers who can write you nice recommendation letters. Don't save everything for senior year and don't freak if one or two things doesn't match up with demographics of Penn students; admissions really takes a full look at every student

    In three sentences

    It definitely lives up to the nickname the social Ivy, but that's not to say the academics are not rigorous. Be prepared to work hard and show dedication to both class and activities. Even though it is in a big city, there is a distinct campus atmosphere.

  • 08/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 9 people found this review useful. 9 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is super safe! There are walking escorts at all hours, security at pretty much every corner and there are constantly patrolling officers, so you can feel secure. Dorms are extremely secured, and there are a list of numbers to campus police, penn ride, and other resources that every student is encouraged to have. I do!

    Greek Life

    I'm not a part of greek life, so I couldn't really judge it, but it does seem to be pretty big on campus! However, its not overwhelming. If you think it's not your scene, then that's cool too!

    Clubs and Activities

    The amount of clubs and activities here at UPenn are almost innumerable! There are so many options to choose from, and if you name it, there will most likely be that group on campus. If not, you can easily make your own club or team if you'd like to see it on campus. The clubs and activities are tailored toward any type of student and personal interest so every person can find something fun and favorable to do on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Any student!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is this thing called the button and it's actually pretty awesome. It's a statue of a button in the middle of campus and its super fun to look at and play around. I mean, what other school has a button, but it also serves as a monument so as to help guide people through campus. Also, there is also a church on the campus, in one of the educational buildings! Super cool!

    Bang for the buck

    Yes, UPenn is expensive, but with all that the school has to offer, I'd say it's worth it!

    What to do for fun

    GO DOWNTOWN! There is so much to do downtown and even on campus. Downtown there are art and music festivals, exhibits and museums, shopping centers, parks, and clubs! On campus, there is ice skating, performing arts shows, sports games, gyms for recreations, and festivals. There is just so much to do, I can't list it all!

    Food and Dining

    Food on campus isn't too bad. It's not the best food, but UPenn does offer many food options, so if something doesn't quite fit your taste, there is always something else. Plus UPenn is located in the city, so there are plenty of off campus restaurant options.

    Dorm Life

    DORM LIFE IS SUPER AWESOME! UPenn offers residential programs, which is where a group of students who have similar interests are placed in the same hall and the hall (throughout the year) studies this topic. The dorms are relatively small, but with the activities being done in the hall, such as study breaks and hall trips, make it worth while.

    Academic Rigor

    University of Pennsylvania, like any college, is pretty tough. Courses at UPenn are particularly challenging because they explore the topics thoroughly. The professors and curriculum encourage you to explore topics in ways that promote thinking in a different way than just memorization. You learn not just by memorization, but through application. The professors push you to truly grasp the material, and understand it in a way that creates a more meaningful perception of the topic at hand. However, the professors make learning material so much easier, because of their willingness to aid you and their passion for the material they are teaching.

    Tips for prospective students

    Dear Prospects, some tips are 1.REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT. Often when students go to large schools like this, which house up to 15,000+ students including graduate students, it can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming at first. This can leave people feeling like a lost puppy in an amusement park, but do not fear! There are so many support groups on campus, upper class students willing to help out a freshman, and teachers willing to sit down and give you advice in your trying times! Believe me, it is easy to feel alone and weak, but by reaching out you will find transitioning easier. 2.TAKE ADVANTAGE OF WHAT THE SCHOOL OFFERS YOU. UPenn is a great school with many opportunities, from helping you land your dream job, or helping you figure it out, to giving you the chance to study abroad in a different language for a year. The university has so many clubs and student government groups, its amazing and taking full advantage of the resources the school offers you, can not only benefit your social life, but also your professional life as you work alongside professors doing research or become the leader of the student union. 3.FIND WAYS TO RELIEVE STRESS. At any collegiate level academic environment there is stress. Whether it be the personal stress of performing well academically, or the stress of feeling like there is just too much to do and not enough time, it is crucial to find your personal way of relieving stress. For me it was dance. For you it might be going to an art exhibit every Saturday, or going to Pottruck gym for yoga sessions or (if you're hardcore a weight lifting class!), or going ice skating at the Penn ice rink, or downtown shopping with your buddies! Whatever it is, find it and do it! 4.EXPLORE PHILADELPHIA. At UPenn you have the unique experience of going to school in one of the most awesome cities nationally! Like what is not to like about Philadelphia! The more you explore the city the more enchanted you will become with all it has to offer you. You will discover places that you never knew existed and its super fun to hop on the trolley (WHOO!) and head downtown for a shopping trip, or walk around Olde City, which is awesome! You will find the transition to college so much easier. 5.Lastly, DON'T BE AFRAID TO CALL HOME! Most people feel like when they go to college, they have the ultimate freedom and they will totally not miss home in the slightest and then they get there and feel kind of sad. Now, I'm not saying call home every second of the day, but you'll probably find(like I did) that you'll miss it, and sometimes in the most stressful times, it's pretty awesome to call home and hear a familiar, comforting voice. That's it for all, hope you come to UPENN!

    In three sentences

    The University of Pennsylvania is honestly a wonderful school. There are so many opportunities here for academic exploration, for jobs, and even for social comfort. The diversity of the campus, truly makes it a great fit for pretty much every student.

  • 02/26/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    7 out of 8 people found this review useful. 10 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    As an Ivy League and a private institution, one can already expect a hefty bill at the end of every semester. Fortunately, Penn provides so many financial aid opportunities. I was offered $42,800 out of approximately $55,000. I am paying the price of a public university to attend a top-notch Ivy League institution!

    Will enjoy being here

    I am beyond ecstatic to be attending! It is a dream come true and I have heard so many accounts about the great, positive, and joyful atmosphere of Penn's campus. An urban setting definitely fits this Miami girl, except the weather might not be so dandy.

    Will learn a lot

    I am so excited to become a part of Penn's Making History campaign to promote endeavors among its students! The opportunities created are truly endless!

  • 05/19/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 11 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    motivated, well-rounded, involved

    Tips for prospective students

    Come willing to try a lot of new things! There are so many sports, clubs, and activities to try available; keep an open mind to trying a new one!

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is really expensive, and sometimes it is hard to see where the money really goes on a day-to-day basis. I have siblings or friends at other schools that tell me certain services that they receive as part of their tuition, but at Penn, it seems like we pretty much have to pay for everything. That being said, there are amazing resources that our tuition money goes to - library databases, an amazing gym, the new Penn Park, etc. Also, Penn is pretty generous with financial aid. The most significant return is probably from networking - between professors, peers, and those extended networks, you meet a lot of people that could definitely help you get to where you want to be post-college.

    Am enjoying being here

    I honestly love being at Penn. It's been a great couple of years so far, and I know it will only get better. Even though everyone works hard in school, most people aren't working all the time and definitely find time to have fun. There is always so much going on, both on campus and off campus. The proximity to Center City makes going to any event or venue in the city really easy. I've met so many different kinds of people; there really is a place for everyone.

    Am learning a lot

    While I've had some professors of intro level classes that I've really disliked, I've also had a lot more whom I've loved. Some professors are only there because they have done amazing research, so they may not be good at communicating that to students. However, the majority of my professors have been amazing lecturers and mentors, and I definitely am learning a lot. There are so many resources beyond professors, in tutoring centers, help sessions, writing reviews, TAs, and office hours, just to name a few.

  • 06/13/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 13 people found this review useful. 1 person found it offensive. 1 person found this inaccurate. 12 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Were in Philly, so things still do happen.

    Greek Life

    There are alot of Greeks and it is honestly divided by race for the most part. The Frats and Sorors that receieve funding from Penn are white. We do have Black, Hispanic and Asian-specific Frats/Sorors

    Clubs and Activities

    There are alot of activities on campus

    Great for these types of students

    White, Frat Boys, Affluent, Those who dont mind segregation.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Spring Fling, Hey Day, Senior Toast, Homecoming.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is REALLY expensive. Honestly, if you are paying a bunch to go here I would go for the cheaper school.

    What to do for fun

    Most people go out and party or bar hop. You could explore Philly too.

    Food and Dining

    If you can, AVOID 1920 COMMONS. The food is terrible. Youre better off going to Hill or Houston.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms arent terrible, but they arent great either.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are very, very, challenging. Especially if you are in Wharton, Engineering or Nursing.

    Tips for prospective students

    Have a tutor your first semester freshman year. Dont try to challenge yourself your first year, take easy classes so your GPA will be high. Dont get stuck into one group of people of the same race - branch out.

    In three sentences

    University of Pennsylvania is very challenging, but you meet very interesting people. The resources available are vast. But the work load is very heavy.

  • 12/30/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 out of 6 people found this review useful. 13 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    UPenn has one of the best campus security forces across the nation. Officers can be seen at nearly every corner, posted in their bright neon-green vests, which not only gives the semblance but also the actuality of safety on campus.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Something unique to Penn is the traditional toast-toss at the end of the third quarter of all home football games. At this time, the entire Penn section sings Drink a Highball, and during the last line in the song - here's a toast to dear old Penn - everyone throws a piece of toast onto the field, commemorating a time when the toast used to be with alcohol, before it was banned from the football stadium.

    What to do for fun

    Go to Center City for a show or shopping, go to a frat party (there�¢����s always one going on), watch a Penn sporting event or a movie at the Rave, attend events and lectures hosted by on-campus student groups, etc.

    Food and Dining

    The food is traditionally good at Penn although the dining halls will sometimes lack variety. Breakfast is good - choices include waffles, pancakes, french toast, or omelets with your choice of oatmeal, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, bagels and cream cheese, juices, and coffee. Lunch and dinner, however, sometimes are lacking in quality or choices. There is consistently pizza and soda for anyone who wants that and also choices that alternate every day. However, these choices aren't always delectable and, on weekends, all dining hall hours are abysmal.

    Dorm Life

    One of my favorite aspects of being a Penn student is the college house program. Every house has faculty residents and residential advisors who are both second-parents and dear friends to the students living in the house. The staff will host weekly events ranging from espresso hours, cookie nights, and comfort food days to trips to the Philly orchestra and NYC which foster a sense of community amongst the house. All dorms are fantastic, and most rooms come with air-conditioners and in-room sink. The high-rises also include personal bathrooms and living rooms for the members of the suite.

    Academic Rigor

    All Penn classes are academically rigorous - whether you take the honors or general sequence, there is no such a thing as an easy A. In fact, every class I took first semester required at least 8 hours of homework and/or preparation for class each week.

    Tips for prospective students

    The most important factor in admission is your transcript, so take AP and IB courses and keep up your grades. That being said, you are more than your scores and grades. Although these are arguably the most important aspect of your application, Penn isn't looking for a number - they are looking for a person. Show them who you are by engaging in activities outside of school that you enjoy - that doesn't mean curing cancer or solving world hunger (although if you can, you'll get in wherever you want - and you'll probably win a Nobel Prize too). If you like playing a sport, join your school's team - if they don't have one, find others that want to play and make one. If you enjoy writing, do it as often as you like and then publish your work online. Take some time once a week to give back to your community by volunteering to tutor or by working at a soup kitchen. Be productive with your time outside of school because the way you spend your free-time tells Penn just as much as any scores might.

    In three sentences

    The University of Pennsylvania is a top tier institution that not only emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge but also its application to solve global problems. Known as the Civic Ivy, Penn encourages students to engage in community service, whether through participation in community service organizations or through Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses. It is an environment where intellectual curiosity thrives because that is a trait shared by all students.

  • 12/29/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 14 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Community service oriented students Great academic and social scenes Passionate students

    Tips for prospective students

    Figure out whether Penn really is the place for you. Don't worry about rankings, the most important thing is whether you think you'll be happy where you are going. Spend a lot of time thinking about your essay and make sure you show why you are unique and deserve to be at that school.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is very generous because it rewards students who work hard and enables them to get a great education that they can afford. Even though tuition is over $57,000 I am only paying about $3000, which is amazing! Money plays a huge role in choosing what school to attend or even if going to college is a possibility. If it wasn't for Penn's generous financial-aid package, then I wouldn't be able to afford going there. Even though my dad doesn't have a stable job, the options that Penn provides for paying your tuition is extremely helpful and thankfully my family has not had to take out loans to pay for my education.

    Am enjoying being here

    Penn doesn't only provide learning inside the classroom, but also community involvement. There are countless of volunteer opportunities from volunteering for one day to a work study job or a community service based class. I am very passionate about helping people, and by having the option to follow this passion through my work-study job and the student groups I am in is everything I could ask for. Nourish International is a group that raises awareness and fund-raises to end world hunger and poverty. I can't explain how perfect this group fit my interests. It was a perfect match. I am loving Penn because I am able to find people who have similar interests and because I am able to follow my passion for helping people. Choosing this school over another school (which is ranked higher) is the best decision I've ever made because I couldn't be any happier.

    Am learning a lot

    I look at the world from a different perspective now. In high school I felt like I wasn't learning about relevant things, but everything I am learning at Penn has a meaning and affects my life. I have learned to question everything. I have also learned a lot about myself as a person. All of the adversities I've faced so far have showed me my weaknesses and strengths.

  • 12/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 15 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Penn is in the city and very close to West Philadelphia, which is not the best part of Philadelphia. However, Penn goes out of its way to ensure that its students are safe. There are Penn Police on every corner day and night and bikers. They also offer free walks and rides any time of day or night that you can call. I have never felt unsafe at Penn.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is an organization for everything, and if you cannot find what you are looking for it is very simple to start your own club.

    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking Passionate Involved in the community Want the college experience, but still want to be in a city with access to everything.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every football game at Penn during the third quarter when the school song is played everyone throws pieces of toast on the field at the mention of the word 'toast' in the song. There is a compass on locust walk that as freshman you cannot walk across or you will fail your midterms.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is a little on the expensive side, but they make up for it with the amazing opportunities and events they offer to students. There are always places to go for free food (something you will appreciate more in school) they are constantly hosting famous guests. Just this semester Bill Clinton, Eva Longoria and many more people visited and spoke at Penn. The classes are wonderful and so are the professors and even in one case when I had a bad professor the school listened to the student body and relieved the professor. Penn works to accommodate its students and give them the best college experience possible.

    What to do for fun

    Social life at Penn is very active. The Greek life is very active at Penn, but if you are not into that there are many other options. Organizations host events weekly. There is always something to do on or near campus for fun.

    Food and Dining

    There are many options for food. The dining hall food is not bad, but it's not exceptional either. On any given day I can find something that I want to eat and that tastes good.

    Dorm Life

    I live in Hill which is one of the poorer quality dorms, but I love it nonetheless. If anything, I have bonded more with my suite mates and floor because of some conditions (like no air conditioning) in the dorms. The people on my floor are my best friends and we are all very close. At any time you can go into the lounge and find a friendly face.

    Academic Rigor

    Penn makes their classes difficult, but they are by no means impossible to pass. In order to obtain good grades a student has to work hard and make time for the class. Last minute studying will not allot for good grades.

    Tips for prospective students

    Time management is very important at Penn. At any given time there are a million different activities, dinners, events, and things of the like to attend, but you have to make sure you make adequate time for your studies as Penn expects students to work hard.

    In three sentences

    Penn is a fantastic school if you are a student that loves academics and is willing to work hard, but also is looking for a great social experience. University of Pennsylvania has an outlet for any interest (no matter how strange). It is a great location and environment to be in.

  • 06/08/2009

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    3 out of 56 people found this review useful. 1 person found it offensive. 6 people found this inaccurate. 16 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    academically inclined

    Tips for prospective students

    go see

  • 06/27/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    3 out of 8 people found this review useful. 1 person found this inaccurate. 17 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    They do not offer loans so if FAFSA says you only have to pay $50 dollars they will help you with the rest in work-studies and grants!

    Will enjoy being here

    The campus is right in the middle of the city so you can go to lots of corner cafes and restaurants.

  • 08/09/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 18 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Like any Ivy League school, it's best to get all you can out of your high school education. Make sure to take rigorous courses, and gain leadership positions in things you love. Penn looks favorably upon those with passion.

  • 08/23/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 19 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Outgoing and ready to live in Philadelphia.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do your research and visit the campus if you can. Talk to some current students. It helps.

    Bang for the buck

    Great education even though its a bit pricey. They try to help you out, but it will be kind of expensive. Well it was for me.

    Will enjoy being here

    I'm looking forward to the vibe on campus, which is one of the reasons I decided on coming to Penn. Spring Fling sounds like a blast even though it is quite a ways from now. I also plan to be involved around campus as much as possible.

    Will learn a lot

    I've learned a lot from visiting campus and attending the seminars. I can't wait to be fully immersed in the curriculum!

  • 07/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 20 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is police on every corner of each street!

    Greek Life

    There is a lot of Greek Life attention and it's great, but not required at all to have a great time at Penn.

    Clubs and Activities

    We have over 300+ clubs and activities to participate it. One will never be bored at Penn.

    Great for these types of students

    Very social and outgoing people, business-oriented (like myself), and motivated students will have the best time here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Every football game, we throw toast on the field to show our Quaker spirit!

    Bang for the buck

    Penn education is expensive, but definitely worth it.

    What to do for fun

    You can always just have a good time with your friends in the dorms, but otherwise there are lots to do on campus. There are athletic facilities to use available almost 24/7 and always clubs and activities going on.

    Food and Dining

    The Dining halls here are excellent, though they get a little old after a while. There are lots of options however! Did you know Penn has a Capogiro's, ranked #1 for best gelato in the WORLD.

    Dorm Life

    Dubbed the Social Ivy Penn is the most fun place to attend! Spring Fling every spring break is the biggest college party on the East coast!

    Academic Rigor

    We work hard and play hard. The classes will have rigor, but getting into Penn will be much harder than staying at Penn.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to start applications early and get those essays written ASAP. The essays are the most important aspect of the application so please work hard!

    In three sentences

    One of the best places ever. I am extremely excited to be at Penn, because of the wonderful profs and students. The opportunities are amazing.

  • 07/07/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 21 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I always feel safe. There are tons of security guards on bike and on foot in addition to the Philadelphia police. If you ever feel unsafe walking, you can call security to escort you anywhere on or close to campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    I am part of GAPSA for graduate students. They plan all types of fun activities such as basketball games, dinner cruises, amusement park visits; you name it!!

    Bang for the buck

    I find the city to be very affordable! I love living here.

    What to do for fun

    For fun, I like to go to museums in the day time and lounges or clubs at night! There is so much to do, even if it's just exploring the city and people watching!

    Food and Dining

    Penn has pretty good food on campus, including having your own Philly Cheese Steak custom-made. Of course, there are great restaurants surrounding campus (including the amazing food trucks, which are very affordable and delicious)!!!

    Dorm Life

    I live off campus, but I have friends in dorms, and they seem very satisfied. The view of Philly is amazing from the dorms!

    Academic Rigor

    UPenn is a tough school, but once you accomplish something like a tough homework assignment or an exam you thought was impossible, it is quite rewarding to know that you actually made it through!

    Tips for prospective students

    Explore this amazing city! Study, but make time for fun activities such as visiting the museum!

    In three sentences

    I am learning a lot, while also being challenged. I have met many intelligent people. Overall, I am having a great experience.

  • 07/12/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 22 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    As soon as dusk hits Penn Police and security guards are everywhere. You can call a walking escort to pick you up at any time which is really nice, everyone has used it at least once. I've found that as long as you use common sense (don't walk home alone at 3 AM, don't leave your bike outside unlocked) safety isn't an issue.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life isn't a huge deal here. If you're interested in it, great, if not, you won't have any problems making friends or having a social life.

    Clubs and Activities

    Too many to even start to name. Every semester at the activities fair I'm overwhelmed with how many clubs and student groups I'm interested in.

    Great for these types of students

    Works hard in class but also likes to have fun, likes the city, takes initiative, doesn't want a small school but doesn't want a huge state school either

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    They definitely don't talk about New Student Orientation enough on tours. It will be the best week of your life. The School of Nursing is the best-kept secret at Penn. The school itself is the top nursing school in the country, and the building has breakout rooms that are great for group studying and is open all night.

    Bang for the buck

    Yes, Penn is very expensive. Yes, it is worth the student loans I am piling up.

    What to do for fun

    There are tons of options for everyone. I personally love going into Center City to try a new restaurant, relax in a park, or just explore. There is always some kind of student performance on campus, or sporting event, or guest speaker (ie: Bill Cosby, Michelle Obama). For people who like to go out there are plenty of parties and bars, but there is definitely no pressure to drink or party.

    Food and Dining

    The dining hall food gets old after awhile, but if you're not a picky eater you'll be fine. The hours and locations are pretty good, and there are a ton of other places on campus where you can use dining dollars from a meal plan. There are also plenty of places to get food off-campus, and Center City is a short walk or cab ride away.

    Dorm Life

    Most of the dorms are air-conditioned, and are pretty average compared to other colleges. The high-rises are great on-campus apartments for upperclassmen. Most people make lots of friends on their freshman hall, I still get together every month with my freshman year neighbors.

    Academic Rigor

    The coursework is by no means a breeze, but I have never felt completely overwhelmed. As long as you're willing to put in the necessary time and effort, getting good grades is very feasible. And you'll definitely have time for other activities that don't involve textbooks or libraries.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make the most of all the opportunities offered to prospective students. Aside from going on official tours or meeting with admissions representatives you can also get lunch with a current student, sit in on a class, or attend a campus event.

    In three sentences

    Penn was my dream school, and has been just as amazing as I envisioned it. The opportunities are literally endless, and there is always something new to see or do. Living in the city is amazing, but the campus itself maintains a cozy, traditional collegiate vibe.

  • 08/21/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 23 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    As always, watch yourself in the city. Of course they'll tell you there's PennPolice, but the best cure is prevention. CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

    Greek Life

    Thriving and not as exclusive as one would think.

    Clubs and Activities

    Lots of opportunities to explore the city with friends and not to mention all the different student run clubs. There's even a Quidditch team!

    Great for these types of students

    The overachievers who still like to have fun.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Of course there's throwing toast during the third quarter of the football games. There's actually a whole section of the Penn archives website dedicated to documenting Penn traditions and old school songs.

    Bang for the buck

    Personally, I feel it is worth the price tag. You get a great experience with lots of new friends, not to mention graduating with a degree from an ivy league school.

    What to do for fun

    There are plenty of movie theatres and student productions or cafes you can find people in. There are also clubs and frat houses if you're into that.

    Food and Dining

    There are so many great places to eat in the city and there are a bunch of great restaurants on campus, too.

    Dorm Life

    The people in your building will be like a second family for you--there will be the relatives you love to hang about and the people you never want to see. I recommend one of the residency programs so you can meet even more people.

    Academic Rigor

    As long as you study, you won't have too many issues.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make your essays memorable and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

    In three sentences

    A thriving private university in the City of Brotherly love, UPenn offers a lush campus with a diverse, bustling community of students who enjoy learning and experiencing all the world has to offer.

  • 08/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 24 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Home of the largest private police force in the country, UPenn takes its students' safety very seriously, with many procedures in place to protect those who work and study here.

    Greek Life

    Second to none, the weekends are always filled with fraternity fun.

    Clubs and Activities

    Take your pick, there are literally hundreds of clubs and activities to participate in yearly, from Badminton to politics.

    Great for these types of students

    Those who will appreciate a demanding education in a city environment will do best here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The annual Toast to Old Penn is held at the football stadium, where at halftime, everyone hurls actual toast onto the track. Quite a sight to see.

    Bang for the buck

    The University of Pennsylvania provides a first rate education for less than many other private universities. Value is all around you at UPenn, and again, the ability to network with some of the future leaders of America pays for itself.

    What to do for fun

    The city has great nightlife, and you can basically spend a whole day in just one section, exploring history and culture. Visit Old City to take a free tour of Independence Hall, then hop on the bus to the Art Museum area to explore some of our nation's greatest treasures!

    Food and Dining

    Meal plans for those who don't have the patience to cook for themselves, and an excellent selection of restaurants which cater to the college crowd. There are even a few places which are open until 4:30 AM!

    Dorm Life

    New facilities for students who prefer a modern dormitory, and classic facilities for those who want the feeling of a smaller college. You can live on or off campus, and there is a great management company in University City which deals specifically in renting to students and faculty.

    Academic Rigor

    As a colonial college and Ivy League university, you can expect a highly rigorous education, reinforced by a solid core of subjects within the liberal arts.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get into the city to explore your surroundings. Make sure you take the time to interview people who work at and attend the university for a better understanding of what it can offer you.

    In three sentences

    The University of Pennsylvania is a wonderful place to receive an education. This city of Philadelphia is a great backdrop for this classic Ivy League school. There are many opportunities to make a great career for yourself, and the networking is second to none.

  • 12/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 25 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are many tourist attractions and historical landmarks in Philadelphia, and there are many bars and restaurants near campus. New York and Washington DC are both 2 hours away.

    Food and Dining

    The dining plans are expensive and provide low-quality food for how much you pay. Many people avoid full dining plans after their freshman year.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are nothing special, but they are nice enough for one year.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes are very comprehensive and difficult, but the professors are very intelligent and creative. They provide a great learning experience.

    Tips for prospective students

    I would recommend that prospective students fill out their applications in such a way that they stand out. There are many high-level students applying to Penn, and you need to make yourself stand out.

    In three sentences

    University of Pennsylvania is an excellent place to go to school. The academics are second to none, there is some sort of social activity for everyone, and the campus is beautiful. Nestled in University City, Penn offers all the resources of Philadelphia with a secluded, college campus feel.

  • 01/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 26 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Penn has its own dedicated police force, as well as a large Allied Barton public safety force on foot and on bike. They respond quickly and the emergency number- 311- is easy to remember and posted everywhere. Walking and riding escorts are readily available so you never have to walk on your own if you don't feel comfortable doing so. Also, there is a late night shuttle service that runs a decent distance off campus so that you have a safe way home. There are lots of security cameras and emergency police phones that are well marked and easily accessible.

    Greek Life

    There are many different fraternities and sororities to choose from and they are well run and well monitored. Most of the Greek houses are above 37th street all in a row so it's a nice community there.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is every type of club that you can think of here. Sports clubs for every sport, hobby clubs, religious clubs, political clubs, special interest clubs. There are also all sorts of activities going on for graduate and undergraduate students. There are always flyers everywhere so you'll know what's happening in advance. There's always Spring Fling and Ivy Day too!

    Great for these types of students

    This school is great for students who want to experience city life in a safe environment. You'll also be exposed to a lot of diverse culture. If you're interested in national history and art of all kinds, as well as a great music scene, and strong democratic traditions, this is the place for you! You must value education and excellence and you'll fit in here for sure.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have Hey Day, which is the ceremony for the Junior class to become rising Seniors. You get a boater hat and a cane. There's also the Penn Relays where the best runners from around the world come to race. Usain Bolt has attended in the past. Also check out the Ben Franklin statue that sits on a bench and the button outside of the library.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is a little pricey but I think it's worth it considering the quality of education that you receive and the fact that having a degree from Penn will give you an advantage when trying to land good internships and in the job market after graduation.

    What to do for fun

    You're in Philadelphia, there's a ton of stuff to do for fun! On campus there is the Museum of Archeology, around 40th and Spruce, there is a movie theater and a great new restaurant that opened up (Harvest Grill). You can head downtown for shopping or more fun attractions, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Gallery mall at Market East, and Fairmount Park. If you want to travel, just outside of Philly you can go apple picking at the orchards or hiking, grab a cheap train or bus for a fun day trip to New York City! The options are limitless. We love our sports here so you can catch a baseball, football, or basketball game. The university will often sponsor various trips for a low cost so check that out too!

    Food and Dining

    Located in University City, the University of Pennsylvania is within walking distance or a quick trolley or subway ride to literally hundreds of places to eat. There are also many on-campus food courts, such as the one at 34th and Walnut and the food court in Houston Hall. There are other individual shops, such as WaWa convenience stores, and many nice restaurants that range from moderately expensive to very affordable. I recommend New Deck Tavern (you don't have to be 21 to eat there) and White Dog Cafe.

    Dorm Life

    I live off-campus and can't speak directly about this but I do know several of the RAs at the dorms and the dorms (houses, as they are called) are secure, well-staffed by highly qualified and trained individuals, and offer a safe and supportive environment for students.

    Academic Rigor

    There is a lot of work but the school also provides a lot of support, such as tutoring and extra materials. Effort is required but the graduation rate is very high.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you have high SAT scores and a high GPA. Admissions is very competitive. If you're attending a graduate program, check for program-specific requirements because it varies. You may not always need the GRE or other graduate exams.

    In three sentences

    The University of Pennsylvania has a great financial aid package for undergraduates that allows qualifying students to avoid taking out student loans. There is lots of academic and social support for students, including help with stress and mental and physical well-being. The school's website also has a great online portal for students that is easy to use and allows you to take care of a lot of things on your own, such as financial aid documents and class registration, as well as finding work-study jobs.

  • 04/03/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 27 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    This school offers a wide variety of languages which is a major plus for me.

    What to do for fun

    My first thing? Go buy a Philly Cheesesteak.

    Dorm Life

    The college houses are one of the most exciting features about Penn in my view. Especially the Modern Language Program which I will be applying for. If you're looking at this school be sure to glance at the programs offered for each housing college.

    Academic Rigor

    Giving a neutral rating as I have not attended yet. But from my conversations with students at Ivy League schools, once you get in, they make it difficult to flunk out. The help is there when needed.

    Tips for prospective students

    SAT scores are not everything to this school. I admit I did not have the best score for applying to this school (1900 and 30 ACT) it didn't stop me from applying. Keep your hopes up, be active in your home, school and community and it will give you that fighting chance.

    In three sentences

    This college has met my financial needs to a 'T' which was my biggest fear when applying to this college. If you are accepted they will work with you to find a way for you to afford it. This, in my book, is the most important thing to receive from a school.

  • 06/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 28 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Even though I am in the middle of West Philly, I have never felt unsafe. There are security guards on EVERY corner.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn has a reputation. Jobs will know that a student is prepared , and they are eager to hire Penn grads.

    What to do for fun

    There are so many clubs. Clubs for everyone. Sports are fun to cheer at. SPRING FLING!! It is notorious yet students look forward to it every year. Who wouldn't look forward to drunkenly petting a llama while eating a fried oreo?

    Food and Dining

    Food is not very good. There is not much variety in the dining halls. But, no one starves.

    Dorm Life

    Besides a few non-airconditioned dorms, the dorm life is wonderful. It is a great bonding experience especially for the underclassmen. There are also a wide variety of living options.

    Academic Rigor

    Penn is challenging. If you do not have the skills already, time management will need to be learned right away, but there are many resources that have one job: help students in need. Penn only wants you to succeed.

    Tips for prospective students

    Do not be overwhelmed and nervous because you do not feel ready for the challenges of an Ivy League education. You would not have been accepted if you were not able to succeed. Penn is full of faculty and staff that are ready and willing to help you-- all you have to do is ask.

    In three sentences

    The University of Pennsylvania may be contained within a small campus in the beautiful city of Philadelphia, yet students are uniquely connected to the entire world. Students are able to experience the wonders of academic challenges and diverse populations of students and faculty. Penn is a welcoming family of with one goal in mind: success.

  • 10/30/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 29 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    There is a wide variety of food and restaurants to choose from.

    Dorm Life

    I've never been in a dorm here so I can't rate how great dorm life is.

    Academic Rigor

    They set very high standards for their students.

    In three sentences

    Not only is the campus gorgeous but the academics are great. Most importantly for me, they have an amazing psychology program.

  • 02/21/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 30 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I've always felt completely safe at Penn. The school has their own police force who patrol the campus and surrounding streets every night.

    Greek Life

    Greek life at Penn is really big as well so there are a lot of social activities centered around sororities and fraternities. However, many of these are open to all students, even those not affiliated with any greek houses. In addition to the traditional social fraternities and sororities, there are also pre-professional, communiuty service and multi-cultural coed and not coed fraternities and sororities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    At football games we throw toast after the third quarter as a toast to dear old Penn.

    What to do for fun

    Penn is an extremely social community. In the day time or on weekdays students often explore center city, watch movies, shop etc. Greek life at Penn is really big as well so there are a lot of social activities centered around sororities and fraternities.

    Food and Dining

    Some of the dining options at Penn are good, but the actual dining halls are not that great. All freshmen are required to get a meal plan, however most upperclassman do not get one (or at least get one with out dining hall swipes) At Penn you have two types of money in your meal plan. The first is a meal swipe which gets you into an all-you-can-eat type dinging hall. The second is dining dollars. These can buy you much better food than you could get in a dinging hall. However, all freshman meal plans include a mix of both.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life at Penn is adequate. Most people don't stay on campus all four years because there are a lot of better and cheaper options in the streets surrounding Penn.

    Academic Rigor

    Penn definitely an academically rigorous environment. A lot of classes are graded on a curve which makes getting As difficult. Everyone here was top in their class in high school and is used to getting all As, but here very few people have perfect GPAs. Getting good grades at Penn isn't easy, but it's also not impossible.

    Tips for prospective students

    At Penn, the city of Philadelphia and all it has to offer is literally at your fingertips. I would highly recommend seizing as many opportunities as possible to explore the city! Get involved! Join clubs, be social, go out, have fun! Be yourself! Penn is a big enough school where you WILL find your group of friends. They might not be the first people you meet in NSO or your roommate (or they could be!) but you will find them.

    In three sentences

    I absolutely love attending Penn. It's an academically rigorous environment with brilliant professors and motivated students. However, it remains a highly social environment as well, striking a perfect balance between work and play.`

  • 04/11/2014

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 31 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    If you've heard of Philadelphia, you know that its not the safest city in the world. That being said, Penn does truly care about maintaining safety on its campus so there are always security officers roaming around the perimeter of the school. I always felt safe, but there was always the occasional robbery to shooting very close to school.

    Greek Life

    I never personally participated in Greek Life, but a lot of my friends have. Its a big part of Penn and its a good way to meet people that you'll keep in touch with years after you graduate.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are many clubs and activities you can join, almost too much. My advice would be stick to a few you are truly passionate for and give it your all. Many people sign up for too many and are stretched too thin.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The WEIRDEST tradition is that every football game, bystanders throw toast on the field and sing a song. Toast to Penn Football! There's also a big red architectural object in the middle of Penn Campus called the Dueling Tampons. I'm still to this day not sure what to make of it.

    Bang for the buck

    I loved my time at the University of Pennsylvania, and I would not give it up for the world. It truly was a unique experience so please prospective students, take advantage of this amazing opportunity. Feel proud to be a Quaker!

    What to do for fun

    Although I spent a lot of time studying, I really enjoyed getting involved in Intramural sports. I joined a flag football team with my church for 4 years and I loved building quality relationships and learning how to play a sport. I really loved going to church and joining a small group that met weekly. Sometimes we would go down to center city to feed the homeless, which was something I always had a heart to do. There is just so much around, and there's a lot to say for a school that is within a big city yet maintains its ability to be enclosed on a campus.

    Food and Dining

    I enjoyed the fact that as a freshman, I was forced into having a meal plan. I know that if I didn't have one, I would be entirely too thin. It was a great way to build community as I shared so many meals with my fellow freshman. The food is not spectacular, but I do remember some amazing stand out meals. Outside of dining, Philadelphia has the BEST restaurants. I know this is a bold statement, but heading down to center city and even walking a little further north, there are some great meals for great prices. I would suggest Barbuzzo (my all time favorite Mediterranean restaurant), Marakesh (an Ethiopian restaurant where you use your hands as utensils), Han Dynasty (a Spicy Chinese restaurant that my cousin owns), and Green Eggs (the best brunch around). Lastly, I'll add, food trucks are a must.

    Dorm Life

    I loved my dorm and its community so much I lived in Stouffer College House for all four years of my undergraduate studies. Not all dorm houses had the same type of community, but again you make what you want out of it. There are many different options on campus, and I would suggest to live in the Quad your freshman year to get that Freshman Experience.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes can be difficult, but there is always so much support. Teachers want you to do well, and they will be there for you when you need extra help. Classmates are not always the friendliest as everyone is competing to be the best, but find a close niche of friends you truly trust and you'll be able to get through anything.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't allow yourself be consumed by the competition. If you let it define you, then you've succumbed to made-up societal rules of how to get far in life. Take advantage of all the school has to offer, whether it be religious pursuit, greek life, academics, or sports to name a few areas that the University of Pennsylvania shines in.

    In three sentences

    The University of Pennsylvania is a school of opportunity, and is only as good as you make it. I loved it with all my heart, because I let it take my breath away every moment as I walked down the beautiful Locust Walk to my classes, dorms, or to meet with friends. It can be challenging at times because of the academic rigor and competition, but the relationships you form with the amazing people around you can get you through it!

  • 04/23/2014

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 32 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food is absolutly amazing, so much so that my friends and I had to deem the weight gain the pre-frosh 10.

    Dorm Life

    When I visited I was able to spend the night in a dorm for a few days and while there I absolutely feel in love with the communal feel of the dorms. Every said hello in passing in the hallways, the room was spacious, and there are many residential programs so that you can live around people with similar interests.

  • 05/08/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    33 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    It is great for academically focused students who are also willing to have a lot of fun.

    Tips for prospective students

    When looking for colleges, the campus is pretty important too. Penn has an amazing urban campus.

    Bang for the buck

    The cost of attending is pretty high. I am unsure about how I will finance my education.

    Will enjoy being here

    University of Pennsylvania has a great campus that is close to center city. There is always something to do at Penn.

    Will learn a lot

    Many of my friends who currently attend the university love the school. You get to learn a lot while still having fun.

  • 05/12/2011

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 34 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Well yes the school would definitely be great for someone who is unique and is involved.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard, volunteer, participate, and write a banging essay.

    Bang for the buck

    I'm getting quite a bit of scholarship money so it's all good! :D

    Will enjoy being here

    There is so much to do! From what I saw, there simply was too much to do and some hard choices are going to have to be made. All the student organizations, and the atmosphere and environment all suit me very well.

    Will learn a lot

    There are so many available classes and paths of learning available and I'm sure the professors will be amazing!

  • 07/07/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    0 out of 2 people found this review useful. 35 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Ambitious students who plan to enjoy career success upon graduation

  • 01/14/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    0 out of 2 people found this review useful. 36 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are a lot of hangouts and the students themselves are fun.

    Food and Dining

    Nor am I sure of that either because I'm not yet there.

    Dorm Life

    I don't know yet.

    Academic Rigor

    It is going to be demanding, it is an Ivy League after all.

    Tips for prospective students

    Just be yourself and if they think the school fits you, then you'll do well!

    In three sentences

    It is diverse and has most probably the best undergraduate schools out there in the world.

  • 01/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    37 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    very, very safe campus. penn police are omnipresent, and i have never ever felt unsafe on campus or in the area, regardless of the time of day or night.

    Greek Life

    great greek life, 30+ fraternities and 8 sororities. 30% of the students are involved in greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    penn has more clubs than any one person can possibly imagine, and it's really easy to become a club as well.

    Great for these types of students

    studious, motivated, self-driven, looking to make an impact

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    hey day -- juniors have a procession down locust walk to become seniors. econ scream -- night before the first econ midterm of the semester at midnight the entire freshman class comes out in the upper quadrangle and relieves the stress by screaming. spring fling -- one of the largest parties on the east coast a week-long (for some, for others just a few days) festivity centering on a grand concert by some big headliner.

    Bang for the buck

    it's an ivy, but it's still expensive, but you do get your money's worth out of an education here.

    What to do for fun

    go into center city and explore philadelphia is a pretty common day trip, other time you can go to king of prussia mall or the like.

    Food and Dining

    dining on campus is decent, but campus is surrounded by many great restaurants and shops to eat.

    Dorm Life

    dorms are quite austere, and the quad has weirdly shaped ones. dorms provide the necessities, but penn doesn't give you much more than that in them.

    Academic Rigor

    penn allows first semester freshman 4 credits, and second ones 5, and the courses should all be challenging to an extent, but in a good way. using the penn course review helps students make informed decisions about which classes are best for their needs.

    Tips for prospective students

    apply early decision with real research on why penn would be your best fit. you need to demonstrate true desire to come to penn, and you have to show that you've put as much effort into what you're saying as they do into reading it.

    In three sentences

    penn is an all-around highly inclusive and diverse community centered in the heart of philadelphia. each of penn's undergraduate schools has its own flair and distinction, and each one has a program the is one if not the best in the world.

  • 04/02/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    38 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Penn has blue lights, Penn police, and their own security guards around campus 24/7. Shuttles will come pick you up if you're scared to walk home alone, or a police officer on a bike will walk with you.

    Greek Life

    Lots of Greeks, but if the scene isn't for you, it's not smothering. Just be friends with some so you can get into the parties.

    Great for these types of students

    Smart, self-motivated, well-off, quirky, funny, creative, human

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    So many weird traditions. At football games, we have a toast throw at halftime. The Penn Band (best student group on campus!) plays Drink a Highball, and at the line that goes Here's a toast to dear old Penn! Everyone just rains toast onto the track. We used to actually drink highballs, but that's frowned upon now, so we use real toast. There are a lot of statues people use as landmarks to meet up. The Tampons, the Button, and the Love Statue are few. The Tampons are actually two, red, stick-looking modern type sculptures. But apparently they look like dueling tampons. The Button's actually just a big, white button in front of the main library.

    Bang for the buck

    The financial aid is really, really good. Penn is giving me a LOT of money so I can afford to come here. There are a lot of fees, though, and Penn isn't super merciful if you fall behind. The bookstore is ridiculously overpriced, but so are all college bookstores. Just rent your books if you can.

    What to do for fun

    Get off campus! Go around Philly. There is so much to do and you'd need more than four years to do it all. I love the Penn Museum, personally. I go there whenever I have free time. It's free with a PennCard, so check it out!

    Food and Dining

    I love Penn, but the food leaves a little to be desired. Hill House has the best dining hall, hands down. Next is Kings Court English's dining hall. Commons is so, so bad. So bad. BUT lucky for me, they're renovating it this summer to include more dining options. Houston Hall is great for spending dining dollars, but it gets pricey.

    Dorm Life

    I live in King's Court English College House, and I think it's the most underrated dorm at Penn. It just got renovated the summer before I moved in, so there's new furniture, renovated bathrooms, new floors, ceilings, and paint. The rooms are HUGE-most rooms have either a bay window or one or two walk-in closets. Some rooms have both! Mine has a bay window, a regular window, and two sliding closets with more than enough space. The location is great(think waking up 10 minutes before class and getting there with a minute to spare). Other dorms on campus are nice, too. The Quad is the hub for freshmen, but it's old. The highrises are where most upperclassmen live(including me next year) and they're very nice.

    Academic Rigor

    It's hard. It can get really, really frustrating, especially if you're not used to doing less than brilliantly in school. Penn has a TON of resources to help, though. It's actually insane how much help you can get. There are free, personal tutors, the Writing Center, and the Learning Resources Center. Even the librarians are trained in specific fields.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get off campus! Go explore the city, since that's where you'll be spending a LOT of time. South Street is a great place to start-go check out the Magic Gardens and grab a cheesesteak from Jim's and a water ice from Rita's. Center City is gorgeous, and Old Philly is a great place to hang out with your parents(or roommate, in my case).

    In three sentences

    To me, Penn is the most down-to-earth school I visited. We have an open campus, so there are always families and people around. Philadelphia is a great place to find student-priced things to do. The Penn community is great about making sure you'll always feel confident in both academics and extracurriculars.

  • 04/10/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    39 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Being in Philadelphia, there is a lot to do for fun. There are many kinds of restaurants on campus as well as in Center City. You can also check out the historic sites in downtown Philadelphia. A common activity for Penn students is going to Center City for the day.

    Food and Dining

    This is where Penn could use work. Many students, after their freshman year, drop the formerly required dining plan and depend on cooking and restaurants instead. I would recommend Penn focus on their food rather than the dining halls itself,

    Dorm Life

    The best place for freshmen to live is the Quad or Hill due to the nice social atmosphere there. One nice thing about dorms is that there are three on-campus high rises where a lot of non-freshman live. Dorm life overall is pretty good.

    Academic Rigor

    Academics are a strong part of Penn. Penn is strong in business, the sciences, engineering, and the humanities. What makes Penn special is the opportunities to explore interdisciplinary fields.

    Tips for prospective students

    I would advise students to take advantage of opportunities presented to them. Also, it is important to maintain a good balance between studies and extracurricular activities. Finally, make sure to talk to advisors and professors as they have a lot to offer.

  • 04/17/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    40 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    The talent show showcased some of their available talent groups. They were really enthusiastic, talented, and entertaining.

    Bang for the buck

    The school appears to use a generous portion of their funds on student activities. These expenditures enable the students to have more opportunities which will distinguish them from others when it is time to compete in the job market.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms in the high-rises are cozy. The people are friendly overall, and the RA I met was really involved.

    Tips for prospective students

    Leadership makes you stand out. Community service and involvement are excellent, but the University seems to be looking for leadership above all in extra-curricular activities.

    In three sentences

    The community seemed really supportive. The student body was diverse. The people seemed genuinely happy.

  • 04/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    41 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Explore the campus. Site-seeing in Philly.

    Food and Dining

    The food is fairly good. Not fine dining but enough variety to keep you interested.

    Dorm Life

    Great! I absolutely love my suite mates (and i got a random roommate). I live in a building with no A/C but it wasn't a problem after the first week. The inside isn't glamourous but the atmosphere makes up for it.

    Academic Rigor

    It is difficult but probably not as bad as you think it is. There are definitely challenging classes so refer to Penn Course Review when choosing classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study hard. You have more of a chance of getting in than you think. Don't assume you won't get in just because it is prestigious .

    In three sentences

    It would be very difficult to beat their education. Their campus is absolutely beautiful. Bonus - It is IVY LEAGUE :)

  • 05/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    42 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    West Philadelphia is known to be a dangerous city, but campus police is pretty tight here, so there's generally nothing to be worried about. Only precaution you should take is not to wander around alone at night.

    Greek Life

    Greek Life may seem pretty big here, but less than half of the students are actually involved in fraternities or sororities. There's not a lot of social pressure to be part of them, and how important greek life is pretty much depends on you.

    Clubs and Activities

    Everything you can think of.

    Great for these types of students

    People who like to party, people who like to constantly challenge themselves, and the mix of both.

    Bang for the buck

    There are great opportunities in pretty much every industry or academic field, through research work, summer internships, etc. Ultimately, how much enrichment and skill-building you gain in these four years depends on how much you make of it.

    What to do for fun

    So much goes on throughout the week and during the weekend. If you're into frat parties, there's plenty every weekend. If you want off-campus fun, there's plenty of shops, sights, and nightclubs in downtown Philadelphia.

    Food and Dining

    Dining hall food is mediocre on average, but has its good days; there's a decent amount of options, especially the vegetarian options at King's Court. Off-campus food trucks and restuarants around campus are great. All the incoming frosh are required to have a dining plan their year, and most upperclassmen opt out of the dining plan completely after that first year.

    Dorm Life

    Overall good, but a lot of tradeoffs in the college houses. Freshman dorms like Hill and the Quad are great for making the process of making friends and getting to know people easy, but the facilities are sub-par. The high rises (Harrison, Harnwell, and Rodin) on the other hand have great facilities, but don't have as strong of a tight-knit community. There are plenty of good off-campus options for upperclassmen, in case you don't get your first choice during room selection every year.

    Academic Rigor

    If you took a heavy courseload during high school, full of APs and honor-level courses, you will do great here, but expect a decent amount of work. The sooner you learn skills like time management, the better.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't slouch on the Penn supplemental essay! Show them why you deserve to go to Penn-there are a million reasons!

    In three sentences

    Penn is everything you expect and didn't expect from an Ivy League university. You'll find plenty of interesting courses to take, people to meet, and things to do. It's a bit daunting at first, but wonderful.

  • 05/31/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    43 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Not part of it

    Clubs and Activities

    Tons of clubs

    Great for these types of students

    Smart, motivated, love learning

    Bang for the buck

    Ivy league so its very expensive.

    What to do for fun

    Philadelphia!

    Food and Dining

    Food is expensive but good on campus and there are lots of options in the city if you don't mind going off campus.

    Dorm Life

    Nice dorms, mostly nice people.

    Academic Rigor

    I can't speak for majors outside of the science field but I know that the science classes are difficult but rewarding. There is a lot to learn and a lot to study.

    Tips for prospective students

    Study. Study. Study

    In three sentences

    This school has a great reputation, great food, and is in a good part of Philadelphia. The surrounding area has plenty to do and the campus itself is inspiring. Parking can be a hassle.

  • 06/08/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 44 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    It's in Philly so the sky's the limit.

    Food and Dining

    The food there is better than I have been eating in my own home.

    Dorm Life

    Most the dorms are nice, but the water from the water fountain is warm. Also the Hill dorm contains no air conditioning.

    Academic Rigor

    It is an Ivy League school so academics is key.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely go to see the campus just in case you realize the city isn't for you.

    In three sentences

    The campus is amazing and spread out in different sections. There are so many organizations for people of all races and sexual orientations. Since it is located in Philadelphia there so much to do outside the campus.

  • 06/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    45 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Have a lot of safety precautions and security personnel around, but there could be a bomb on campus, and who knows if we'd ever receive that PennAlert.

    Clubs and Activities

    Far and Wide are the number and variety of clubs and activities to join. Something and everything for anyone's needs.

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone; of all the Ivy Leagues, Penn seems to receive the most amount of diversity in its students (both culturally and ethnically, and personality and family background).

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    In Philadelphia, the most historical city in the United States

    Bang for the buck

    Wildly Overpriced, because of the brand-name (same reason people by a million Apple Products), so scholarships are a great iea.

    What to do for fun

    Between hanging out with friends, going to the College House events, playing games in the common room, or competing in club or intramural sports, there is plenty of fun to be spread (if you can squeeze it into your schedules, that is).

    Food and Dining

    Excellent Food and Dining Services, the food is great, there is a wide variety and great amount of options

    Dorm Life

    Small Rooms for the most part (because of the city), but great community of people.

    Academic Rigor

    Very Hard (Ivy League, duh.)

    Tips for prospective students

    Be as well rounded and open minded as possible. Remember everything is a learning experience, and always be a motivator for yourself.

    In three sentences

    Outstanding teachers and staff. Intense courses and workload. Deep concern for students' learning.

  • 07/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review useful. 46 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus police active at night

    Greek Life

    Great parties

    Clubs and Activities

    Power Up Gambia, Black wharton Undergrad Association

    Great for these types of students

    Travelers

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Late night Ice Cream

    What to do for fun

    Hang out with the diverse student body

    Tips for prospective students

    Adventure Maturity Growth

    In three sentences

    Challenging Inspiring Motivating

  • 09/27/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    47 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Even though you are in a major city with a good amount of theft and homeless, there is a ton of university police presence. They will even walk you to your door with no questions asked.

    What to do for fun

    Going to happy hours.

    Food and Dining

    Food carts are amazing. I too was weary at first, but I am a true believer now.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get to know you fellow students as well as instructors. You can't do this all by yourself.

    In three sentences

    Very competitive andamazing oppertunities. Very diverse culturally with some of the best professors. Costs a ton of money and hardly doable without loans/scholarships.

  • 10/11/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    48 of 68

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I like the media and communication programs as well as the location of the school.

  • 11/03/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    49 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Penn's police department has 150 police officers alone. There are also 500 security guards. Even though the campus is in a big city, Penn and its surrounding areas are extremely safe.

    Greek Life

    Penn has many fraternities and sororities with locations on and off campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are dozens of different clubs and student groups that are constantly putting on activities.

    Great for these types of students

    Penn is great for hardworking, top tier students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During football games, toast is thrown onto the field at the end of the third quarter.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is very expensive, but it is one of the best schools in the country. don't worry about the sticker price too much, because the school will meet all of your demonstrated financial need.

    What to do for fun

    Explore Philadelphia for fun! There is always something going on.

    Food and Dining

    There are many dining halls, markets, and retail locations on campus. Plus, if you get sick of dining hall food, you can venture out to the food trucks or restaurants within the city.

    Dorm Life

    Penn has very diverse college housing options, so you are likely to find a dorm that fits you best.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes here are very difficult. Considering it is an Ivy League, classes are not going to be easy. Penn has a high academic reputation to live up to.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students should definitely apply here, even if you think it may not be your top choice school. Financial aid is great, so if you get in, the cost will not be a deterring factor that encourages you to choose another school.

    In three sentences

    This school is full of resources and opportunities for whatever you may be interested in. There is a lot of diversity and a strong sense of community even though it is a large school. Its location in Philadelphia is ideal because you are able to experience everything that Penn and the city have to offer.

  • 11/18/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    50 of 68

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Very beautiful. Great history. A wonderful place to learn.

  • 11/27/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    51 of 68

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    I am interested in their business program.

  • 12/31/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    52 of 68

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Top-notch academics located in a great city. The campus is beautiful, and a stroll through Locust Walk evidences the vibrant student life. Great place to learn and live!

  • 01/09/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    53 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Try your best to not only get excellent grades and scores but also involve yourself in extracurriculars. Bonus points if they're related to your intended major.

  • 04/28/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    54 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There are many extracurricular activities offered so anyone can find something that works for them.

    Tips for prospective students

    Look and see and keep looking till you find what is right for you.

    In three sentences

    I think it looks like a really diverse school. It seems to have many different majors. I really like that it is in such a historically rich area.

  • 05/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    55 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Penn is expensive but they are a No Loan school. The financial aid I have received is great.

    What to do for fun

    There are always great events at Penn. There are always great parties to go to, fun activities, and there is always free food.

    Food and Dining

    Penn has some really delicious food.

    Dorm Life

    You'll meet tons of new people in your dorm and many will become some of your closest friends.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes are hard but if you go to class, take notes, and really study then you'll be fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be intimidated by the fact that it is an Ivy League school. If you work hard you'll be able to do great at UPenn. Remember to always take advantage of your time and use it wisely. Get involved!

    In three sentences

    It is a wonderful school with incredible opportunities for all students no matter what their area of interest is. The staff is extremely helpful and supportive. Every class is different and teaches students something new.

  • 05/30/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    56 of 68

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Penn seems like a great school with great location and education. I am proud to say that two of my very good friends will be attending Penn in the fall. I look forward to possibly joining them next year once I graduate high school.

  • 06/09/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    57 of 68

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    As soon as I walked onto the campus I knew that it was the right fit for me. That feeling you get that you belong should be one of the major factors of what college you go to. For me, this college radiates that feeling loud and clear.

  • 06/24/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    58 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    The party scene is vibrant if you're into that but there are also great museums around campus. You're also just a bus ride away from exciting downtown.

    Food and Dining

    There are three dining areas at each end and the middle of campus. 1920 Commons was hit or miss but Hill was pretty good.

    Dorm Life

    The dorm areas are beautiful and I made friends with many of my neighbors.

    Academic Rigor

    It is an Ivy League School, so expect a lot of hard work.

    Tips for prospective students

    Guys, let your accomplishments be known. This is no time to be modest. Let UPenn know all of your amazing talents, and prepare yourself for the hard work and incredible experiences awaiting you!

    In three sentences

    The University of Pennsylvania is a fast-paced, hectic, but incredibly fun school. I have had many opportunities to pursue what I love both inside and outside the classroom with peers and professors who love the fact that they're at Penn. I wouldn't be happier anywhere else

  • 06/25/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    59 of 68

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    i am currently looking at applying for this school

  • 06/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    60 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Although Penn is in an area that is considered to be dangerous (West Philly), I feel extremely safe on campus. The Penn police and security force is always alert and available to help the students. With friendly security guards at the entrance to every residence hall and building, students feel safe and see familiar faces everyday. Additionally, if a student ever feels unsafe or would just like some company on a late night walk home from the library, Penn Walk and Penn Ride services are happy to accompany him or her from anywhere on campus.

    Greek Life

    See social life above. Greek life has been great for me, though I won't lie and say that I was not hugely skeptical. I did not rush because I felt like I needed to. Rather, I felt like I had such great friends from first semester that I didn't need to rush. I ended up doing it to give it a try (no need to close off my options) and have found within my sorority an awesome group of down-to-earth, hilarious girls whom I wouldn't have met otherwise. Rush is in the spring, so you get an entire semester to naturally make friends, acclimate to Penn, and watch the way that greek life is integrated into the social scene to see if it's for you. I have friends in greek life and tons of friend not in greek life. There are no social stigmas one way or another and that was a huge factor in my decision to give it a shot. Additionally, the connections that one makes through a greek organization, especially at a school like Penn, have the potentially to be career-determining and life-changing.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are so many groups in which one can participate. Most of these groups mandates a serious time commitment. Expect to come to Penn and focus on a few groups that you really enjoy as opposed to stretching yourself too thinly across all extra-curricular areas.

    Bang for the buck

    It's expensive. If you're goal is to graduate with a high-paying job to compensate you for your investment, you have a good chance of doing that at Penn. With On-Campus Recruitment and the connections available, one can graduate with a hefty starting salary. If you're not looking to roll in dough, but rather to come away from your undergraduate experience having learned more than you could have ever imagined, made wonderful friends, traveled the world through grant-funded research trips, and created a new home for yourself, your Penn investment will also prove to be worth the hard work.

    What to do for fun

    Philadelphia rocks. There is history, dancing, music, great food, great sites, diversity, everything. And, it's a manageable city that one can feel a true command over after four years of Penn (if he or she makes the effort to get off campus!) Social life at Penn is huge and can be found in every organization on campus. About 30% of the student body is Greek, a number that freaked me out as I entered freshman year. Having come with a southern perception of Greek life, I was sure that I would not be joining. To my pleasant surprise, Greek Life at Penn is relaxed and is very much an extra-curricular as would be a debate team--it does not take over one's life and offers a wonderful social outlet into which one can commit as much or as little time as they please. There are always parties on the weekend. There are huge blow-outs for holidays like St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, and of course, SPRING FLING (big two-day bash with famous musicians, food, fun, etc.). Every extra-curricular has a social aspect as well. There are mixers between clubs, team dinners, team parties, bonding events, etc.

    Food and Dining

    The food is not bad at all. Penn has a great mix of dining halls (buffet style) and cafes/restaurants that take dining dollars--a credit that every student gets included in their meal plan. Freshman can choose the ration of meal swipes to dining dollars that they'd like. GET THE MOST DINING DOLLARS. I ate on campus every day for every meal and swiped for things as small as an orange. I still ran out of dining dollars and had upwards of 30 swipes left each semester.

    Dorm Life

    Awesome social experience, whether or not you're on a hall with people that become your best friends. I was on a particularly quiet hall. Though I was disappointed at first, I soon came to appreciate the peacefulness of my living environment. Every time I wanted to get rowdy, I'd walk down the hall or across the quad to my friends' halls. My room was the size of a closet and we had co-ed, less than desirable bathrooms, but the experience of living with over 1000 other freshman in a 1800s castle was well worth it. Being able to walk outside and sit on the grass on a sunny day to listen to music or do your homework while your best friends surround you playing frisbee or walking to class is an unmatchable freedom.

    Academic Rigor

    Penn offers a slew of incredible classes ranging from 2 person language classes to 800 person lectures. With every teaching size and style in between, any student can find the environment in which learn best. While there are incredibly difficult, challenging classes, it's possible to coast through a few semesters with the token easy-A classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Sign up for a PennQuest, a pre-orientation program. You make lasting friends and an amazing network before New Student Orientation even starts. 2. EXPLORE your interests when you choose classes. Too often Penn students freak out about funneling themselves into career paths. Let yourself adventure, at least for your first year. 3. Use your time for you. These are the only four years of your life where few people are dependent on you. Take advantage of that freedom and only spend your time doing what you love.

  • 07/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    61 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Considering my friends and I have no street smarts whatsoever, Penn Public Safety has kept us safe (and given us some much needed reality checks).

    Greek Life

    Is a very big part of campus life. Keep that in mind.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are actually too much to choose from.

    Great for these types of students

    Everyone-there is no typical Penn student. No lie.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The button. Ask when you arrive.

    What to do for fun

    You can always go in Center City, explore all the cute restaurants in University City, or hang out with the plethora of students on campus.

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Take the experience for what it is. There will be ups and downs, but take each moment with stride. 2. Your academic path will likely change, and make sure you are open minded in your passions and approach. 3. Be true to yourself. That is how you will meet your lifelong friends here.

    In three sentences

    It is a great place for those who are socially intelligent, ambitious, and extremely brilliant. You will find a great mix of people from all backgrounds who will truly influence your experience along the way. Finally, though the faculty can be a mixed bag, the amazing ones are truly top notch.

  • 07/03/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    62 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Penn Patrol provides both campus vans AND bike cops available walk alongside you back to your apartment. Living off campus, this made me feel a lot better about walking home to Center City.

    Greek Life

    I didn't get involved but if you choose to get involved, the houses are conveniently located on and nearby campus and

    Clubs and Activities

    Definitely great to get involved with any sports team you have interest in, as well as clubs for interests and interests within each field of study.

    Great for these types of students

    All students but especially the go-getters and city lovers who want a city experience, but not as overwhelming as cities like NYC or Chicago.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Locust Walk, visiting the Fine Arts Library, checking out the Museum of Anthropology on Spruce St, attend a student production at the performing arts theatre

    Bang for the buck

    It's expensive living in a city but there are many chain restaurants in the area where you can get food at a decent cost. Sales tax is also 8% in PA.

    What to do for fun

    Check out all of the different parks and cultural events happening each week. There is so much to do in this city, just about learning public transportation and being willing to travel a little bit to Fishtown or Northern Liberties to find some great options for you!

    Food and Dining

    Lots of different food options on and around campus. The dining hall is limited to only a few options but the food is quality and there were lots of healthy options when I wanted them.

    Dorm Life

    Difficult access to get guests into the dorms but overall, there are great resources and amenities in the dorms and gave me a safe feeling living in West Philadelphia.

    Academic Rigor

    Courses are challenging but Penn has world renowned professors who teach an applied knowledge that makes the information very useful for the real world.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay on top of your schedule, choose classes you're interested in and check out courses in other colleges when you like a topic outside of your major. Check out the different libraries, like the Fine Arts library, which mix up the study environment. Get involved early and take advantage of all student services.

    In three sentences

    Penn is timelessly beautiful and historic by nature. It provides me with a quality education recognized anywhere and everywhere, not simply a degree. The opportunities are endless, no matter what your area of interest.

  • 08/02/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    63 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Penn has a GREAT campus safety department, especially in a city like Philadelphia. I think it's the biggest police force in the state of Pennsylvania. Penn is very diligent with safety, and there are always safety officers on almost every campus street corner. Penn also has a campus walk system so that students can call 24/7 and be walked home by a safety officer, no questions asked (often used at night for girls coming home from going out, or if you're leaving the library at 4am). The security in on-campus buildings is also very tight, especially for residences -- students have to swipe in and punch an access code, and there is always a security officer on duty.

    Greek Life

    About 30% of Penn students are involved in Greek life, and it can be a big part of the party scene on campus, but otherwise it's not very overwhelming like it is at state schools. For girls, sororities are a big draw for those who are social/want to make more friends, but it's definitely not a necessity. The pressure is greater on guys to join fraternities for social reasons. But, ultimately, it's there if you want it -- if not, it's easy to avoid it.

    Clubs and Activities

    Penn has a fantastic array of extracurriculars, and there is truly something for everyone. Penn doesn't just have one or two performance groups -- it has tens of them. And this is true for most activities. Extracurriculars are also big here because they're social as well, and people join to make friends with similar interests and passions.

    Great for these types of students

    Penn is great for most types of students, because it's such a flexible school: you can find your niche anywhere, whatever it is. It's great for athletes because it's possible to be on a Division I team and still get good grades here (depending on the classes you take), and it's great for bookworms because there are so many academic programs and research opportunities. However, it is best for people who are extremely social -- sometimes the pressure to be fun and social can be overwhelming, but it's also one of Penn's greatest draws.

    What to do for fun

    Penn can sometimes be labelled as a party school, and it's true -- there is a lot of partying. However, it's usually open to everyone, and a lot of students do it to unwind at the end of the week -- and a lot of students choose not to. You'll end up having friends that swing both ways, and that's totally fine at Penn. A lot of social life also revolves around student clubs -- for example, branches of student government are very close, and like to do social things together (bowling, etc.). Off campus, Philly offers a bunch of options -- the city has a great art scene, and a great food scene for foodies like myself. Exploring the city on weekends (if you have time), is usually fun for most students.

    Food and Dining

    Penn's dining halls are lackluster. There are three major ones on campus -- Hill, King's Court, and 1920s Commons -- and all are usually unhealthy, uninspired, and have unfriendly staff. They are also extremely overpriced. However, aside from the dining halls, Penn has other GREAT on campus food options, from cafes, to a gourmet grocery store, to a Starbucks. (I tend to choose these for meals.) These other on-campus options take dining dollars, which are part of your meal plan -- so all you have to do is show your ID card. Aside from on-campus options, the food in Philly is fantastic. There is a Chipotle right near campus, as well as a Sweetgreen and a Bobby's Burger Palace. There are also many awesome restaurants downtown and in Center City.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm life at Penn is great freshman year, but afterwards it tends to move off campus. Penn can only house 60% off its students, which isn't a problem if you choose to stay in University housing, because so many students live off campus -- that is, in houses and apartment buildings that are steps away from Penn's academic buildings, and often interspersed with official housing as it is. It's easy to find on campus housing, but there's little community feeling centered around it. You will probably be close with your freshman year hall (all freshmen must live on campus, and they usually live in the same buildings or the Quad), but afterwards friends tend to group together. Penn also has a cool system called Residential Programs, which are great for some students (I've participated in two). Essentially they are residence halls in Penn's official housing (which consists of typically dorms for freshmen and apartment-style living in high rises), each with its own theme. They can be competitive to get into, but if you have a demonstrated interest in the theme (say, Leadership or Health Care), your chances are high -- and you're guaranteed housing!

    Academic Rigor

    Penn is very academically rigorous, but it is always manageable, which is the beauty of Penn's system. You are essentially unlimited with Penn in terms of classes -- with Penn's 12 graduate schools and 4 undergraduate schools, you take take high-level courses as an undergrad in almost any discipline. Penn has tons of languages (even Hungarian and Tagalog...the possibilities are endless). If you're very academic, there are more rigorous scholars programs -- such as Penn's Benjamin Franklin Scholars program, which has a special freshman curriculum. If academics were never your strong point, you'll do just fine anyway. Penn has a great support system for academics, and students can easily get a tutor in any subject through the tutoring center. Plus, TAs and professors are very flexible and most are willing to help any student to well -- although sometimes it can be difficult to reach out to them in the big lecture classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Don't be overwhelmed -- the first few days are crucial, so take the time to reach out to other new students (or returning ones) to form friendships! Penn offers pre-orientation programs for incoming freshmen (which can be applied for), and they are a great way to meet students with similar interests as you and get to know the campus early -- programs range from hiking excursions to leadership retreats, and more. There's something for everyone at Penn, and it doesn't take long to find students just like you. Make sure to go the activity fair at the beginning of the year -- every club at Penn is represented, and you can sign up for as many listservs as you want, obligation free. Get involved, and Penn starts to feel like a small (but not too small) liberal arts college!

    In three sentences

    Penn, as Quakers call it, is a large school in terms of numbers, but it's easy to feel at home on campus. Penn is welcoming and diverse, and despite the vastness of the University, it's very easy to find your niche thanks to Penn's great extracurricular environment. Penn is the whole package: social life, fulfilling extracurriculars and leadership opportunities, a great city, and rigorous academics.

  • 11/08/2013

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    64 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Dorm Life

    Very nice dorms

    Academic Rigor

    Students say it is difficult.

    In three sentences

    Beautiful prestigious school.

  • 12/28/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    65 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus is located in West Philadelphia. However, it is enclosed in University City and has the largest private police force in the state. There are security guards stationed all over campus and every inch is covered by cameras. Safe!

    Greek Life

    There is a vibrant Greek scene for those who want to participate, but it doesn't dominate the social community.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a ridiculous number of things to do on campus.

    Great for these types of students

    Hard-working. Go-getters. Ready for academic rigor and a challenging environment.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Penn has several fun traditions, including Hey Day and Spring Fling. Campus also includes the iconic button statue (a giant broken button) as well as the LOVE statue on College Green.

    Bang for the buck

    Penn is very pricey, but it's an amazing education at one of the top institutions in the world.

    Food and Dining

    On-campus dining is good. There are several dining halls and lots of retail dining places (like Starbucks and a mini grocery market) that you can use your meal plan in. However, it is still dining hall food. Luckily, campus is in Philadelphia, where there is a huge and lively food scene.

    Dorm Life

    The Quad is where freshman live. It's a gorgeous old building and is extremely social so all the freshmen become friends. But there are other housing options as well. I lived in Harnwell, which wasn't as social but had an in-suite bathroom!

    Academic Rigor

    Very, very rigorous. Be prepared for long nights in the library and crazy workloads. There is a reason that Penn is one of the best universities in the world.

  • 02/04/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    66 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love! There are many ethnic food places if you're interested in trying new things. This is also a city full of Philly sports fanatics. It is the home to many well known sports team (NFL- Eagles and NBA- 76ers). There is a mall called the King of Prussia 25 minuets away from campus. There is Rittenhouse Sqaure, Center City, and Logan Sqaure, which is in the middle of the city. Many bars, lounges, restaurants, bakeries, and fun is located conveniently. The city is grid like and easy to get around. People are wonderful here!!

    Food and Dining

    I am a graduate student; therefore have not eaten in the cafeteria, although I heard anyone can go in and purchase food. I heard there is a great variety. Lots of food trucks and restaurants are located throughout the campus area. Very convenient.

    Dorm Life

    I am a graduate student; therefore have not lived in the dorms, although they appear very nice from the outside and is secured. There are security officers located at every entrance to the dormitory areas.

    Academic Rigor

    University of Pennsylvania is an ivy league institution so they do expect students to study and work hard, although there is still time for social networking as well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Definitely take a tour of the campus. Schedule a meeting with an advisor. People are very helpful here and only want you to succeed.

    In three sentences

    University of Pennsylvania has endless international opportunities for local and global students. It comprises of a diverse student body. Great academic professors and hospitals for students who are studying in the science and medical fields.

  • 02/10/2014

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    67 of 68

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Nestled in Philadelphia, numerous bars and clubs are just a ride away to have a night off. Not of age? The university has an endless selection of sports and clubs to keep you active and meeting new people.

    Food and Dining

    There are numerous restaurants with a titanic range in price, style, and type. Want a quick, cheap burrito? Go to Q'Doba. Want to take your date to a nice Mexican restaurant? Go to Distrito. The possibilities are almost endless.

    Academic Rigor

    At UPENN, prepare to dedicate yourself into a world class education. They will help put you at the top of your field.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you know what is required for the major you are intending to take. Don't be intimidated that it's an ivy league, the university looks beyond just GPA and tries to see the student as a whole, and what they can bring to the university.

    In three sentences

    UPENN is a beautiful, historical, campus with a very friendly administration that genuinely cares about their students, even their prospective students. The school dedicates itself to staying at the head of innovative learning and research. I have never been more impressed with a school before.

  • 03/16/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    68 of 68

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    Everything from sports to competitive ballroom/latin dance.

    What to do for fun

    Find an extracurricular during the first week on campus. Use it to enrich your social life.

    Food and Dining

    Several meal plans. Check them out in advance. Something for almost everyone.

    Dorm Life

    House selection in spring lets everyone choose houses that meet their interests.

    Academic Rigor

    It's and Ivy! Don't come if you don't plan to study.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come prepared to study. Stay focused. Get out of your room and make new acquaintances!

    In three sentences

    Terrific academics. Splendid extracurricular opportunities. Ideal Mid-Atlantic state location.