Penn State

Navigatio on the Road: U Penn

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Penn is a large (10,275 undergrads, 9,500 grads) Ivy League campus located in Philadelphia, just west of Center City. The mossy architecture and tree-lined grounds are as impressive, and the campus is really quite lovely. Undergrad schools include Liberal Arts, Engineering, Business and Nursing. There are 12 graduate schools located on campus, which include Medicine, Nursing, Wharton School of Business, etc. With 10 libraries on campus, each with a different level of “quiet,” students can always find the perfect place to study.

Penn is very enthusiastic and supportive of students who want to study interdisciplinary fields, and sort of create their own curriculum. They love to admit students who they think will use the fabulous Penn environment to launch something great, rather than students who will just come in and be grinds.

Instead of living in dorms, students live in “houses” which are made up of students from all grade levels—each with a separate theme. ( Kind of like Hogwarts!) As a result of this, there is strong academic and mentor support around every student which we think is important, as it felt like a very intense, competitive environment.

For a student with strong academic chops, and tons of motivation, I think it could be a wonderful place to go to school, with a great location. We love Philadelphia by the way: music, theatre, sports, museums, terrific urban parks, great walking city, food, food, great food (did I mention the food?) and a very affordable place to hang out. There are football games to attend, and lots of political activism on campus. A student could find any activity they might want to do at Penn, be it intramural sports, music, whatever–it’s all there.

The students at Penn were very “normal” feeling, helpful, and approachable, so I was pleasantly surprised with that, as I figured there might be some snobbery.

Like Haverford, and many of the Ivies, Penn’s school of thought is that a student should graduate from college debt-free, so if you are accepted, they will assess your situation and meet your financial need 100% with scholarships, grants and work-study. There are no loans at Penn and no merit or talent scholarships, only need-based scholarships. A good situation for a smart, ambitious, lower or middle-class student! At Navigatio College Consulting we help students find just the right colleges to apply to—come talk to us—maybe you’ll be just right for Penn!