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University of Pennsylvania Admissions Requirements and Essay Prompts


The nerve-wracking jostle for a place in the UPenn leaves the majority of applicants heartbroken; only the minuscule percentage of aspiring students leave the competition elated.

If your ambition steers you toward the University of Pennsylvania, take time to peruse this article. It will provide you with the guidance necessary to apply to the prestigious private institution and increase your chances of securing the coveted place.

UPenn Admissions – Key Facts

  • Background

Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania has managed to retain and magnify its venerable standing among the educational institutions of the country. It boasts four undergraduate and twelve graduate schools founded by $14.65 billion endowment. Equally impressive is the institution’s research budget that expands to the north of $1 billion. The high-profile university has scored a top position in the list of Kiplinger’s Best Values in Private Universities, which is not surprising in the least considering the cost of its tuition. Among the alumni are 12 cosigners of the US Constitution, 163 members of the House, and two US presidents.

  • Academic Ranking

As of 2020, the university ranks the 6th among the country’s top-tier educational institutions, according to the US News & World Report. In 2015, it ranked at the top of the best universities list comprised by College Factual. The Princeton Review featured UPenn in its list of favorites. Finally, SCImago Institution Rankings have placed the Ivy League powerhouse in the 12th position among global universities.

  • Admissions Stats

Like other universities in the upper echelon of Ivy League, UPenn is exceptionally selective. Its acceptance rate is 7.7%. Last year, over five thousand international students enrolled in the university. SAT of applicants fell in the range of 1420-1550, where reading spans from 690 to 760 and math scores vary from 730 to 790. It should be mentioned, however, that only 54% of all applicants submit SAT. The ACT range is 32-35, where English is 34-36, math is 31-35, and writing is 8-10. The percentage of students submitting ACT is even lower – 46%.

  • Admissions Deadlines and Fees

The Early Decision deadline is on November 1. Note that UPenn does not offer Early Action admission. The non-refundable application is $75.

  • Admissions Requirements

The submission of the high school GPA, transcript, and recommendations are required by the University of Pennsylvania. However, the institution neither requests nor recommends the submission of the high school rank. What you are recommended to provide, though, are college prep courses. Also, SAT and ACT scores will be considered by the university admissions officers.

How to Write UPenn Essays

When applying to Penn, you are expected to write three essays. Among financial worries, it is easy to lose focus and start writing them too late – a dire mistake, which might cost you an admission. Therefore, ensure you have enough time to craft a successful piece.

You are a determined student whose ambition is only matched by your desire to change the world for the better. Let the admissions officers know about it. However, be subtle. Otherwise, you might come off too boastful. Is it okay to write about yourself in the first place? Absolutely! Remember, the admissions committee needs to learn as much as possible about a candidate to make the right choice. Therefore, if there’s pertinent information you are burning to share, go ahead and do it. Capitalize on the unique experiences you have had while being specific and factual. Remember, although you have a lot of latitude with respect to narration, exaggerations and excessive embellishments are frowned upon. Finally, stick to the suggested word-count. No matter how thrilling your story is, don’t exceed a length limit indicated on Penn’s website.

University of Pennsylvania Supplemental Essays

The supplemental essay prompts ask you general ‘why’ questions, inquire into your intellectual and academic pursuits, and allow you to explain the ways in which you might contribute to the institution’s community. To answer them, set aside a lot of time and conduct research on the institution. Go as deep as possible to determine your expected contribution to the rich learning environment you are planning to become a part of.

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What are UPenn admission requirements?

The university requires the submission of high school transcript, GPA, and recommendations. To increase your chances of successful admission, provide other considered but not required documents: SAT or ACT and college prep courses.

What are UPenn essay prompts?

The University of Pennsylvania expects you to write a personal essay and two institution-specific essays. The prompts differ on the program you choose. You can familiarize yourself with them here.

Is the University of Pennsylvania application common or coalition?

Penn allows applying both via the common and coalition application. Furthermore, high-achieving students can try to apply through the QuestBridge application instead of the aforementioned formats.

Where can I find UPenn supplement essay examples?

You can get the samples of UPenn essays that worked via this website. By purchasing a well-crafted sample and using it as guidance, you can increase your chances of writing a great admissions essay.

Why Upenn essay prompts are so specific?

The essay is so specific to allow you to explain what draws you to a particular program. By choosing among nine program-centered prompts, you can emphasize your commitment to join the interdisciplinary learning environment of the institution.

Seeking guidance on college admissions? Don’t hesitate to get professional college admission assistance

Petra Lipfer
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Petra Lipfer is a professional blogger from Orlando, Florida. She has degrees in Education and Management and has taken three advanced IT courses. She has been writing for several educational portals and now is a stuff writer at MyAdmissionsEssay.com.
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