I'm interested in business..but I'm not SURE...because I'm not a very outgoing person, and by business...I mean more of the accounting/actuarial science side...
But what I do know is that I want to go to either Wharton or Penn!
However, while I have really good school grades and take all the challenging courses...I'm not involved in any extracurricular business activities...and I have good, but not GREAT SAT scores (so that doesn't really make up for anything).
So I'm not sure what my chances of getting into Wharton are...
on the other hand, I feel like I have a better chance getting into Penn.
My brother goes to Penn right now..so that should help.
and since my overall resume has good things overall and Penn would be less specific about the types of extracurricular activities I'm in...I have a better chance (by all means, it's still a reach)
So, I feel that if I applied early to Penn, I COULD get in, as opposed to the slimmer chance if i applied ED to Wharton....
So, if I apply early to Wharton and don't get in...do I have to apply to the general college regular? or is there some sort of option to be considered for the general college early if i don't get in to Wharton early?
Here's my opinion. If you are more interested in going to Penn, than being a part of Wharton, then apply to the College or SEAS, saying that however, if your not sure about business, I would actually say go ahead and apply to wharton, because it is pretty easy to transfer out of wharton once you are in, but transferring into wharton is very difficult. I don't think siblings count as legacies, but it still might help, good gene pool or something, haha.
Your conundrum I think is fairly common for people applying to Penn/Wharton, you have to do the risk analysis of having a shot at Wharton vs. being rejected by Penn, because if rejected by Wharton, you have been rejected by Penn, you can't gain acceptance to any other part of Penn in that admissions cycle.
No matter what you decide, go with your gut. I almost applied to CAS ED because of the higher admit rate, but you only get one shot at ED, so I went with my dream and somehow got into Wharton! Don't go for what's harder or easier--just go for what you truly want. You don't want to be the person who gets into CAS ED and feel a twinge of regret and wonder at what would've happened had you gone for Wharton. Even if it doesn't work out, it's not the end of the world, and you will end up someplace else that makes you happy.
Addressing your doubt regarding business, I've talked to a fair amount of Wharton kids, and their second and third choice schools tended to be other Ivies and selective schools without business programs. What this says to me is that even Wharton kids weren't/aren't deadset on doing only business, and therefore have other academic interests as well, like yourself. Wharton was and is my number one, but Northwestern's School of Communication was my second choice even though it doesn't have an undergraduate business program beyond a limited certificate program.
I didn't have any strictly business extracurricular activities, but any sort of leadership and management skill building in other areas will still benefit you in the eyes of the admissions officers when they're evaluating you for Wharton. If they only took kids with business extracurriculars, than the class would be more homogenous (not to say that having business experience is a bad thing because it's obviously not, and demonstrates your interest in the subject which is clearly important)--knowing anything about business is not required to gain admission to Wharton; isn't the whole point of going to business school to learn about business?
Bottom line: Go for your dream regardless of admission statistics. Good luck!
OP, you are considered for one school. Yes, Wharton is a lot more selective than the other schools in general (about 8% to 20%). And remember that Wharton has the number one undergraduate business program in the nation, or even in the world!
I believe it is a lot easier to get into SEAS, college than Wharton. So if you really want to go to Upenn and are unsure of business, I would try College. If you decide to go to business, you can internally transfer (not an easy task) or just major in Economics. You can always take Wharton classes too.