(Stealing this idea from the Brown board, I'm posting PR
's descriptions of Penn)...do you think it's accurate? Comments? Discussion? Jokes?
"There are distinct stereotypes for each of the four undergraduate schools" at Penn—brainy engineer, ambitious Wharton student, artsy college kid, hard-working nurse—although "generally students from all four schools interact quite smoothly." The student body includes "a surprising number of very religious people, including some staunch Christians and many Jews. There are far fewer agnostics and atheists than you would expect." Penn is known among the Ivies as the school where students unwind most enthusiastically; "Everyone at Penn is very stressed out, all the time, which is why most people have to let loose on the weekend," explains one student. Adds another, "The average Penn student is a thinker and a drinker. Everybody studies really hard all week long and lets loose on the weekends at wild parties. But the students are also insanely smart. On our first day, the dean asked everyone to stand up in the auditorium who had been valedictorian. The number of people who stood up almost scared me to death."
The University of Pennsylvania is perhaps best known for its Wharton School of Business ("the number one undergraduate business program in the country," students claim), but this Ivy League institution "is strong in all divisions, a fact that one can take advantage of very easily through dual degree programs across schools." Wharton, the engineering school and science programs "require students to study a lot, as the courses move fast and cover a lot of material," while "students in the College studying liberal arts don't have it as bad." With a world-class faculty in nearly all disciplines, "Penn offers access to the best and brightest minds in the world, people who are always willing and available to discuss any topic, whether or not you are enrolled in one of their classes." Students tell us that "among the Ivies, Penn seems to be the most career-oriented, as fewer students here are on the academia track than at other schools. Many students take jobs right out after graduation rather than go to graduate school, and Penn does an excellent job of placing these students." Indeed, "a very large number of students grab the country's most prestigious jobs for undergrads: investment banking, consulting, and private equity." As at many large schools, "the administration tends to feel a bit remote to most students" and "the school can be a little bureaucratic, with little communication among administrative departments."
There's a common arc to most students' extracurricular lives during their four years at Penn. When they first arrive they stick close to campus; "The social scene for most freshmen consists of frat parties, period," explains one student. As they get older, "they leave the bubble of campus and explore more of Philadelphia. There are a lot of awesome places in the city in terms of the nightlife, but you can't really get in unless you're of age." Options abound both on and off campus; notes one student, "Having Center City (and many bars/clubs/activities) just 20 blocks away is a plus, though there is also tons to do on campus as well." Campus options include "parties, theater, a cappella shows, sporting events, guest lectures, sketch comedy, movie showings, etc." Students point out that "Penn's campus is located in West Philly, which doesn't have the best reputation, but the campus itself is a vast improvement from the local area and security is a moderate concern." They also note that "for being a city school, Penn's campus is so nice, it looks more like a plush suburban park... Walking down Locust Walk (the main artery of campus) one can always see people stopping to say hello to their fellow students, student groups handing out fliers promoting an event or trying to draw attention to an issue, students enjoying an outdoor lunch while sitting at one of the many benches or tables set up outside, or standing in line at one of the lunch trucks (a staple of any Penn student's diet)."
Toughest to get into: #8
Best college newspaper: #5
Town Gown Relations are strained: #15 (that's right, bulldoze Drexel