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Undergrad Wharton Admissions

nickthekidnickthekid 120 replies48 threads Junior Member
Other than GPA, SAT, and course rigor, what does Wharton care most about in its students? Extracurriculars, work experience, essay??? I’m just concerned that I don’t have much experience in business and this might weaken my application. Thanks.
edited July 9
5 replies
Post edited by ccadminkris on
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Replies to: Undergrad Wharton Admissions

  • runswimyogarunswimyoga 975 replies8 threads Member
    I am just a parent of a Wharton student, so I don't really know what they care most about in students. I can tell you though that my son was admitted with absolutely zero business experience! He knows many fellow students that had business experience, and many that didn't have any.

    His impression is they are looking for course rigor, GPA, SAT/ACT as well as creating a diverse group of students that are leaders in their particular communities as well as community as a whole. A strong sense of focus, passion to make a difference and a proven track record seem more important than business experience, IMO. Good Luck!
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  • nickthekidnickthekid 120 replies48 threads Junior Member
    Sounds good, thank you so much?
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  • doublepenguindoublepenguin 76 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @nickthekid They're not looking for specific types of students, but rather students that have been active outside of the classroom during high school. Most people have a difficult time finding business experience in high school, other than maybe partaking in DECA. You do not need to have business experience to get into Wharton as @runswimyoga mentioned above.
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  • happy1happy1 24217 replies2431 threads Super Moderator
    edited June 2019
    If there was a magic formula for getting into Wharton or any top tier college someone would be bottling and selling it by now.

    IMO the best information as to what Wharton looks for comes from the school itself. Have you done research including spending time carefully going through Wharton's website? -- there is a lot of information there. Here are a couple of things:

    We seek students who will avail themselves of the rich academic, cultural, and social opportunities of the Penn community. Students who flourish at Wharton and Penn possess a history of academic excellence, a healthy degree of motivation, and a well-developed interest and involvement in their environment.

    While there is no magic formula, we are looking for students who have:

    An interest in business to fuel positive change to advance the world’s economic and social well-being
    Demonstrated leadership
    Strong preparation in mathematics, particularly calculus


    In terms of your application, I recommend that you focus on highlighting what you have done rather than on what you may not have done. If you want to attend Wharton and are in the academic range for the school put in your application and give it your all -- but recognize that the school is a reach for any unhooked applicant so be sure to also apply to match and safety schools that appear affordable and that you would be excited to attend.
    edited June 2019
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  • UofPennWhtn2023UofPennWhtn2023 13 replies0 threads New Member
    I was just admitted to Penn/Wharton this year. I had good test scores and a good GPA w/ strong courses but not the highest level ones. One thing that an admissions person at Penn told me junior year is to DEFINITELY take BC calculus if your high school offers it.

    In high school I did not have a large amount of business EC’s, but I did have a significant amount of leadership and a strong interest in business (specifically real estate). Wharton really looks for students who are going to be impactful on campus and after graduation. Try to find activities you are passionate about and pursue leadership in them. Your essays do not have to be related to your EC’s at all. My Common app was about my love of real estate and my Why Penn/Wharton essay discussed how I could use the resources at Penn/Wharton to explore how to develop businesses that would bring more equity to neighborhoods facing gentrification.

    Wharton is basically looking for you to show them why their incoming class would not be complete without you. Spend a significant amount of time on your Why Penn/Wharton essay. Tell a story about how you see yourself thriving during your time on campus and beyond. If you took the words “Penn/Wharton” out of your essay, you should still be able to say that “this essay is for Penn.” If you can’t that means that you are being too generic. In your interview (if you get one) try to explain how your EC’s in high school and leadership in them connect to your interest in business.

    Good luck!
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