Best and Worst Housing at Penn?

So I’m probably picking New College as a number one but idk about the other spots? I want a social college with nice bathrooms (don’t care if private or communal) and one that is close to stuff? What are the absolute worst and the nicest in your opinion in why?

I’m sad I can’t go to quaker day to see it all first hand so anything helps!

I’m just copying a reply I made a year ago to a similar question, since it seems this question comes up pretty often for the newly admitted students. If you have more questions, just let me know. Note that the below doesn’t consider the New College House since it opens this fall.

"If you haven’t already seen this, look at the brochure here:

For recommendations, it really depends. Many incoming freshman put the quad houses (Riepe, Fisher, and Ware) as their top 3 choices, but the quad is not for everyone.

If you’re looking to live in the quad, just put the 3 houses as your top 3 choices with your room type preference and hope you get into one of them. I wouldn’t put too much thought into ordering them. They’re all pretty similar in terms of rooms and the experience of living in the quad is basically the same for all 3.

If you are looking for a non-quad single, then Stouffer is a good option. It’s a quieter atmosphere than the quad, but it also has the advantage of being the closest dorm to the quad (it’s right next to it), so if you ever want to hang out with friends in the quad, it’s convenient. On the other hand, dorms like Kings Court, Gregory, and Hill are much further away from the quad. Stouffer itself is also mostly freshman, so you will also have the chance to make many friends around your hall.

If you want a non-quad double, then applying to Freshman Experience in Harrison can be a good option. You would get to live in an apartment-style suite with a kitchen, private bath, and common room. If you’re looking for a non-quad double that isn’t in a high rise, then you can choose from Hill, Kings Court, and Stouffer. Out of the three, Stouffer has the most convenient location for a freshman, but there are only a few doubles in Stouffer.

If you want a non-quad triple, I’d recommend Mayer Hall. Mayer is probably the nicest dorm on campus, and the rooms are the largest on campus (definitely bigger than the high rises). Even with three people living in one room, you’d all have plenty of space, plus your own common room, bathroom and kitchen. Also, Mayer is organized such that all the freshman live on the 5th and 6th floors, so you won’t be isolated from other freshman in any way.

There are also some other room types that I haven’t mentioned (see page 57 for a full outline of all room possibilities).

Hope this helps. Also consider residential programs in different houses (I mentioned Freshman Experience, but there are many others)."

Good luck with your choice. Be very, very thankful that one of your choices will not be Hill, as it will be closed for renovation. It is an absolute hell-hole. I chose hell as opposed to the more appropriate 4 letter word.

@WhartonPenn2017 Son thinking that distance of New College from Wharton classes would be big consideration to select Quad over New College- Do you think this is something to seriously consider/ is a big factor ? I have heard tales of leaky ceilings/physical problems w rooms in quad and think “new” sure would be nice… but in your opinion would the distance overweigh that?

Mine did it from the current Hill right next door. It’s not a big deal.

@runswimyoga The walk from New College House to Wharton will be 10 minutes max. It’s not that big of a deal. If he wants a shorter walk but doesn’t want the quad, look at Stouffer College House (which has 2 buildings - Stouffer which is more traditional college dorm living and Mayer which is apartment style) or Freshman Experience in Harrison.

Could I get more feedback on Ware and Kings Court? Son says there’s a music practice room in it. Is that true? What’s the bathroom and dining situation in Ware and Kings Court?

@sbjdorlo DD was in King’s Court freshman year. To get to the King’s Court part of King’s Court/English House, you have to walk thru English House and thru an outdoor courtyard. The dining hall is in English House. The dorms in English House have a sink in the room, King’s Court does not. The King’s Court building is shaped like a U and there is one bathroom in the 3 halls forming the U, one boys, one girls, and one unisex. Unfortunately DD was near the boy’s bathroom and the girl’s bathroom was on the opposite side of the building. She usually used the closer unisex bathroom. I think it had private stalls and showers. The biggest issue with King’s Court was the lack of air conditioning. It was quite hot when she moved in. The courtyard was a nice private outdoor space with tables and chairs nestled between the two buildings.

Very helpful, @lslmom. Where did your DD stay after freshman year?

@sbjdorlo DD was in Harrison sophomore year, then Harnwell junior year. She is staying in the same room next year. To me Harrison and Harnwell look exactly the same.