Is Penn that cutthroat as much as everyone says it is?

PENN STUDENTS, is penn ultra cutthroat, competitive, or somewhat competitive? I am aware that everyone who attends T20s are very driven but I don’t know how much of that transforms into competitiveness at penn. I myself am a competitive person but I’m definitely not cutthroat, and I really want to collaborate with people in college. If I got in I wouldn’t be a pre-med major or be in Wharton, which I’m guessing are the most competitive students/majors. I’d just really like to hear your experiences.

this has nothing to do with the culture but if anyone could also inform me about Penn’s grade deflation/inflation that would be great…

i’m a prospective penn applicant so i can’t tell you anything about the culture but i’m also not going to be pre med or wharton. i’ve heard that penn is often called the most social ivy as well, but there is definitely a preprofessional vibe.

Penn definitely can be very competitive but usually it’s a result of the pressure students put on themselves to achieve whatever position/admission. Plus, there’s enough students here that you’ll find a collaborative group no matter what and never run into the ultra-competitive students unless you wanted to.

If you’re applying to CAS or Nursing, what I said should be even more true. Students there are the chillest you’ll ever meet.

As for grades, students tend to do pretty well. The difficulty of your schedule is really determined by you and some courses are definitely a breeze. If you’re admitted there’s plenty of tools online that students can access to determine the difficulty of classes, profs, etc. As long as you’re not taking things that are way over your head you’ll be good to go.

If you think Penn is the right fit for you, I’d definitely encourage you to apply without thinking of the cutthroats and extreme competition. It’s really blown out of proportion and your college experience (ex. whether you compete very hard or not) is exactly what you make of it and completely up to you.