The only potentially authoritative source I’ve found for Penn LPS’s acceptance rate is Petersons, which has college-level admit rates for the Penn graduate programs. It lists the rates at 16% for SAS and 48% for LPS. Given that the undergraduate acceptance rate for SAS is 10%, you could back-of-the-napkin hypothesize that it’s around 30% for LPS.
I’ve seen that Penn LPS does accept some marginal students on a trial basis, in which they are expected to maintain a minimum GPA for their first semester or two. For example, check out @pennlps’s post in this thread, which also has a wealth of other good information about LPS: <a href=“http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/non-traditional-students/1261482-for-anyone-applying-matriculating-to-penn-lps-please-read.html”>http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/non-traditional-students/1261482-for-anyone-applying-matriculating-to-penn-lps-please-read.html</a>
You’ll note that the GPA mentioned there was not particularly bad (3.3-ish), but the student was still admitted on a conditional basis. LPS recommends a minimum 3.0 GPA in all prior coursework, so while they do not publish an average GPA for LPS admissions I suspect it is not far from the 3.3-3.4 range, if not higher.
However, for those taking a more non-traditional path in which there has been a gap of substantial duration, the GPA is less of a factor. They will be more concerned with recent performance in rigorous situations (work, sport, whatever the applicant is devoting the bulk of his/her time to) than a GPA from five or ten years ago. I haven’t had that directly from the lips of an LPS admissions rep, but I’ve heard it from reps at Yale EW and Columbia GS so it is reasonable to expect Penn to have a similar outlook.
In general, I’ve noticed that the elite non-trad admissions practices have more of an element of classic discernment to them. Because the admission stats for non-trad programs generally do not meaningfully impact a college’s USNWR ranking–due to small size (Yale, Brown) or segregation into an independent college (Penn, Columbia)–it costs the institution nothing to wave off aspiring applicants who seem unlikely to thrive before they even apply. I encourage you to call up the admissions office and spend a few minutes discussing your circumstances. They may well give you a good indication of whether your application would be eagerly welcomed, calmly considered, or immediately dust-binned.
Finally, your grad school outlook–especially for funded places–will likely be impacted more by age than by any LPS designation on your transcript. Since funded graduate positions are a form of indentured servitude, you may find yourself fighting against a prejudice that younger candidates will be hardier and more compliant workhorses. They’ll also be perceived as more likely to win the king of the mountain competition for eventual tenure
On the other hand, you can’t discount the advantage cited by pennlps: professors tend to prefer LPS students, and with prudent networking you should be able to secure some stellar recommendations. In addition, even if you do find yourself facing some age-based prejudice in the US, it is much more common in many other countries for post-grads to migrate back and forth between academia and the workforce, taking substantial gaps throughout their education. And even in the US, that prejudice is not universal.
Graduates of LPS and programs like it do go on to study at many of the world’s top graduate schools: Penn, Oxford, Harvard Business, Berkeley, Stanford, London School of Economics, etc. One of the advantages of being a non-traditional student is recognizing how much the outcomes of your life are held in your own hands.
“I am the master of my fate
I am the captain of my soul.”
<li>W.E. Henley, “Invictus” </li>