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Is the Penn Visit worth to attend?

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Replies to: Is the Penn Visit worth to attend?

  • cecilturtlececilturtle 183 replies14 threads Junior Member
    45 Percenter, I know you get many of these expressions of gratitude.
    We have a D at Penn, Class of 2017, who is so happy there that she has not stopped smiling since arriving for in mid August. Her experience with Corp, her College House and Res Program, work-study, Penn Band, Rugby, Ballet, the food, preceptorials, NSO, University City, classmates, libraries, the archeological museum, food trucks, advisors etc, has been off the charts incredibly positive.
    Thank you so much for defending Penn at every turn, against both unworthy **** posts, and unsubstantiated drivel.
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  • centraleaglecentraleagle 146 replies16 threads Junior Member
    I second that cecilturtle! I too am the parent of a Class of 2017 student who could not be happier.
    45percenter - we can always count on you!
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  • PoemePoeme 1329 replies0 threads Senior Member
    The preprofessional stereotype sometimes feels overwhelming, but it definitely is not as bad in reality. I think it exists on every campus but just happens to be more noticeable at Penn because of Wharton. I hear plenty of kids at schools like Yale and Dartmouth are very preprofessional even though it is not initially as obvious. People for some reason view Brown as having a much more liberal arts focus than Penn, but the people I know who go to Brown (a lot of kids from my graduating class went there) are more or less similar to the average Penn student. Schools like Chicago though may genuinely have less preprofessional students since they have a core curriculum and a unique reputation, but my friend who goes there thinks that the preprofessional presence is growing there as well.

    I do agree with smallfish that there is not nearly enough economic diversity as there should be, but this applies for all of the Ivy league and other top schools. There are super rich kids at all of these schools.

    As far as the comment about students intelligence, there are definitely people, who when they begin to talk make you question how they were admitted to Penn. However, that's just a result of an imperfect admissions process. I have grown skeptical of college admissions over the years, I think a lot of the information they use to make decisions is questionable at best.
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  • mandypandymandypandy 616 replies15 threads Member
    I would definitely recommend visiting campus. It's one thing to look at pictures and hear about how amazing it is, but everyone is different. I can say that most people absolutely love Penn's campus, but there are some people that don't care for it. It just depends! You really won't know how you feel about it until you're here.
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  • ron4scron4sc 18 replies1 threads New Member
    We visited during the summer. We weren't expecting much and were extremely impressed with the campus and the people we met. Someone else mentioned that it is a small college feel in a big city. I agree with that.

    I also was happy to learn on the tour about the approximately 120 uniformed security guards that ensure the students are safe 24x7. We saw the phones that dispatch security immediately.

    After we left ended the tour and raided the Penn bookstore, we drove about 20 minutes to have lunch at Geno's for philly cheesesteaks. I love the ability to be inside a bubble but be able to enjoy an interesting city if our D desires to do that too.

    The other thing you learn from the campus visit is how close the train station is to campus. If you live on the east coast as we do, you can visualize how easy it is for your child can get home for the occasional visit.

    Those were impressions we had from a campus visit that we couldn't have learned from just looking at the website.
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  • atreenatreen 77 replies55 threads Junior Member
    once you get in, it will be worth it to visit. Just to get a feel for the campus environment and Philly. Even though it may be a great school, it may not be a fit for everyone who qualifies. Just check out websites pertaining to the city/local community to get a better idea of what it is like. Philly is a unique city (architecturally (Architecture City Guide: Philadelphia | ArchDaily) and culturally ( www.phillyculture.com/‎, https://www.facebook.com/cityrundaily <- new fashion blog started by friends at UPenn!)
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  • ivyparent43ivyparent43 150 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Yes, it's worth the visit...and take what smallfish said earlier in these posts with a very large grain of salt...sounds like a potential **** to me, although I'm sure a very small percentage of students on many college campuses may feel that way.

    I'll say that from our DS's perspective, and he's a freshman / class of 2017, he's enjoying Penn very much. He's in a dual degree program within Wharton so (perhaps because of the dual degree part) he's seeing a very diverse side of Penn.

    Your college experience is yours to build --- make it as diverse or as segregated as you'd like. There are hundreds of clubs that you can join, covering most aspects of life --- and if there's not a club in one of your areas of interest then you can start one.

    Our Whartonite (is that the proper phrase?) is in both a consulting and a foodie club along with a few other clubs too, likes to hang out at Kelly Writers House, and just attended his first poetry slam even though he's never written a poem. That said, I'm sure he's just one of many examples of students not fitting the stereotypical mold that some folks envision.
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  • Daddio3Daddio3 603 replies22 threads Member
    DS has visited 7 of his schools and Penn was close to the least useful unless you know someone there already. The tour did not enter any dorms and it was packed with people. The information session was even more packed and very generic. Overnights weren't allowed when we went. And they are very upfront in saying they don't care if you visit. DS did know someone attending, so we ate lunch and saw his dorm, and I set up a meeting with the department head of his department, but overall it wasn't as useful as one would hope after flying cross-country on a budget during the school year. It is nothing against Penn as it is a great school and DS will apply RD, but it was less valuable than other visits he has done.
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  • rhandcorhandco 4240 replies55 threads Senior Member
    That's funny, I do alumni interviews for Penn and I was told admissions does care. I always ask if the applicant has seen the campus, and it is a gauge of the interest level.

    However, if you are traveling more than two hours, I don't think any school expects you to do an on-campus tour. My son went to the tour in November, and it was relatively generic except that he went on the tour for the college he is interested in as well. They also have a lot of activities on alumni weekend for parents and legacies to check out the Quad etc.

    My son also did a BU tour, and it was very similar to Penn except less organized.
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  • Daddio3Daddio3 603 replies22 threads Member
    Rhandco -- good information regarding the visit. I'll make sure he mentions the visit in his interview, assuming he gets one.

    We flew from the West Coast over spring break, so it may have just seemed like a lot of time, effort, and expense for a crowded general tour (with no dorm or cafeteria visit), a crowded engineering tour (with no classes available to sit in on), and a crowded information session that was quite generic.

    Fortunately, we met with a student from son's high school. We ate lunch in one place, and saw his separate dorm and cafeteria. He also had a 30-minute meeting with his department head while I hung out in the lobby and chatted with a grad student TA (for a class in his major) and a couple of undergrads in his major. It was this last part that was really worthwhile.
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  • rebeccarrebeccar 2141 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Can anyone comment on whether the info session is worthwhile? I was already admitted (for grad school) but have never visited the school and am attending the undergraduate tour. I don't know if I should bother with the info session, though. I don't know much about the school.
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  • MamalumperMamalumper 444 replies13 threads Member
    The info session is definitely geared for undergraduates. I would just do the tour, your guide will be able to answer all questions you have about the university as a whole.
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  • rebeccarrebeccar 2141 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Great, thanks. I'm 99.99% positive I'm attending, it'd just be more to familiarize myself with the school. I think the tour should suffice.
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  • go2momgo2mom 402 replies19 threads Member
    As a westcoaster, I had never visited the Ivies. What my D and I found interesting is that there is a signifcant cultural and academic difference that you can only find by visiting the campuses and doing an information session. Penn really stresses an interdisciplinary focus while Princeton talks more about the power of independent research (financialy supported by the school). Brown was definitely "looser" and Yale students seemd the happiest. So, knowing that it's a crap shoot getting into any of them, it is "educational" to figure out which one is the best fit for YOU.
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  • PoemePoeme 1329 replies0 threads Senior Member
    @rebeccar, aren't there visiting days for the graduate program you were admitted to? I think going during those days would be much more useful. If you are talking about a PhD program they will pay for it and reimburse you for your travels.
    I am friends with a lot of grad students in my department and it is very easy to tell that life as a grad student is way different from that of an undergrad at Penn. They are all very happy though, perhaps more so than the average undergrad.
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  • rebeccarrebeccar 2141 replies39 threads Senior Member
    @Poeme yes there were, but during the schoolyear while I'm still at college and I couldn't make it. You're totally right that it would have been more useful. The undergrad admissions was a huuuuuge waste of time-- not Penn's fault at all, it would have been great if I was an incoming freshman, but I don't know what I was even thinking by sitting through it.
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  • PoemePoeme 1329 replies0 threads Senior Member
    Everyone will miss class for grad school visits, professors know that and are totally okay with it usually. I will be visiting 5 schools and will miss class for three of them. My professors in my major are all thrilled I am going and the ones outside are being accommodating as well. It is also better financially since travel is reimbursed and everything else is free.
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  • rebeccarrebeccar 2141 replies39 threads Senior Member
    Is it honestly that popular to attend? I'm genuinely asking because now I'm kind of nervous that I'm not. I saw the email and didn't really think much of it, figuring I'd get all the information I needed at orientation. Surely people from all over the country won't be coming for a day.
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  • PoemePoeme 1329 replies0 threads Senior Member
    Well it is always good to go, but especially if you are in a Phd program since you will be working with a specific advisor and will be staying for five years. I'm sure it is also important for med school and law school as well, maybe not as much for a masters.
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  • Saona63Saona63 379 replies23 threads Member
    My S was invited all expenses paid:)) I guess he will be visiting
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