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Do Philly kids have an advantage when applying to UPenn?

areyouahumanareyouahuman Registered User Posts: 83 Junior Member
edited August 2016 in University of Pennsylvania
Hello! I'm a female applying to Penn ED for SEAS. I don't live IN Philadelphia, but I live about forty minutes away and my sister attends Drexel University, which is right next to Penn and my aunt worked at Penn Med. I'm very familiar with the area and it's one of the reasons why I'm applying. Do I have an advantage? Little to no one from my school applies to Penn.
Not sure if this helps, but I'm considered upper middle class ?

Replies to: Do Philly kids have an advantage when applying to UPenn?

  • T26E4T26E4 Registered User Posts: 24,274 Senior Member
    Some Philly high schools are favored. Your being 40 minutes away and your aunt's employment = no advantage
  • chriswchrisw Registered User Posts: 1,585 Senior Member
    Living in Philadelphia is advantageous (my understanding is that Philly kids are measured on what amounts to a different scale than everybody else), but living in the Philadelphia suburbs is not. In fact, one can argue that living in the suburbs makes it even harder to get in, since there are going to be many more people, who fit your profile and live in your area, who apply to Penn.
  • College dad123College dad123 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I disagree with above post, DD Penn student from philly. Penn has an agreement with the city of Philadelphia that does give an advantage to kids from the five county area of Philadelphia. If you attended high school within the city itself you are eligible to apply for something called the mayor's scholarship. Maybe this is where people get confused.
  • flayevflayev Registered User Posts: 25 New Member
    To my knowledge, yes, there is a slight advantage for Philly kids. I know that Penn specifically seeks to recruit students from the biggest Philly high school (Central, Masterman, etc), but they also look at smaller high schools. I went to a high school in the "suburbs" of Philly (though it was still located within the city of Philadelphia) that was about 20 miles and ~40 minutes away from Penn, yet like 4-5 kids from my school were accepted. I think like 2-3 were rejected, but that's still a good rate considering my senior class was ~100 kids.

    @chrisw, I'm pretty sure there's not much of a distinction between the city of Philadelphia and its suburbs. I don't think it makes a difference when applying for the Mayor's Scholarship, which is the scholarship set up between Penn and the city of Philadelphia.

    http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/mayors-scholarship/questions-answers.htm

    "Philadelphia residents who attend high school in Philadelphia or one of its contiguous counties (Bucks, Delaware or Montgomery), and who apply for admission and financial aid, are eligible for consideration of a Mayor’s Scholarship."



  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 25,647 Senior Member
    Separate from the scholarship, I'm not sure how much "advantage"OP would have. We don't know enough about her. Want to provide any academic details? You don't have any scores yet?
  • YonceKnowlesYonceKnowles Registered User Posts: 190 Junior Member
    Current Penn student, college dad is correct
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,655 Senior Member
    This is my understanding and you can google or search CC for older threads on this topic:

    UPenn and Philadelphia have an agreement based on the fact that the city of Philadelphia gave them the land where they moved to in West Philly back in the 19th Century for free. The agreement was to educate 125 Philadelphia residents for free each year or a total of 500 at any time (125x4). This was sort of forgotten by Penn in the 20th century and they were sued and they re-affirmed the agreement in the 1990s. Since they aren't allowed to give scholarships the agreement is to meet full need - which they do for all students now anyway. The Mayor's Scholarship still exist but it's more of Honors designation with activities associated with it.

    As far as the agreement of 125 Residents a year, I'm not sure how the new agreement is worded but students that attend a Philadelphia Pubic High School definitely have an advantage and would seem to have first choice for the 125 student slot per year. Perhaps if not enough Public High School student make up the 125 allotment then it's expanded to residents that attend Private schools and then to students in the 5 county area. Just to note this isn't just the big magnets like Central and Masterman but any Philadelphia Public High School including Charters. It also applies to other advantages for Philadelphia Public High School students. They have the High School Honors program and these students can take 1 Penn class a semester for free. They have full scholarships for their expensive Summer Research Academies and other Summer Programs, etc.

    My D is a Senior at a Philadelphia Public High School and they have Naviance and I can tell you by the data there that basically all the top students get into Penn from her High School. I have friends that have kids in Private schools and the acceptance records from the Private schools seems closer to the National Averages. The anecdotal story at my D's high school is that everyone that was accepted into the High School Honors program was accepted to Penn with one exception and that girl made a C in one of her Penn classes and represents the 1 outlier when you look at the Naviance data.

    I have a number of friends/acquaintances that sent their children to private school K-8 and then sent them to one of the Special Admission Public High Schools just because of the Penn advantage.
  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter Registered User Posts: 4,272 Senior Member
    Dolemite wrote:
    This is my understanding and you can google or search CC for older threads on this topic:

    UPenn and Philadelphia have an agreement based on the fact that the city of Philadelphia gave them the land where they moved to in West Philly back in the 19th Century for free. The agreement was to educate 125 Philadelphia residents for free each year or a total of 500 at any time (125x4). This was sort of forgotten by Penn in the 20th century and they were sued and they re-affirmed the agreement in the 1990s.

    Actually, @Dolemite, Penn STILL maintains that the agreement is for 125 Philadelphia residents TOTAL at any given time, and not 125 per entering class. I took your suggestion and Googled on this topic, and found my own post about it in a thread from 4 years ago! :) You can read that short thread, and the sources I cited therein, here:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/university-pennsylvania/1379331-does-living-in-pa-help.html
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,655 Senior Member
    @45 Percenter Thanks for the clarification on the number. I always thought the 125 per class seemed extreme based on the anecdotal numbers I had heard from recent classes from Masterman and Central. Anecdotally it seems that the Public Schools get better treatment than the privates. I'd like to see Naviance for GFS, St Joe's Prep, etc and compare it to Central, Masterman, etc. I would thing you're also going to get more URMs and 1st Generations at Publics than the Privates.
  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter Registered User Posts: 4,272 Senior Member
    @Dolemite I know that several years ago at GFS, for example, something like 15-20 or so kids were accepted to Penn from each class, and that was out of a graduating class of 75-80 or so. So on a percentage-of-class basis, I'd imagine that GFS is at least comparable to Masterman, Central, etc. And that's with a significant portion of the GFS class not being Philly residents, unlike M and C. I'd also be surprised if the Penn acceptance rate at GFS weren't also at least comparable to that at M, C, etc.
  • DolemiteDolemite Registered User Posts: 1,655 Senior Member
    GFS this year had 11 NMSFs which is more than any Philly school including Masterman (10). They had 12 last year (Masterman 14) so they obviously have a large percentage of high achieving kids every year. My D's school had 8 out of 120 total students the last 2 years accepted to Penn but I'm going to guess that the stats for the GFS kids were much higher on average than my D's school.
This discussion has been closed.