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Legacy Admission at Penn?

catchmecryingcatchmecrying 3 replies6 threads New Member
I have heard many things surrounding legacy admission at Penn, and am looking for some insight into the benefit that it provides. Does legacy status at Penn truly provide a greater "boost" than most other schools. Obviously being a legacy is by no means a guarantee of any type of admission (FAR from it), but from what I've heard, it offers a more significant boost than most other similar schools.
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Replies to: Legacy Admission at Penn?

  • northwestynorthwesty 3540 replies9 threads Senior Member
    No one can really give you an evidenced based answer to that. Especially at a school (like Penn) which bundles legacy admissions into its early decision program.

    But Penn does seem to have an expansive legacy admissions program which it promotes (in conjunction with its extensive ED program). So you'd think Penn/ED is a pretty good card to play.

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  • UGG2023UGG2023 179 replies2 threads Junior Member
    My D would have been 4th generation Penn legacy and was rejected ED 2023. Her scores, grades, EC’s, and essays were excellent. 20 students applied to Penn from her school, many others were also legacies, and only 2 were accepted. One was a legacy and one was not.
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  • northwestynorthwesty 3540 replies9 threads Senior Member
    @UGG2023 -- to give the OP a better flavor of how this works, could you share (if you know) how many of the 20 kids were ED/legacy applicants?

    Penn has an overall admit rate of 7.5% and 18% for ED. So even if there's a meaningful boost, the odds of admission are still long. Some studies say that legacy status increases your admit chances by 3X. But at a school like Penn, that might mean going from 10% to 30%.

    So you could correctly say that is a huge advantage. You could also correctly say that you still have a 70% chance of being rejected.

    Mostly, legacy is the way that really strong (say 34-36 ACT) applicants get in over other similarly strong applicants. It is a tie-breaker in a game that has thousands of ties each cycle.
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  • tdy123tdy123 813 replies15 threads Member
    The legacy boost at UPenn applies only in ED round, and won't help if you don't have superior stats.

    GPA in top 10% of your HS (and the closer to 4.0, the better) + 75th percentile standardized test scores (1560SAT, 35 ACT) + Legacy + ED = a very good chance.

    Less than that, not so much.
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  • UGG2023UGG2023 179 replies2 threads Junior Member
    She had 4.0 GPA, Cum Laude Society (top 10%) in competitive private school, 1510 SAT. I know for a fact 3 legacies applied ED all with similar gpa and scores, 2 rejected, 1 accepted. I think also it depends on your geographic location (1 hour from penn) and the number of applications from your school. Naviance history shows penn receives about 20 applications per year from her HS and accepts 2-3 only.
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  • tdy123tdy123 813 replies15 threads Member
    UGG2023 wrote: »
    She had 4.0 GPA, Cum Laude Society (top 10%) in competitive private school, 1510 SAT. I know for a fact 3 legacies applied ED all with similar gpa and scores, 2 rejected, 1 accepted. I think also it depends on your geographic location (1 hour from penn) and the number of applications from your school. Naviance history shows penn receives about 20 applications per year from her HS and accepts 2-3 only.

    The experience at your daughter's HS is consistent with the data released in the Harvard anti-Asian discrimination trial showing a 33% legacy admissions rate.
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  • northwestynorthwesty 3540 replies9 threads Senior Member
    That makes sense.

    Penn has an overall admit rate of 7.5%. 18% for ED round. So a 33% ED/legacy rate would be a significant boost. But you've still got a 67% chance of being denied.
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  • UGG2023UGG2023 179 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @tdy123 agreed, was just so devastating for my D last December when ED decisions were posted, and heartbreaking as a parent to watch. She is very happy where she ended up and the entire college application process while extremely difficult and stressful, has taught her deal with rejection, regroup, and move forward.
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  • Sush2016Sush2016 53 replies8 threads Junior Member
    edited November 2
    UGG2023, so glad to hear your D is enjoying her college and is not allowing this bump in the road to bring her down. There are indeed many great choices out there, but I can also imagine the heartbreak at the time considering her stats and legacy status. What in your opinion made the difference between the legacy kid who got in and the kids who didn’t apart from geographic location. Was there anything special or extraordinary in the resume of the one who got in? The whole process is so unnerving. When kids pick an EA or ED school, it is hard for them not to pin their hopes on it. The process makes the applicant imagine herself there and be sold to the idea.
    edited November 2
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  • UGG2023UGG2023 179 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @Sush2016 in my opinion, the other legacy that was admitted has a parent that is a significant governmental/political figure, also had a sibling attend penn, and maybe adcom preferred their EC’s and or essay more than my D’s. There was nothing extraordinarily in the resume of the legacy that was admitted. I know this because the admitted student and my D are friends.

    I would like the highly qualified legacies applying ED out there to learn from our experience. If you can apply EA elsewhere do it now. Complete ALL your other applications and have them ready to submit BEFORE Penn’s ED notification day so you can just send them all out if you are rejected. You will most likely be in no state of mind to work on any applications after you find out you are rejected ED.
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  • Mkate75Mkate75 21 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @UGG2023 i was saddened by your post. I hope your D is happy wherever she landed. I’m sorry to write because, while my experience was similar to yours, it ended up with my D’s admission to class of 2023. So many kids from our school usually apply and get accepted to Penn, most of them legacies. For our class over 20 kids applied. My D was ready to apply early decision but, at the very last second, chickened out because she said she didn’t like the competition from too many kids from her class applying early. She ended up not applying anywhere early decision because Penn was a top choice. She then applied Regular decision to Penn. Lucky for her, she was accepted. Many of the early decision kids were rejected and a few deferred. All the deferred kids got rejected regular decision. We ended up sending only 7 kids to Penn class of 2023. I say only because our school typical sends kids in the double digits every year to Penn. 2023 was a different year. Again, I hope your D is thriving at her school.
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  • Sush2016Sush2016 53 replies8 threads Junior Member
    edited November 9
    @Mkate75 from your experience, it seems like may be in some situations some legacies may have a better chance applying RD instead of ED? That is so counterintuitive. From what I have read...I thought Penn only gives legacy considerations to kids who apply early. Mine is also a legacy and has applied ED (She fell in love with Penn the moment she visited the campus during spring of junior year. There has not been any doubt in her mind). Her school sent 9 kids to Penn last year...I don’t know who else has applied this year and if they are legacies or not but quite possible some of them are. Hoping for the best, although I have always been a bit nervous about Philadelphia. Let’s see what happens. When are the interviews typically scheduled for EDs?
    edited November 9
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  • NCKrisNCKris 254 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Penn clearly states that, in order to get legacy preference, you need to apply ED, so doesn’t make any sense that legacies have a better chance in RD vs ED.
    Holistic admissions is so vague, you never know how and why someone got accepted or rejected.

    @UGG2023 : glad to hear your Daughter is thriving elsewhere.
    It appears that many applied ED from her school when historically only 2 or 3 are accepted per year
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  • Mkate75Mkate75 21 replies0 threads Junior Member
    @Sush2016 My opinion is that a legacy who applies RD gives up the legacy advantages and loses the boost that comes with it. Such an applicant is reviewed as a non-legacy, I believe. I agree with @NCKris that holistic admissions are sort of vague. One can never know what the admissions committee is looking for in curating a particular class, and why one application gets accepted and another gets rejected.

    Good Luck to you and your D. I remember that feeling when my D visited in her junior year. Then came the stressful application season. I don’t envy you at this moment, but you’ll know soon enough. I’m always also a bit nervous about Philadelphia, but my freshman is loving it. She has especially enjoyed the few times she’s been off campus and seen Philadelphia with friends. Based on 1st semester experience thus far, Penn seems to be a great fit for her. Good Luck to 2024 applicants.
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  • UGG2023UGG2023 179 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @NCKris approx 20 students total from DD’s school apply each year, her year 3 legacies applied ED (2 rejected, 1 accepted), 1 other student was accepted RD and they were a URM, but did not enroll

    @Sush2016 wow, 9 kids from your school! I cannot imagine it. How many kids typically apply each year from your HS?
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  • 4Gulls4Gulls 540 replies0 threads Member
    I would imagine which school/program you are applying to at Penn also has an impact. I haven't seen statistics, but admissions rates ED & RD for Engineering, Nursing, Arts & Sciences, and Wharton surely differ. @UGG2023 I'm glad your DD is happy where she landed. I had legacy twins appling in 2014. We couldn't afford financially to risk ED. One got in RD, one didn't. So it goes ...
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  • Sush2016Sush2016 53 replies8 threads Junior Member
    edited November 10
    @UGG2023 ....I just checked....looks like more than 50 kids apply each year from her school all together! It seems to be a very popular choice!!

    All who have been through this, thanks for any tips on what are the types of questions are asked and how to prepare......Looks like hers is going to be rather soon!

    Should I open a new thread with this question?
    edited November 10
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  • MWolfMWolf 1666 replies10 threads Senior Member
    UGG2023 wrote: »
    She had 4.0 GPA, Cum Laude Society (top 10%) in competitive private school, 1510 SAT. I know for a fact 3 legacies applied ED all with similar gpa and scores, 2 rejected, 1 accepted. I think also it depends on your geographic location (1 hour from penn) and the number of applications from your school. Naviance history shows penn receives about 20 applications per year from her HS and accepts 2-3 only.

    That is a 10%-15% acceptance rate at a college with an average 7.5% acceptance rate. So that wouldn't be "only 2-3".
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  • UGG2023UGG2023 179 replies2 threads Junior Member
    @MWolf the historical data in Naviance for the last 4 years for our HS shows there are approximately 20 total applications a year (ED, RD) and Penn accepts only 2-3/year, regardless of hook (Legacy, URM, etc). For 2023, there were a minimum of 3 qualified legacies out of the 20 applicants, 1 was accepted ED, 2 were rejected ED. 1 other applicant was accepted RD, was a URM, and decided to enroll somewhere else.
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  • SlowLorisesSlowLorises 30 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Sush2016 wrote: »
    @UGG2023 ....I just checked....looks like more than 50 kids apply each year from her school all together! It seems to be a very popular choice!!

    All who have been through this, thanks for any tips on what are the types of questions are asked and how to prepare......Looks like hers is going to be rather soon!

    Should I open a new thread with this question?

    Yes, please start a new thread! When did your daughter hear about the interview? My son applied ED and has not heard anything. He is not a legacy, and we are pretty sure he is the only one from his large public high school who applied. There may be one or two ED applications from the private school though.
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