University of Pennsylvania Admission Requirements: An Ultimate Guide

Jul 24, 2021

When you check the list of elite colleges, you'll likely see the University of Pennsylvania. The University is also popularly known as UPenn. UPenn is the University that holds itself steady among the elite. They're able to give the students a way of living their academic lives with balance and prosperity. 

Can you get into this renowned University and have an incredible journey? Yes, you can. That's why we've got an excellent guide for you which will explain the admission requirements of UPenn. This guide will explain the score requirements, application requirements, and everything related to admission. But before this, let's see an overview of UPenn.

University of Pennsylvania Overview

Founded in 1740, UPenn is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the USA. Benjamin Franklin founded the University.

As per the "2021 US news ranking", UPenn is the 8th best University in the USA. As per the "2021 QS World University Ranking," UPenn is the World's 16th best University.

The tuition fee for admitted students at UPenn is $60,042 (2020-21). The total enrollment in the school is 22,432. 6:1 is the student to faculty ratio in UPenn. For every 6 students, there's 1 faculty, which provides every student very personalized attention. 71% of classes in UPenn consist of fewer than 20 students.

The University of Pennsylvania has significant names in the World as its alumni. Some notable alumni are Donald Trump (Former US President), Warren Buffett (American Investor), Sundar Pichai (CEO of Alphabet and Google), Elizabeth Banks (American Actress). 

University of Pennsylvania

UPenn SAT Score Requirements

The University of Pennsylvania is a very competitive institute regarding scores requirements. The SAT 25th percentile score of UPenn is 1450. It means only less than 25% of admitted students have a score below 1450. 

The SAT 75th percentile score of UPenn is 1560. It means around 75% of admitted students have scored less than 1560. The Average (50th Percentile) SAT score of UPenn we could find is 1505.

You can also concentrate on the 25th percentile and 75th percentile of both sections separately. For Math, the 25th percentile score is 750, and the 75th percentile score is 800. 

For EBRW, the 25th percentile score is 700, and the 75th percentile score is 760. Here, we can see you need more marks in the Math section to obtain a similar percentile score as EBRW.

If you think you are weak in one section, try to score higher than needed in the other section. So, even if you get more points than required in one section but got less in another, you may still come to the necessary composite score.

University of Pennsylvania Required SAT Scores

SAT Score Policy:

The College's SAT score policy decides its method in estimating student's scores. This policy is different for every school. In the case of UPenn, the method they have is the "highest section."

"Superscoring" is another word for this policy. In this policy, the University will consider your highest section SAT score from all attempts.

For instance, you took the SAT exam twice. In the first attempt, your composite score was 1540. In the score of 1540, 780 is of Maths, and 760 is of EBRW. In another shot, you again received 1540 as a composite SAT score. But this time, he received 760 in Maths and 780 in EBRW.

Therefore, your highest score for Math and EBRW are on the first and second attempts, respectively. And as UPenn has a policy of the highest section score, they will count each subject's highest score.

Hence, UPenn will take your Maths score as 780 and EBRW as 780. It benefits the student as his score increased by 20 points, which now became 1560.

Hence as the superscoring policy helps students, it's a must to retake the SAT exam. It increases your possibility to raise your composite score.

UPenn ACT Score Requirements

The composite ACT 25th percentile score of UPenn is 33, and the 75th percentile score is 35. UPenn doesn't have any minimum score conditions. However, a lower score than the 25th percentile will make conditions difficult for you to get accepted.

The composite score of ACT is the Average of all 4 section scores. To get the desired composite score, you need to score around what you wanted in every section.

ACT Score Policy:

UPenn uses the superscoring method for ACT also. Here, they will consider your highest individual score of each section across many attempts.

For example, you have given the ACT exam two times. In the first attempt, you got the following numbers:

Science: 34

Math: 34

Reading: 28

Writing: 32

So, the Composite ACT in the first attempt is 32.

In the second attempt, you got the following numbers:

Science: 30

Math: 32

Reading: 35

Writing: 35

So, the Composite ACT in the second attempt is 33.

But, as UPenn uses superscoring, it will take the highest individual score across both attempts. So your highest section scores will be:

Science: 34

Math: 34

Reading: 35

Writing: 35

The average score is 34.5, as you will not get an ACT score in decimal, College will consider the highest whole number. So, the composite ACT score after superscoring will be 35.

Hence, we recommend you to give multiple attempts of the ACT before applying to UPenn.

UPenn GPA Requirements

The average GPA for UPenn is 3.9 on a scale of 4. You require a high school grade of "A" to get this much GPA. If you know that you are not getting this much GPA score, focus on gaining more points in SAT / ACT.

Now let's move the application requirements.

UPenn Application Requirements

Required Documents

  • Official High School Transcript (must submit from the school by the school counselor or other officials).
  • Counselor Recommendation (By the school counselor)
  • School Report (By the school counselor)
  • Academic Teacher Evaluations: Letter of recommendation from two teachers who teach major subjects like English, Science, Math, etc.
  • Early Decision Agreement (only if applying for Early Decision).
  • Mid-Year Report: For Early Decision, the report Required on February 15, 2021. For Regular Decision, the report must submit by the school after you receive mid-year grades.
  • Final Report(for matriculating students): Required in June

Standardized Test

Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, UPenn made the SAT / ACT examination optional for 2020-21. It means it is not required to give the standardized examination. Although, you can still submit the scores if you want to. You will have any disadvantage if you don't submit SAT scores.

Interviews

UPenn offers interviews to 90% of the applicants. The interviews are to know about the applicant. To know more about interviews, go to admissions.upenn.edu/admissions-and-financial-aid/what-penn-looks-for/interviews.

Supplementary Material

  • Fine Arts Supplement (deadline is 10 days after application submission).
  • Additional Letter of Recommendation

Why University of Pennsylvania

The biggest reason is the amount of opportunity that's available there, whether that be the chance to learn from world-renowned professors or the chance to conduct research from your first year of college.

Another reason would be the students around you. There are so many smart and driven people at Penn, and it's great to surround yourself with people like that who will ultimately push you to do your best and become a better person.

The location of the campus is another reason to attend Penn. Though Penn is located in West Philly, it is super easy to go into Center City and listen to a concert, eat at Chinatown, or visit a museum! The nice thing about Penn is although it's located in the city, there is still a "college campus" feel. And if you ever want something new, you can easily go into the city with all the public transportation available.

What If You Are An International applicant?

For an international student, the application requirement is similar but with the English proficiency test requirement. You must demonstrate proficiency in English if you want to get admitted. For this, you can take tests like:

UPenn Application process:

UPenn named their application review process "Comprehensive Whole Person Review." The review process of UPenn is a holistic review process divided into four components.

These Four Components are:

  • Academics
  • Activities
  • Essays
  • Interviews

Let's see each component properly.

Academics: 

In Academics, the College wants to see your grades, standardized test (optional for 2020-21), and recommendations. What UPenn means when they say grades is the transcript. They will not just see what grades you have earned but also what class you took in high school. 

UPenn will see your college profile with your transcript. They will try to know how you challenged yourself while going to College. They will see what access you had in your College, especially the advanced courses. The College will try to create a narrative of what kind of student you are with this information.

Having good grades is very important, but the trend of grades over the years is also essential. If your grades increased over the years, then it's an excellent sign. 

The University will also see the classes you have studied in the context of the course you choose to apply in UPenn. They will check if you had the necessary preparation in high school for the course you are applying for. 

For example, if you applied to an engineering course, it's essential to take a physics class. If not, the University will consider that you didn't have the necessary preparation for the applied course. Hence, keep in mind that your course choices should align with future goals.

If you think there was an issue while studying, you can inform me in the "Additional Information" section.

The standardized test is optional, so it's up to you to submit them or not. 

Also, Upenn will see your recommendations, which gives them another perspective to look at you. They can see how a student, roommate, friend, you might be in UPenn. It helps UPenn to understand applicants above the grades.

Activities:

Your activities help UPenn to know what you do outside the classroom. It helps them to know you as a whole person, not just as a student.

There are two types of activities students are often involved in. One is the activities you choose to do, and the other is the responsibility. 

The activities you choose to do gives the College a glimpse of what you enjoy. It shows aspects of your personality and specific talent and skills you may have. Also, it tells what you will contribute to the UPenn community. The responsibility would be doing a part-time job, caring for family members, a long commute to school, etc.

You need to mention these activities in the "Activities" section of Common App or "Activities/Experience" section of the Coalition application. To know how to fill the "Activities" section correctly, go to our blog Fill The Common App Activities Section Best Way Possible.

Essays:

While applying to UPenn, you need to submit a personal essay, two Penn-specific essays, and sometimes the third depends on the course.

Essay helps college know what your writing style is and how well you communicate your ideas to people. It also gives an additional context about you as a person.

UPenn considers a personal essay as "a vehicle for your voice." You have full control over your essay, and you can tell University what you believe or what you care about. Your personal essay can only be good if you be yourself in it. To know the important guidelines of personal essays,keyword-richdetailed see our blog “Importance Guidelines For Writing Personal Essay.”

In two Penn-specific essays, the College asks you two questions. The questions colleges ask are the ones which are very important for them. So, it's essential to read the question correctly and then answer it. 

You can also use current student's experiences by going to their website to write the essay. And don't forget to read and proofread the essay.

Interview:

An interview will take place between you and the alumni volunteer. In an interview, the College will try to get to know you better. They will talk to you about your interest and your experiences. The College will ask you why you applied to UPenn, and you can also know about Penn. They can also ask you any other question, So think about what question alumni might ask.

To know it in more depth Checkout the below Youtube Video:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CG4U-Eysrfw

UPenn Acceptance Rate

You need to know the acceptance rate of the UPenn to know how selective they are. The acceptance rate displays how many percentages of candidates get confirmed. The World's top institutes are very choosy while accepting applicants. And as the University of Pennsylvania is a leading college in the World, the acceptance rate is low.

The current general acceptance rate of UPenn is 8%. It means, in every 100 candidates, only 8 get accepted. 

The early application acceptance rate for the class of 2024 of UPenn is approximately 19%. So as we see, the early applicant's rate is high compared to regular decisions. Though, keep in mind that this could be because the brighter students apply early.

Each year, both these acceptance rates are shrinking. In the following years, it may go even less. 

In short: only a few get selected. You could be among a few who get admitted to UPenn if you work hard.

What if Not Accepted? 

After all the stuff you put in, UPenn says no and rejects your application. So does it mean you're no longer able to get in anymore? No! There's an alternative option to give a shot if you're still determined to get into UPenn. It's not a standard option, but if you're not going to give up for another chance at being able to part of this place, here it is:

Alternative Option: Attend a different college and transfer to UPenn later

You can always go to another college and then transfer to UPenn midway. Unlike other colleges like Stanford, the transfer rate is relatively high. How high? Compared to the 1.15% rate from Stanford, UPenn's transfer acceptance rate is around 7.8%. 

Yes, it's pretty similar to the acceptance rates you learned about above, so you still got a bit of a chance here! But take note it's riskier to go with this because it will be tough to convince UPenn you're still the right student after rejecting you already. So be ready for this one. 

Conclusion

UPenn has a thing of its own. With the balance of life and studies, all put into a college that'll encourage students to see it as a beautiful journey, and it's no wonder many seek to get into this elite University. 

Yes, it's not going to be easy to get accepted here since the acceptance rates may be higher than most colleges but can still be within a range that says many can apply. 

But don't be down about it: Instead, let this be a way to show you that you can give it a try. UPenn can see you're the student who lives and thrives in serving society with confidence.

When you check the list of elite colleges, you'll likely see the University of Pennsylvania. The University is also popularly known as UPenn. UPenn is the University that holds itself steady among the elite. They're able to give the students a way of living their academic lives with balance and prosperity. 

Can you get into this renowned University and have an incredible journey? Yes, you can. That's why we've got an excellent guide for you which will explain the admission requirements of UPenn. This guide will explain the score requirements, application requirements, and everything related to admission. But before this, let's see an overview of UPenn.

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