Some universities, like New York University and Boston University, get a boost from their location–and even more of a boost from a name that trumpets the location. New York! Boston! Let’s go!

But . . . Pennsylvania? The name of the University of Pennsylvania doesn’t even tell you that it’s in the city of Philadelphia. It also doesn’t tell you that it’s one of the eight universities of the Ivy League.

For live news from the Penn Club of New York, click on the image below or go to:

Go beyond names!

If you dig in to the data about the University of Pennsylvania, here are a few key facts you will find at today.

  • You may have thought that a large research university would be an anonymous place. Surprise! The student:faculty ratio at Penn is a staggering 6:1. That’s only six students per faculty member.
  • While a total of 7,165 international students applied to Penn in 2016, only 12% of them were from Europe.
  • The distribution of undergraduates over Penn’s four undergraduate colleges is:
    6,311 School of Arts and Sciences
    1,748 School of Engineering
    587 School of Nursing
    1,771 The Wharton School
  • Of the 10,417 undergraduates at Penn, 1,771 are studying business at Wharton. And how about those engineers? This means that 30% of Penn undergrads are studying either business or engineering. Be sure you know what it takes–especially in math–to get admitted to those popular programs.
  • Penn is known for its commitment to interdisciplinary study. Look into Penn’s special programs to see if one of them is your dream combination of disciplines.

Athena Advises

Look beyond a school’s name and reputation to discover the details that will convince you–and the school–that you are a match.

In the not-too-distant past, Penn asked applicants to write a brief essay describing an undergraduate research project the applicant would love to undertake with a particular professor at Penn. “How do I know what these people are up to?” wailed one of my students.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? If you’re applying to a university, you should know what’s going on there. You might start with Penn!


Dr. Marlena Corcoran
Founder and CEO