Category Archives: Homepage Blog

Message about Executive Order

Posted on by Dean Furda
Penn President Dr. Amy Gutmann, in her recent statement on the Executive Order suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, reiterates Penn’s commitment to “open-hearted compassion and open-minded opportunity.” Our admissions officers, faculty, and administration will remain as dedicated as ever to creating an inclusive campus atmosphere that welcomes the best [...]

ED Press Release

Posted on by admin
Philadelphia, PA – The University of Pennsylvania has admitted 1,354 students to the Class of 2021 through the first-choice Early Decision program. Penn’s admitted Early Decision cohort was selected from a pool of 6,147 applications, the largest in the University’s history and a seven percent increase over the prior year. Early Decision applicants commit to [...]

The Penn Community

Posted on by admin
The Penn Community: At Our Best When Life is at its Worst A guest post from Reverend Charles L. Howard, PhD, University Chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania This fall marks twenty years since I first arrived at Penn. And this December also marks twenty years since my father died. In reflection after all these [...]

To ED Applicants and Their Families

Posted on by Dean Furda
On Friday, December 9 at 3pm EST, we will release decisions for early applications to Penn. So many stories of life-changing “a-ha moments,” inspiring mentors, and bucket-list goals emerged from the applications of our ED candidates. My team and I feel honored to represent these many, unique voices in our admissions committee conversations, and we [...]

Thoughts on Recent Events

Posted on by Dean Furda
Walking down Locust Walk and observing the multitude of identities, interests, beliefs, points of view, and experiences represented on our campus is one of the greatest gifts of my career as an admissions professional and an educator. So during this time, when strong feelings are reverberating across our country on all sides, I thought it [...]

When Leaving

Posted on by samy
A guest blog post by Amy Smith, Assistant Director of Admissions at the University of Pennsylvania The seven pocketed, bulky backpack fit a mug, pile of assorted papers, two books, soccer/stress ball, the Hulk (small version), sunflower (not alive), personal greeting cards, and stuffed animal (robot). I’m packing up my desk as I move to [...]

Writing Supplement 2016-17

Posted on by Dean Furda
Congratulations on the successful completion of another school year. After working so hard, you deserve a restful summer break! We know you are balancing multiple priorities during this time—spending time with friends and family, cultivating your hobbies, working, and preparing for the college application process. The summer is a great time to begin drafts of [...]

The Application and Identity

Posted on by JordanP
A guest blog post by Jordan Pascucci, Associate Dean of Recruitment at the University of Pennsylvania It’s post-decision day at most colleges and universities. That usually means the heavy lifting of the admissions office is done, and there’s a small window of breathing room before attention turns to the next class. But it also means [...]

Hurrah, Hurrah

Posted on by Dean Furda
Congratulations to all high school seniors on your college acceptances. You should all feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment. To our newest Quakers: Penn faculty, staff, and current students are excited to welcome you to campus! I am confident that your voice will contribute to our community in important ways. Today, and over [...]

Penn Admits Class of 2020

Posted on by Dean Furda
PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Thursday, March 31, at 5:00 p.m., the University of Pennsylvania will announce admission decisions for applicants to the Class of 2020, the institution’s 264th class. The admitted cohort of 3,661 was selected from a pool of 38,918 applicants, the largest in the University’s history, for an overall admit rate of 9.4 [...]

Before Decision Release

Posted on by Dean Furda
We are near the end of the 2015-16 admissions cycle. Penn received a record breaking number of applications – nearly thirty-nine thousand. In this increasingly competitive pool, our work throughout the winter and into March is difficult. We recognize both the limited space in the Class of 2020 and the many talented students and interesting [...]

Campus Dialogue

Posted on by Dean Furda
On a recent Sunday afternoon I was sitting on one of two buses coming back from the University of Pennsylvania’s Posse-Plus Retreat (PPR) with a group of students I have become very close to over the last four years. This was the sixth retreat I participated in as Penn’s dean of admissions and an early [...]

Urban Honors

Posted on by Dean Furda
Philadelphia continues to inspire locals and visitors alike. Lonely Planet just ranked Philly at the top of US travel destinations in 2016. This follows recent accolades. In November, Philadelphia became our country’s first – and only – World Heritage City and the New York Times gave our city a travel endorsement, placing it third on [...]

Explore Philly

Posted on by Dean Furda
There has never been a better time to visit the City of Brotherly Love. Use the links below, courtesy of Visit Philadelphia, to get to know the city and enjoy its neighborhoods, art, culture, and of course, food. Top Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten-Free Restaurants in Philadelphia The Top Multicultural Festivals in Philadelphia in 2015 Top [...]

Philly Recognized

Posted on by Dean Furda
In November, Philadelphia was named the first World Heritage City in the United States. This honor, which my staff and I are very excited about, recognizes Philadelphia’s significant historical setting and the national historic landmarks within the five-county Philadelphia area. The University is deeply connected to the city. Penn’s own Fisher Fine Arts Library and [...]

ED Press Release

Posted on by Dean Furda
Philadelphia, PA – On Friday, December 11th, at 3:00 p.m. EST, the University of Pennsylvania welcomed 1,335 admitted students to the Class of 2020 through the first-choice Early Decision program. Penn’s admitted Early Decision cohort was selected from a pool of 5,762 applications, the largest in the University’s history and a 5% increase over the [...]

To ED Applicants

Posted on by Dean Furda
On Friday, we release decisions for early applications to Penn. As a collective, ED applicants are passionate, talented, and smart. Students shared with us stories of success, experiences of resilience, and anecdotes that demonstrate creativity and compassion. Our committee conversations bring out these distinguishing qualities with particular attention to potential Penn fit. This is an [...]

Early Decision 2015

Posted on by Dean Furda
Many seniors are now finalizing their early applications to a university (or universities) at the top of their college lists. Across institutions there are distinct variations in how admissions offices approach early applications; and, as many seniors now know, there are a wide range of early programs from Early Decision to Early Action to rolling [...]

Involve Me and I Learn

Posted on by Dean Furda
Since the Tuesday after Labor Day, I along with many admissions officers at Penn and other universities have been traveling near and far to meet with prospective students, families and guidance counselors (when there is one given so many cutbacks). As an admissions officer since 1987, the ‘fall travel season’ is almost like any other [...]

An Essay Discussion

Posted on by Dean Furda
In anticipation of the upcoming admissions cycle, admissions officers share their thoughts on the Common Application essay. In conversation with each other, Penn Admissions staffers offer inspiration, reassurance, and direction for students starting their college essays. Meet the staff here; names are abbreviated below. What are you looking for when you read this piece? MM: [...]

New Testing Policy

Posted on by Dean Furda
Beginning with the 2015-2016 admissions cycle, the University of Pennsylvania will require all freshman applicants to submit the results of either the SAT or the ACT college entrance exams.  In addition, Penn will recommend that each student submit the results of two SAT Subject Tests.  Students whose native language is not English are strongly encouraged [...]

Program Specific Essays

Posted on by Dean Furda
The 2015-2016 essay prompts for Penn’s coordinated dual-degree (CDD), accelerated, and specialized programs are below. CDD and specialized programs inspire cross disciplinary learning and new ways of thinking. Learn more about each program here. Bio-Dent: Seven-Year Bio-Dental Program Please list pre-dental or pre-medical experience. This experience can include but is not limited to observation in a [...]

Penn Writing Supplement

Posted on by Dean Furda
We are excited to announce the 2015-2016 Penn Writing Supplement prompt. The question focuses on your mind, specifically how your intellect might develop at Penn and, along the way, enhance our campus community. It continues our tradition of asking “Why Penn?” to generations of Penn applicants. 2015-2016 Essay Prompt: How will you explore your intellectual [...]

Photos of a Recent Trip

Posted on by Dean Furda
This set of photographs represents my recent trip to Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and South Africa, with Elisabeth O’Connell, Senior Associate Dean. We met prospective students, new members of the Class of 2019, current Penn undergraduates at home for summer break, Penn alumni, and enthusiastic educators. The opportunity to have conversations about the college process and get [...]

College Choices

Posted on by Dean Furda
Every spring, college campuses are transformed. Admitted students plan visits, make housing and dining choices, sign up for pre-freshman programs, and become part of their college community. Last week, I wrote about the experimental nature of bringing together a class. Beginning now, the potential energy of the incoming class becomes kinetic and alive. Next week, [...]

A Campus Experiment

Posted on by Dean Furda
We release decisions for regular decision applicants today at 5 p.m. As an office, we are honored to get to know so many outstanding high school seniors. Given the limited space in the class and the depth of this pool, this is a bittersweet moment as many will receive less positive news. Nonetheless, I am [...]

Selecting the Class

Posted on by Dean Furda
Today, I’m sharing my Huffington Post article on selecting the class of 2019. Initially written for Penn Admissions staff, this message is important for our regular decision applicants and their families as well as prospective students— We are heading into an intense and rewarding few weeks selecting the class of 2019. The thoughtfulness of our [...]

Shaping a Class

Posted on by Dean Furda
Last week students admitted Early Decision to Penn’s class of 2019 visited campus for ConnectED Quaker Day. The energy in Irvine Auditorium with over 800 students and parents for the morning welcome was especially high, particularly on a day that was so chilly. I enjoyed giving a few shout outs to admitted students, particularly one [...]

Applications are in

Posted on by Dean Furda
January is here. In a recent Huffington Post blog post, “Flip the List,” I wrote about what the winter holds for high school juniors and seniors. In College Hall, the next few months will focus on the regular decision review process. Our office is excited about completing this important work. It’s a good time to [...]

Preparing for ED Release

Posted on by Dean Furda
On Monday, we release decisions for early applicants to Penn. I look forward to welcoming part of the Penn Class of 2019 to campus. The University community is excited to engage our newest students as they make this transition. Prepare for decision release by keeping these thoughts in mind— - Penn’s early decision applicant pool increased [...]

November 1

Posted on by Dean Furda
An Early Decision agreement is a contract. Prospective students applying Early Decision agree that they will attend if admitted. Before sending in your ED application, take time to review the following considerations— 1. Are you passionate about the university to which you are applying? Passion is a distinct commonality across all Early Decision applications. Prospective [...]

Early Admissions on SiriusXM

Posted on by Dean Furda
What is your top college choice? If you have a firm, well-researched answer to this question, you are likely considering applying through an early admissions process. Yesterday, I discussed early admissions on SiriusXM radio with my colleague Eileen Feikens, Director of College Counseling at Dwight-Englewood School. This partnership is critical because every voice, from dean [...]

A Note for Chicago

Posted on by Dean Furda
I am sharing my message for students, families, and alumni attending Penn events in Chicago this weekend. Many flights were cancelled due to a fire in Aurora, Illinois, including my flight to Chicago. These are words I also hope to impart to our larger community. Students, Parents and Alumni, I took the R1 train to [...]

Questions on the Road

Posted on by Dean Furda
With the first day of fall behind us, Admissions Officers shift from summer planning to programming in your town. The most rewarding part of this season? Conversations with students, counselors, teachers, mentors, families, and alumni. Read on for a few great questions from the road. Continue the dialogue at your next information session. Can you [...]

Convocation 2014

Posted on by Dean Furda
My welcome address to the incoming Penn Class of 2018:Good Evening Class of 2018 and Transfer Students!!! As dean of admissions I am proud to finally see all of you together on Penn’s beautiful campus on the evening before the first day of classes. Don’t worry. You know how to be a student, it is what [...]

Navigating Financial Aid

Posted on by Dean Furda
You’re starting your college search. It’s never too early to start thinking about financial aid. Understanding financial aid policy and being in control of the financial aid process will be very helpful as you continue your education beyond high school. And, as you begin or continue your personal evaluation of the 5Is and 4Cs, my [...]

Admissions Profile

Posted on by Dean Furda
Today, learn more about topics and research in higher education from John McLaughlin, Penn Admissions Officer. After graduating from the University and working as an Admissions Officer post-graduation, John went on to complete an MSc and Ed.D. in Higher Education. John is now returning to his alma mater to engage higher ed research with Penn [...]

Summer Search Ideas

Posted on by Dean Furda
Previously, I tasked you with recharging your mind, body, and outlook. I hope you are finding rejuvenation rewarding, wherever it takes you. (Penn Admissions staffers refresh with lunches on Wynn Commons, classes at Pottruck, Penn’s campus gym, and meetings about the year ahead.) There are many relaxing ways to learn about the college process during [...]

Summer is here

Posted on by Dean Furda
Assignments and finals are complete; the year was a success. In the coming weeks, you should feel lighter. I ask of you what I ask of Penn Admissions staff: be proud and rest. There are many options for your summer experience. Whether your plans are firm or evolving, enjoy the openness and warmth of this [...]

Essay Roundtable

Posted on by Dean Furda
Penn Admissions convened for a brief discussion on application essays in light of the recently released Penn Writing Supplement prompt. The ’13-’14 admissions cycle is still in mind and the conversation that follows reflects much of what was learned this past year. Join the discussion. How does the Common Application essay, or personal statement, complement [...]

Program Essay Update

Posted on by Dean Furda
Juniors, well done–the school year is winding down and our office recognizes that this year’s completion is a tremendous accomplishment. Junior year requires incredible focus, leadership, and grit. At its close, you should be able to understand the dimensions of your talents and interests. Looking ahead to the summer, our office wants to equip you [...]

Application Update

Posted on by Dean Furda
Excitement for the Class of 2018 remains strong yet we are constantly thinking ahead. High school juniors, parents, and counselors: I am excited to provide an update on the Penn Writing Supplement on the Common Application for the 2014-2015 admissions cycle—we will be keeping our essay question consistent with last year: Penn Writing Supplement on the [...]

Your College Choice

Posted on by Dean Furda
During Penn information sessions, my colleagues reference the “gut feeling” that helps you decide where to apply and then guides you towards the school in which you ultimately enroll. On the edge of May 1st, the decision reply date for regular decision seniors, this feeling has significance. It encompasses the emotional, analytical, logical, even eccentric [...]

Quaker Days

Posted on by Dean Furda
Three days. One campus-wide effort. More than 750 admitted students registered. The entire University joined us in congratulating the Class of 2018 with a new overnight program, Quaker Days. The driving force behind the program Regional Director Liz Washo and Admissions Counselor Landon Reitz share the process, thought, and energy that defined the event. In your [...]

Bravo!

Posted on by Dean Furda
Congratulations on the acceptances you’ve received and those still to come. With many possibilities ahead, I encourage you to re-visit the 4Cs. Investigate each school’s culture, curriculum, community, and conclusions. If you can, take a walk around campus and create a personal scavenger hunt: find the clubs that speak to you; take time to go [...]

Awaiting Decision Release

Posted on by Dean Furda
The Ivy League will release admission decisions tomorrow, the 27th, at 5 p.m. Regular decision admission release remains one of the most important, and most visible, moments of the application cycle each year. How did we get to this point? Our office received an unprecedented number of applications to be part of the University’s newest class. [...]

connectEDquaker days

Posted on by Dean Furda
The first wave of Class of 2018 admitted students gathered on Penn’s campus over two recent Fridays for connectEDquaker days. Hosted by Penn Admissions, the program was a forum for admitted students to converse and connect with Penn’s diverse communities and each other. Welcoming the students to campus with me, Director of Academic Initiatives David [...]

Likely Notification

Posted on by Dean Furda
The University of Pennsylvania Office of Admissions will be notifying Class of 2018 ‘likely admitted’ students from mid-February through the beginning of March. ‘Likely’ is a process in which students are notified of highly probable admission prior to official Ivy League decision notification, which is March 27 this year. ‘Likely’ is one of the many [...]

Framework in Practice

Posted on by Dean Furda
Page 217 is excited to feature Shayna Roth, C’18, as she discusses how the 5Is and 4Cs informed her college search process. Sophomores and juniors, as you actively think about your next steps, allow Shayna’s thought process to inform and guide you. Shayna: “My first college visit was a frightening experience; I walked into an admissions [...]

5Is Inform Impact

Posted on by Dean Furda
Penn Nursing professor and the first University of Pennsylvania Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Bridgette Brawner, was inspired and challenged by her early childhood in Flatbush, Brooklyn and her first job as a neonatal intensive care unit nurse in Philadelphia. These experiences led her to pursue meaningful, community-based work on adolescent HIV/AIDS prevention, featured this week in Diverse, [...]

2014

Posted on by Dean Furda
Penn Admissions returned to work in 2014 on a snowy January day; bundled for the weather, we are excited to begin reviewing and evaluating applications to the University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 2018. As a regular decision applicant (to any university), please keep the following in mind: • Admissions offices will work with you to make sure [...]

A Day on Campus

Posted on by Dean Furda
On Tuesday, October 29, Penn students, staff, and faculty came together to capture “A Day in the Life of Penn” with a final series of 108 campus and Philly images. To contribute to this project, I reached out to Professor Karen Beckman, Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Cinema and Modern Media, about arts opportunities [...]

Interview Insider

Posted on by Dean Furda
After submitting your regular decision applications, you may have the opportunity to interview with alumni volunteers. The interview is an informative, enlightening, and even fun experience. Together with the Penn Alumni Interview Program, we are excited to offer tips for a successful interview experience. Here are the top ten: 1. Check your email. Alumni interviewers primarily [...]

Essay Review

Posted on by Dean Furda
“We ask seventeen-year-old students, as they stand between a known past and unknown future, to reflect on their experiences and assess what they will bring to the world ahead.” –Foreword, The Art of the Personal Statement Over winter break, you will have time to craft, edit, and finalize your regular decision application essays. Take a [...]

Attributes & Alignment

Posted on by Dean Furda
As we approach Page 217’s two-year anniversary, let’s discuss new ideas. When I began this blog in 2011, I introduced readers to the 5Is and 4Cs. The 5Is ask you to consider who you are and what’s important to you. In an environment with many demands and opportunities—the 5Is ask you to step back and [...]

Upcoming Decisions

Posted on by Dean Furda
Soon you will be able to view online decisions for early application processes—there are several outcomes. Whether you see an admit, defer, or deny letter, please keep the following in mind:- Take a step back. Acknowledge your hard work balancing the demands of college applications and a challenging first semester of senior year. Think about the [...]

Kite and Key

Posted on by Dean Furda
“Let the experiment be made.” –Benjamin Franklin, Penn founder Remembering Benjamin Franklin’s famous kite and key experiment, Penn is flying kites this fall. Penn Admissions sent thousands to high school guidance offices while our regional admissions representatives are decorating their College Hall offices with the red and blue kite and golden key. What does the kite [...]

Project: Submit

Posted on by Dean Furda
Three voices, one goal: Submit. Lucas C’14: “I read my application over one last time and felt it was good enough to submit. I conferred with my dad. I was ready and excited. Afterwards, I felt really relieved. I submitted way ahead of time; I don’t like to procrastinate. The following months were a rollercoaster for [...]

Expression

Posted on by Dean Furda
On the walk to College Hall, the home of Penn Admissions, you pass the oldest library on Penn’s campus, Fisher Fine Arts Library, designed by Frank Furness. Last Friday, Knut Åsdam, Mellon Artist-in-Residence at Penn, transformed the library’s courtyard with a 3D installation.  “Edgelands,” Knut Åsdam’s multi-part project is an example of Penn’s commitment to [...]

ED Insight

Posted on by Dean Furda
Are you thinking about applying early? Peter LaBerge C’17 goes back in time and reflects on his decision to apply early decision to Penn. A year ago, in October, Peter found out what mattered most to him in a potential college community—today, we learn about this personal discovery. Peter’s words inspire both renewed focus and levity [...]

Connecting Communities

Posted on by Dean Furda
Our office has transformed into road warriors. Maybe you’ve met a Penn Admissions representative in your town. We are spending the fall doing what we love best–meeting student leaders, thinkers, and innovators to discuss Penn and the application process. Getting to know your community is an integral part of this work. We want to know [...]

Explore VIPER

Posted on by Dean Furda
Today, Jane Dmochowski, Ph.D., Managing Director of the Vagelos Integrated Program in Energy Research (VIPER), discusses the VIPER essay. Continue reading for insight and information. 2013-14 essay: “Describe your interests in energy science and technology and your previous experiences (academic, research, and extracurricular activities) that have helped you to appreciate the scientific or engineering challenges [...]

Explore LSM

Posted on by Dean Furda
Dr. Peter Stokes, Director of Administration and Advising for the Roy and Diana Vagelos Program in Life Sciences & Management (LSM), provides insight into the LSM essay on Page 217 today. Continue reading for insight and information. 2013-14 essay: “LSM seeks students who are enthusiastic about combining science with management. Drawing on your experience or [...]

Explore NHCM

Posted on by Dean Furda
Today, Marianne Smith, Associate Director of Enrollment Management in the Nursing School, discusses Penn’s Nursing and Health Care Management coordinated dual-degree program essay. Continue reading for insight and information. 2013-14 essay: “Discuss your interest in nursing and health care management. How might Penn’s coordinated dual-degree program in nursing and business help you meet your goals?” [...]

Explore M&T

Posted on by Dean Furda
Today, January Stayton, Administrative Director of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (M&T), discusses the M&T essay. Continue reading for insight and information. 2013-14 essay: “Discuss your interest in both engineering and business. How might Penn’s coordinated dual-degree M&T Program help you meet your goals? Please be sure to address in some depth [...]

Explore Huntsman

Posted on by Dean Furda
Today, Inge Herman, Executive Director of the Huntsman Program in International Studies & Business, discusses the Huntsman Program essay. Continue reading for insight and information. 2013-14 essay: “In light of your personal interests in language, business, and international affairs, please discuss a current global issue and explain how the Huntsman Program would allow you to [...]

Explore NETS

Posted on by Dean Furda
Today, Zachary Ives, Associate Professor of Computer and Information Science (CIS) and the undergraduate curriculum chair of the Rajendra and Neera Singh Program in Networked & Social Systems Engineering  (NETS) discusses the Networked and Social Systems Program and offers insight into the program-specific essay. 2013-14 essay: “Describe your interests in modern networked information systems and [...]

Essays, Cont.

Posted on by Dean Furda
We come back to writing. Summer reflection focused on the 5 I’s complements the beginning of your college essay writing process. This powerful duo—of reflection and subsequent articulation—enables admissions professionals, professors, and administrators to see your potential impact in lecture halls, seminars, labs, and academic hubs. This process will also allow you to refine your academic and [...]

Visiting Campus?

Posted on by Dean Furda
Summer in Philly includes BBQ Wednesdays at Joe’s Cafe on campus, free events at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Saturday information sessions and tours. Six days a week, my colleagues and I are happy to welcome hundreds of prospective students and their families to campus. With increased family time (generally) and great weather, summer [...]

Summer Begins

Posted on by Dean Furda
The 2012-13 academic year has come to a close and, wherever you are in your high school journey, I applaud your hard work in and out of the classroom. As we move from one season to the next, I encourage you to use this summer for discovery, service, creativity, and, of course, relaxation. In addition [...]

New Penn Essay

Posted on by Dean Furda
The essay question in the Penn Writing Supplement on the Common Application will change for the upcoming admissions cycle. Applicants to the University will be asked to complete one question and, as before, bring thought, creativity, and specificity to their answer. There are a myriad of reasons to come to Penn and we are asking students to hone [...]

*PAGE 217
refers to the always legendary and occasionally dreaded essay which was once a mainstay of the University of Pennsylvania application. The question read as follows: “You have just finished your three hundred page autobiography. Please submit page 217.”

SUBSCRIBE TO p.217 UPDATES




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