ED Press Release

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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 matriculate if admitted.

“The continued growth in Penn’s Early Decision applicant pool is a reflection of a greater breadth of interest in Penn – geographically, socioeconomically, and, for the first time Penn’s Early Decision Engineering class is 50% female,” says Dean Eric J. Furda ‘87.

Penn’s Early Decision pool has grown by 28 percent since the Class of 2017 applied, mirroring trends in college applications more generally and Penn Admissions’ focus on supporting students, families and counselors in the college search process. Additionally, Penn has increased outreach to, and collaboration with, community based organizations across the country. This year’s application pool included applicants from more than 40 such organizations, including: A Better Chance, Chicago Scholars, College Possible, KIPP, LEDA, Let’s Get Ready, Minds Matter, National Hispanic Institute, Philadelphia Futures, Prep for Prep, QuestBridge, Say Yes to Education, Upward Bound, and Steppingstone Scholars, with which Penn has also partnered to create a free Coursera course offering guidance on the college application process.

The Early Decision admitted students represent a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives, including:

• Members from forty-six states, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and 44 foreign countries

• Among US citizens and permanent residents, 43 percent self-identify as students of color

• Thirteen percent are non-US citizens or permanent residents

• Ten percent will be the first generation in their families to attend college

• Fifty-two percent are female

Penn has awarded nearly $1 billion in grants since implementing grant-based aid in 2009, and the average net cost for aided students to attend Penn today is almost $2,700 less than it was in 2005. The undergraduate financial aid budget has grown by 155% since FY2005 – from $84 million to $214 million. The average grant for undergraduate students receiving aid in FY2017 is $45,368.

The University of Pennsylvania enrolls a freshman class of 2,445 students across the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Wharton School and School of Nursing. Applications for Regular Decision may be submitted via The Common Application by January 5, 2017.

America’s first university and a member of the Ivy League, the University of Pennsylvania is an inclusive community in Philadelphia where teaching and innovation extend across disciplines. Penn was founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740 to push the frontiers of knowledge and benefit society by integrating study in the liberal arts and sciences with opportunities for research and practical experience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Penn is committed to meeting the full demonstrated need of all undergraduates with grant-based financial aid, making this intellectually compelling integration of liberal and professional education accessible to talented students of all backgrounds, empowering them to make an impact on the world.


*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.”

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