We had the opportunity of interviewing SN, a student at the University of Pennsylvania about: Getting into UPenn
Here are some of his qualifications:
A sophomore at UPenn, Wharton School of Business
Maintained a 4.4 GPA in high school
Previously involved in Model United Nations, Varsity Soccer, Varsity Tennis, Wind Orchestra, Marching Band, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society
Here are some important words SN shares:
"They may have some marginal influence, but you don’t have to be the president of every club."
"I think the essay plays a pretty substantial role because it is where the admissions officers get to hear something from you rather than just looking at your numbers."
"Don’t rely on other people to get you there."
What type of special requirements did UPenn have that were unique/considerable?
A: The general statistics (GPA, test scores, extracurriculars) were very impressive and you had to be very competitive in these areas in order to have a chance at getting in but there were really no extra requirements beyond what is generally expected by most universities.
Q: What type of leadership positions did you hold in high school? Do you think this affected your acceptance?
A: I was a head delegate on the MUN team and a section leader in the band. I honestly think that the leadership roles, while they are helpful in building useful skills, don’t have as much of an impact as some people may think they do. They may have some marginal influence, but you don’t have to be the president of every club.
Q: What would you say played a bigger role in your success? The environment or self-motivation?
A: For me it was self motivation. I came from a high school that did not send a lot of people to Ivy Leagues or top colleges in general because of a lack of resources and initiative of staff members. The good teachers were helpful and it was great to have them, but ultimately if you wanted to go to a top school coming out of my high school you were more or less on your own.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who aspires to get into a top school?
A: Don’t rely on other people to get you there. That is not to say you shouldn’t take advantage of all the resources available to you, but at the end of the day it will be your own initiative that will get you where you want to go. I think that goes for most things in life as well and college admissions are no exception.
Q: Where was your main focus or priority in high school and how did you set them? (Academics, extracurriculars, etc.)
A: Academics was always the priority, but I really loaded up on extracurriculars as well. I think that other parts of my life suffered at times because of how highly I prioritized these things (i.e. sleep) but it worked out for me in the end.
Q: What would you say made you stand out for UPenn?
A: My stats were good, but at the end of the day there are a lot of people with the 1500+ SAT and the 4.5 GPA. I think the essay plays a pretty substantial role because it is where the admissions officers get to hear something from you rather than just looking at your numbers.
Think you know someone or are someone that can give some advice? Fill out this form here!
Have more questions based on what you’ve read? Submit them here!