University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA: Known as the “Social Ivy,” the University of Pennsylvania is consistently ranked as one of the top schools. Founded by Benjamin Franklin, its doors opened in 1751, making it one of the oldest universities in the United States. The 260-acre campus is nestled in the middle of Philadelphia. When you pass through the iron gates into the campus, though, you’ll think you are in a different place as the hustle and bustle of the city disappears.

The architecture is astonishing. The mix of ivy-covered brick buildings and contemporary structures creates a unique feel. History surrounds you throughout the campus whether on the Quadrangle, in the oldest dormitory or at Franklin Field, the oldest two-tiered stadium in the country. The Van Pelt Library houses 4.5 million books and 33,000 periodicals – and it is just one of 15 on campus! The size of the campus bookstore rivals many college gymnasiums.

As for academics, UPenn students have an average SAT score above 1400 and 95 percent of the students were ranked in the top 10 percent of their class. Many of the faculty have won prestigious awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize and the Pulitzer.

They don’t call the University of Pennsylvania the Social Ivy for nothing. Students study hard during the week and party hard throughout the weekend. There is always something to do on the weekends, whether going to the movies, a play, an athletic event or hanging out in Philadelphia.

The University of Pennsylvania is an unbelievable place for an Ivy League education. The history surrounding the school and the city is fascinating. It is a school rich in tradition and history, located in a fantastic city where students really stick to the motto “Work Hard, Play Hard.”

Reviewed in 2004