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, Penn invites admitted regular decision students to campus for Quaker Days, an overnight program showcasing Penn’s many opportunities. During Quaker Days, and continuing over the next four years, this class has the potential to change campus in unprecedented ways. After getting to know newly admitted students in the application process, I am excited about their collective expression at Penn and in Philadelphia.

Let’s shift from thinking about the larger class to your own path as an individual. You too will be transformed. You have considered your own growth and your ideal college fit. Now, with your college choices in front of you, allow for the possibility of unpredictable variables or spontaneous interactions. A visit to campus might give you unexpected insight into the relationship between a college’s history and its physical space or that between outcomes and academic philosophy. Reading a University blog or newspaper connects you to the dynamic, everyday pulse on campus and provides insight into the people and places that will positively impact your growth. While leaning on the foundation of the 5Is and 4Cs, embrace the unknown as you make your college choice.  

Benjamin Franklin said, “Let the experiment begin.” Expect transformations, both on a collective and individual level.


*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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