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 prior year. Early Decision applicants commit to matriculate if admitted. “The composition and range of the Early Decision applicant pool has shifted dramatically over the last few years” stated Eric J. Furda ’87, Penn’s dean of admissions, “There is an outdated notion that Early Decision serves a narrow group of students which simply does not hold true at Penn. The Early Decision pool is deeper and broader than it has ever been given the strength of our grant-based financial aid, our extensive recruitment and outreach efforts, and the quality of the Penn undergraduate experience and educational outcomes.”

Penn’s Early Decision pool has grown by more than 58% since 2009, mirroring trends in college applications more generally and Penn Admissions’ focus on supporting students, families, and counselors in the college search process. “The scale of the Early Decision applicant pool reflects our increased interaction with local, national, and global communities,” notes Director of Admissions Yvonne Romero Da Silva. “It is an honor to have such talented and interesting individuals select Penn as their first choice school. The Class of 2020 Early Decision admitted students are unique, forward-looking scholars with perspectives that will certainly change our campus and the communities they touch.”

The Early Decision class is comprised of outstanding scholars from 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico and 44 countries. Twenty-seven percent of the admitted class come from states in the south, southwest and western parts of the United States, up from 22% last year. Over 44% of the class self-identified as members of U.S. minority groups and 11% of the class are international students. Nearly 10% of the admitted students will be the first in their family to attend college. Penn is committed to bringing students of the highest promise to campus without regard to their families’ ability to pay.

“Students find a home freshman year and continue to make meaningful and lasting contributions to the University and wider community,” Furda said. With one of the highest retention and graduation rates in the country, students succeed and thrive at Penn. Furda went on to say, “Our graduates attain visible leadership on an international scale and in many professional settings which only reinforces the value of a Penn education.”

The University of Pennsylvania enrolls a freshman class of 2,445 students across the College of Arts & Sciences, Penn Engineering, the Wharton School, and the School of Nursing. Applications for Regular Decision may be submitted via The Common Application by January 5, 2016.

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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