Penn Admits Class of 2020

Posted on by Dean Furda

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Thursday, March 31, at 5:00 p.m., the University of Pennsylvania will announce admission decisions for applicants to the Class of 2020, the institution’s 264th class.

The admitted cohort of 3,661 was selected from a pool of 38,918 applicants, the largest in the University’s history, for an overall admit rate of 9.4 percent. Included in this number are 1,332 students who were admitted under Penn’s Early Decision (ED) program. Penn enrolls a freshman class of 2,445 students across the College of Arts & Sciences, Penn Engineering, the Wharton School, and the School of Nursing.

“This class is uniquely positioned to follow in our founder Benjamin Franklin’s footsteps by purposefully engaging with our campus community and interconnected world,” said Penn’s dean of admissions Eric J. Furda C’87. “In our evaluation and selection process, Penn admissions officers listened to the passionate and genuine voices of our applicants; our sense is that the Class of 2020 will be at the forefront of a new generation of leaders committed to service and impact.”

Members of the Class of 2020 hail from all fifty states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam, with the highest representation from Pennsylvania (542); New York (422); California (393); New Jersey (306); Florida (145); Texas (132); Massachusetts (120); Maryland (116). 172 students in the admitted class are residents of Philadelphia. 14 percent attended high school abroad and the class is comprised of students from 88 countries.

Underscoring the University’s commitment to building an inclusive and accessible community, 13 percent of Penn’s Class of 2020 are first-generation college students. In the fourth year of a partnership with the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), 15 admitted students attended a KIPP school. In the eighth year of a partnership, 175 admitted students applied through Questbridge, a national program that aims to increase undergraduate enrollment of high-achieving, low-income students at top universities. In addition to these partnerships, 190 students are affiliated with 74 community-based organizations committed to college access and success, including College Horizons, Steppingstone Scholars, LEDA, Chicago Scholars, Philadelphia Futures, and College Track. 48 percent of the class self-identified as members of U.S. minority groups.

In recognition of the spirit of Penn tradition, 14 percent of the Class of 2020 have a parent or grandparent who attended Penn. More than 8,700 Penn alumni volunteered their time by offering interviews to 90% of Penn’s applicant pool through the Penn Alumni Interview Program, providing those students with an opportunity to personally discuss their accomplishments and interests with a Penn representative.

Admitted students will be visiting campus throughout the month of April and will make their final decisions by the candidate’s reply date, May 1.


*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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