Friday, June 24, 2011

The Social Ivy

Leading up to the trip, my attitude toward the upcoming college tours was that I would be attentive but my top choices would not be affected. After only one tour, I have adopted a new mindset. In my opinion The University of Pennsylvania does not have a one of a kind campus or any amazing statistic that separates it from any other of the Ivy League schools. It does have a unique concept. After dining with a Penn graduate, 3 current students, and two outreach directors who are very familiar with the campus and admission process, it has become clear that Penn is a college that takes its students’ concerns very seriously.

On the leisurely tour of the campus, we discovered:
  • The university employs 400 security and 100 police officers; student safety is clearly a top priority.
  • There is a very wide selection of extra-curricular activities to participate in, from club sports to the tree climbing club.
  • Penn students have access to the libraries of all Ivy League schools and local Universities
From the outreach directors we learned:
  • Grades and courses taken compared to courses offered are the very most important thing
  • Students in any of the 4 schools can take classes from any of the other 4 schools and any graduate school relatively easily
  • Test scores are a plus, but being a good fit for Penn is a necessity.
I was very pleasantly surprised with my first college tour. There was much more practical, relevant information and much less dull history and tradition than I expected. I was still amused by the student body’s tradition of throwing toast onto the field after the third quarter of football games. This trip is just underway but I am now much more excited about tours of more campuses.

1 comment:

  1. Masao,

    One thing we've learned from six years with the ILC is that it's a mistake for any high school student to set in stone their limited choices for college BEFORE really checking out their options. With more than 3600 colleges and universities to choose from there are often a lot of schools that may be that perfect fit for a student.

    Even if your final choice is the same school you decided on early on at least you'll be making your decision based on an informed decision.