When a school is producing alumni like Warren Buffet, Maria Popova, Elon Musk, Noam Chomsky, Donald Trump, and John Legend, it is understandable why many of you have the University of Pennsylvania on your list of colleges to apply to. And honestly, who can blame you for wanting to go to an Ivy League school like U Penn? But because it is an Ivy League, you have to be strategic about your application and your preparation. Keep reading to learn important facts about the U Penn acceptance rate, standardized test scores, and what you can do to improve your chances of getting in.

What is the U Penn Acceptance Rate?

The U Penn acceptance rate is 9.4%, making it fairly open by Ivy League standards. Only Cornell has a higher acceptance rate of 14%. Why is the U Penn acceptance rate so important? It tells us just how challenging it is to be admitted and hard one will need to work to even be noticed by the admissions committee. I don’t say any of this to discourage you from applying, but I do want to be honest with you as you start this journey.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the students inside the U Penn acceptance rate:

  •    97% are from the top 10% of their graduating high school class
  •    Of the almost 45,000 applications received, just over 5,000 were admitted
  •    Almost 50% identify as persons of color
  •    Average ACT composite score is 34
  •    Average SAT score on the 2400 scale is 2240
  •    Average SAT score on the 1600 scale is 1530

Competition is tough for getting into U Penn, but with some careful planning, together we can up the odds in your favor.

Improve Your Chances of Getting into U Penn

Before we get started, I want you to know that I never promise my students that I can get them into any university. Why? Because so many colleges use a holistic application review that makes sure students fit with others being admitted on top of the normal academic standards. Still with me? Then you’re serious about applying, rolling up your sleeves and getting to work. So, I’m going to give you the top four ways you can increase your chances of getting into U Penn.

Get a College Consultant

When you’re applying to colleges in the Ivy League, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to work with a college consultant. A college consultant helps you present yourself in the most appealing way to the colleges you’re applying to. They look at your high school career and break down where you need to improve and what your strengths are in terms of applying. Applying to colleges is no longer just about sending your information in; it needs to be customized for each place you’re interested in.

Use Your Brain

U Penn does look for specific things academically when you’re applying, so be sure to look them over. Because you’re applying to an Ivy League like U Penn, it’s very important that you show you’re capable of handling an intense course load. You can do this by pursuing four years of your major academic areas with as many AP and IB classes as you can handle. You should also be working with a tutor to help you earn the best grades possible. Your GPA matters, especially when you’re taking AP and IB courses. Partnering with a tutor means you’re preparing yourself for success.

Earn High Scores on the ACT or SAT

The U Penn standardized test scores are on the higher side so be sure to use the averages I provided as your goal for your testing. You want your score to be at least at that number, but always keep in mind: the higher your score, the better. Here are five proven ways you can increase your ACT or SAT scores:

  •    Use your scores from the Pre-ACT and PSAT to determine which test to focus on.
  •    Look at your scores and the averages for U Penn. Are you close? Way below? Somewhere in the middle?
  •    Practice, practice some more, and keep on practicing. You don’t have to re-take the Pre-ACT or PSAT, but you should use tests from online or in test prep books.
  •    Find a coach with a high score who can help you prepare for the official ACT or SAT. Work with them as much as you can, ask questions, learn from them.
  •    Not happy with your scores? Re-take them. You can safely submit between four and six tests without jeopardizing your chances.

Flaunt Your Passions

I know you aren’t interested in adding more anxiety and depression to your life, so I recommend you take a break so you can recharge. Now this doesn’t mean I’m giving you a free pass to play video games or hang out at the mall. If you use your time wisely, your extra-curriculars can show your personality, demonstrate how you’re actively making a difference in the world, and help you develop leadership muscles. These are all things colleges look for in prospective students. So remember to get involved with a club or two at school, have a part-time job, take up a sport, or volunteer in your community. Not only does taking a break from studying not only prevent burn out; it makes your college applications look even better.

With its 9.4% acceptance rate and roster of impressive alumni, U Penn is an amazing Ivy League school with incredible opportunities available to its students. The competition for admissions is increasing every year so make sure you follow the steps I’ve provided above to increase your chances of being one of the students in the U Penn acceptance rate.

Do you have questions about U Penn? Want to know if you’re on the right track to becoming an Ivy League student? Comment below and share your thoughts with us!