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How I got into UPenn (Interview 9)


SAT: 1540 (780 Math, 760 Reading)

ACT: 35 (35 English, 36 Math, 35 Reading, 35 Science)

GPA: 3.94

Rank in Class: 6

Size of Class: 381

Ap's Taken: Biology, Physics Mechanics, Physics Electricity and Magnetism, AB Calculus, BC Calculus, American History, Statistics, Computer Science, Chemistry, English Language, Spanish Language


  • I played varsity during all four years in high school and became the captain of the team from my sophomore year through to my senior year

  • I was the captain of my schools math league and the president of our STEM club

  • I was the founder of our schools game design and engineering clubs and served as president from my freshman through my sophomore year.

Personal Story

"Getting into it [Penn] was pretty cool. It was exciting getting in, but I wasn't too thrilled about it because it wasn't too big a deal for me. After I got into Cornell in the fall I was pretty confident that I could get into Penn in the spring and wouldn't be too bummed out if I didn't.

I think that if I got into Penn alone I would have been much more excited, but since I kind of knew that I had a decent shot it wasn't too special."

Useful Advice

"This isn't really Penn specific but geared toward the Ivy league in general.

I think that the problem most people fall into is that they do too much and lack a coherent focus as it relates to what they want to do in their lives in school and after. I never really had that problem, so it was easy for me to just lock down on one category of things and do that well. But, the guy who was the valedictorian of my class had an identical if not better resume than me and better grades, but he did everything and ended not getting into a single one of the Ivy League schools.

I believe that this came from seeming disingenuous in his application because he wanted to be everything to everyone which made it hard to truly understand who he was and what value he could offer.

To paint a clear picture of who you are you need to have a consistent theme to your life and only do things applicable to that theme. If you do this, or express this to admissions officers, it will allow them to have a clear sense of who you are and be able to judge whether or not you're a good fit for the school.

In a nutshell, I'd encourage them to try to find one or two things and do those really well instead of trying to do everything poorly."

University of Pennsylvania Undergraduate, Class of 2023

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