Important Updates for Application Cycle Year 2019-20

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Important Updates for Application Cycle Year 2019-20

If you guide students through their Penn application process, the below updates will be important for the upcoming 2019-20 application cycle.  Though they relate to different aspects of our application and policies, we have assembled them here for your convenience. We will also link to the relevant pages across our website so that you can read about them further if needed.

  • With guidance from our counselor advisory group, we have changed our Penn-specific essay prompt, dividing the single essay prompt into two separate short-answer questions that we hope will give students the space they need to share about themselves and their interest in  Penn. You can read more about the new prompts and our guidance to students here.
  • Beginning in cycle year 2019-2020, Penn will accept self-reported SAT and ACT test scores from first year applicants attending high schools in the United States. Recruited athletes and students attending high schools outside of the United States are required to submit official testing through the appropriate testing agency.

To self-report scores, applicants should complete the testing section of the Common Application, Coalition Application, or QuestBridge Application. We recommend applicants self-report their highest scores in each section on the test. Admitted students must submit official score reports prior to enrollment. Admitted students self-reporting multiple tests must submit official score reports from each reported sitting. We urge applicants to ensure the accuracy and veracity of their self-reported scores. Penn reserves the right to rescind admission in the case of applicant misrepresentation including discrepancies between self-reported and official test scores. This policy change is reflected on our website here.

  • From cycle year 2019-2020 forward, Wharton and Engineering will no longer accept external junior transfers. The College and Nursing will continue to accept junior transfers.

We have made this change in consultation with our academic partners across campus. The curricular pre-requisites for transferring into Wharton or Engineering as a junior are both specific and extensive. As we reviewed Wharton and Engineering transfer applicants, we consistently saw that most applicants were unable to take the coursework necessary for a seamless transition into these schools. We hope this change will help applicants focus on the schools and programs that best align with their interests and preparation, and that allow them to successfully transition to our campus. 

  • In addition to our regional travel this year, we’ll be adding a series of virtual events that provide students and families an opportunity to interact with our admissions team. We hope these events will help all families have greater access to information about our community. These events, and our other regional recruitment opportunities, will be posted here in the coming weeks.
  • Dean of Admissions Eric Furda C’87 shares his thoughts about recent national events in the field of college admissions in an extensive interview with The Pennsylvania Gazette here.
  • We continue to share programmatic updates, and will post the 2019-20 Counselor Newsletter –including an admitted student class profile – on our website in late August here.

As you navigate these changes and updates, we welcome your questions and look forward to working with you and your students in the year ahead.

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