How to write the UPenn essays

Recorded Wednesday, September 8 at 09:00 PM

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About this livestream

School information

University of Pennsylvania | UPenn

Philadelphia, PA

Last week, we covered UPenn’s admissions process, from academics to extracurriculars and beyond. In this stream, Robert will go in-depth on how to write the essays for the University of Pennsylvania. We’ll cover how to write the two all-applicant essays, as well as essays for specific programs. We’ll cover supplements for The Huntsman Program, The Digital Media Design Program, The Life Sciences and Management Program, the Jerome Fisher Management and Technology Program, the NETS Engineering program, the VIPER program, the Nursing and Healthcare Management Program, and the Bio-Dental Program. If you’re interested in one of these selective programs, you should definitely stop by the stream.

School information

University of Pennsylvania | UPenn

Philadelphia, PA
Your host

Undergrad College: Yale University '21

Major: Ethics, Politics & Economics; Classics (Intensive)

Work Experience: As a recent graduate of Yale University, I am excited to begin my first year with CollegeVine! In many ways, CV was a natural fit for me -- at Yale, I worked for over two years in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, beginning as a Senior Interviewer in the summer of 2019, during which I interviewed over 200 first-year applicants for the 2019-2020 college admissions cycle. After the summer ended, I became Lead Recruitment Coordinator, a full-time position responsible for executing and overseeing Yale’s numerous post-admissions decision yield initiatives, as well as serving as a spokesman for the university both in person and online. Over the past two years, I have had the privilege of interacting with hundreds of students and their families at all stages of the college application process.

My Admissions Story: Having always been interested in studying a variety of subjects within the Humanities and Social Sciences, I applied to a smattering of liberal arts colleges and universities (mostly on the East Coast) with strong departments in these areas, large and diverse student bodies, and varied extracurricular opportunities. When my college admissions decisions rolled in, I immediately accepted an offer from my dream school, Yale University, which I had always felt best embodied the opportunities and goals that I desired from my college experience -- and since that day, I’ve never looked back.

Audience questions

These are questions from the audience that we had time to answer during the live session. If you have any other questions, you can request an answer from Robert and other CollegeVine experts in an upcoming livestream or on the Q&A Forum anytime.
21:46@shafim.raiyan:What are the academic offerings and student life as an international student; what kind of support is offered at UPenn?
23:37@thenicholashenry:If I am really focused in extra-curriculars and even run a club but not necessarily sports, would that stop me from being able to go to UPenn?
25:05@thenicholashenry:As a Form 5 student in the Caribbean (Grade 10) who plans to continue all the way to Grade 12, I have so many life experiences but I don't know anything about creating college essays.
26:37@shafim.raiyan:does Penn offer 100% financial aid to international students?
28:01@shafim.raiyan:How does colleges know if i really did community service or field events? do they want to see certificates?
62:23@DevenRozario:How exactly does UPenn consider demonstrated interest?
65:25@andrewk:As an Eagle Scout, should I write about my experience leading my project?
66:08@thenicholashenry:From your experience, what activities etc do you see Computer Science majors do?
67:18@thenicholashenry:As you may know, international students especially from my country do not really get to go to prestigious colleges like this due to lack of information, misunderstanding of the American education system etc.. In the Caribbean especially, there are prestigious high schools so would colleges know what school is what in other countries? Like in my country specifically as well, a handful of students got into Ivy Leagues but were all from prestigious high schools like the one I go to right now from passing a regional examination in primary school.
71:31@saruhhh:So this question is more general, but I feel like it's still relevant--I'm submitting an art portfolio to schools, so should I avoid writing about my art in the supplemental and let the portfolio speak for itself? I know people tell us that each supplemental should reveal something different about us, but art is a HUGE part of my life. I'm not sure how much of my application should focus on that..
73:45@thenicholashenry:Are interviews fully mandatory? If yes, how would the questions be? What happens if you stutter a lot?
78:19@thenicholashenry:Do colleges care where you do Model United Nations conferences? Like online or in-person or the country/area they are hosting it from? Also do they really like when you get specific awards from such conferences which shows your ability to publicly speak with factual research..?
79:41@thenicholashenry:How should I go around looking for letters of recommendations from teachers? I know some universities ask for 2-3 but what would happen if you get a lot more? I am really good with my teachers, all since Form 1 but I never really know how I would approach them for such letters when my time comes in the next 2 years..
83:10@thenicholashenry:Thank you sooo much Robert! I really loved this session and you've answered all my questions.


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