News briefs

Virtual admissions

In addition to getting fat envelopes, the class of 2006 can learn their admissions status at the Admissions Web site. On the service’s first day, April 3, more than 11,000 students logged on to see if they were among the 16 percent (that’s a record in selectivity) of regular-decision applicants who made it into Penn. Accepted students also got instant access to their financial-aid award via a link to Penn Plan Online. PPO also helps students assess their ability to meet the cost of attendance and provides direct links to information on financing options. But, purists take heart: Associate Vice President for Finance Frank Claus said paper notices won’t be replaced. “If you get admitted to Penn you almost frame the letter. It’s such a great thing,” he said. Penn is among the first schools in the country to offer this service.

Top 10 again

Penn gets high marks in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent rankings of graduate programs nationwide. Four schools made it into the top 10—Wharton took third, up from fourth; Medicine remained fourth; Education jumped three places to fifth; and the Law School climbed from 10th to seventh. Engineering also improved its standing, from 30 to 28. For more, check out the magazine’s “2003 Best Graduate Schools” edition or

An A for U-City

A surge in pedestrian traffic, day and night, on 40th Street is just one of the improvements this past year trumpeted in the University City District’s “University City Report Card.” There’s been a rise in population, countering the trends for Philadelphia as a whole, a rise in average household income, and rental occupancy is up to 98.5 percent, which is comparable to the Center City rate. People who live and work here say the neighborhood is cleaner and safer. There’s more. See it all at

Originally published on April 25, 2002