Applications to the University of Pennsylvania have reached an all-time high of 26,800 students seeking a highly-coveted spot in the Class of 2014. The record-breaking number represents a 17 percent increase over the previous application cycle, including a 32 percent increase in applications to the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a 31 percent increase in the School of Nursing.
Dean of Admissions Eric J. Furda says the increase is the result of several factors, including expanded outreach to high school students, both online and in print, increased recruitment travel and a series of groundbreaking financial aid initiatives instituted through the Penn Compact, launched by President Amy Gutmann in 2005. Accepted students who qualify for need-based aid are not burdened with loans as part of their financial-aid packages, making it possible for students from families that qualify for need-based aid to graduate debt-free.
Furda says the applicant pool for the Class of 2014 shows a 33 percent increase in black or African-American applicants and a 29 percent increase in Latino candidates. The applicant pool is about 50/50 male and female and is broad in its geographic reach, with more than 4,700 applicants from outside the United States. This year Penn also saw a 6 percent increase in its Early Decision applications.
“Anybody who has ever been here understands that Penn is special,” Furda says. “It’s our responsibility in Admissions to tell that story and attract people who want to become part of that legacy.” Furda says Penn will enroll about 2,400 students in the Class of 2014.
Originally published on January 25, 2010