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Univ of Pennsylvania 🇺🇸 University of Pennsylvania (Penn) thread

alisonrc

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
Super helpful

This has been super helpful for me and if anyone else wants to throw in their impression of the school, that would be great!

I was admitted to Penn but unable to attend their open house. I had (have?) already decided to go to MIT instead - I was wildly impressed with their program when I visited, and I received the most aid from MIT (and the least from Penn, as it seems that's relatively common).

However, I was given an offer from my company to stay one more year that was wildly tempting, and of the schools I was accepted at, Penn is the only one that allows deferrals. It's down to the wire with an April 15th deadline, but now I've suddenly feverishly been considering Penn and deferring for a year.

But after hearing these comments, I think MIT is still the best fit, and it isn't worth risking a re-application and being rejected next year, seeing as my professional focus is both social oriented and domestic. I do want to work in the private sector, but I don't think any one program will necessarily KEEP you from doing that.

That being said, any more insight from students on their program, and the vibes they got, are appreciated! (Thus I'm bumping this thread :) ) I have somewhere along the lines of 48 hours to commit to the fact that I'm leaving my job this year for MIT, versus deferring at Penn with a guaranteed spot in next year's class. Hearing people's impressions is helping fill in the color a little bit more for me on what I'd be getting at Penn. Despite having a concentration that sounds perfect to me (Public Private Development), the overall attitude of the program sounds a bit snobbish.
 

lubinli

Cyburbian
Messages
25
Points
2
Hi alisonrc,

If you haven't already, perhaps you should also call Penn and ask to be put in touch with current students, given how little time you have before having to make a decision. I don't know how many currently enrolled students still actively participate in these forums (there are some, but you might not have a Penn student come across this thread in the next day or so).

And thanks so much for your report on MIT's open house! Glad to hear that you were impressed by the program! (and perhaps see you in the fall? :))
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
462
Points
12
Deferrals?

However, I was given an offer from my company to stay one more year that was wildly tempting, and of the schools I was accepted at, Penn is the only one that allows deferrals. It's down to the wire with an April 15th deadline, but now I've suddenly feverishly been considering Penn and deferring for a year.
Wait, Penn allows deferrals? Maybe I'm confusing something, but I thought on their FAQ section and/or webchat they specifically said they had a no deferral policy and that "you should apply to grad school when you feel you are absolutely ready to" (I guess to a sense that is good advice...but come on, snobbish much?)
 

myh5015

Cyburbian
Messages
43
Points
2
Wait, Penn allows deferrals? Maybe I'm confusing something, but I thought on their FAQ section and/or webchat they specifically said they had a no deferral policy and that "you should apply to grad school when you feel you are absolutely ready to" (I guess to a sense that is good advice...but come on, snobbish much?)
Yeah, Ashkali is correct. It states in their FAQ that deferrals are not permitted for MCP candidates. None of my schools allowed deferrals. If they did, it would've been a great way for me to spend another year and save up some more money.
 

myh5015

Cyburbian
Messages
43
Points
2
Hi Everyone,

For those of you that accepted their offer of admission to UPenn's MCP for this fall, I've created a facebook group for the incoming class. Feel free to join and start getting to know your fellow cohorts!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UPennMCP2015/


Moderator note:

*Hink Fixed it for you.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,540
Points
48
Instead of just bumping, maybe add something informative. We generally *dislike* the concept of bumping. It really adds nothing to the conversation. Until recently, you couldn't even just bump something because it wasn't enough letters.

Just an FYI. Thanks!
 

myh5015

Cyburbian
Messages
43
Points
2
I've created the Facebook group to connect fellow future students entering Penn's Master of City Planning program in fall of 2013. My intention in creating this group is to encourage dialogue, exchange ideas, give/take advice, find potential roommates, share experiences, etc. For many, it is a considerable transition into graduate school, whether it be from undergrad or professional work life. I've created the Facebook group to help ease that transition by helping connect future students to each other as we embark on the next chapter of our careers.
 

migueltejada

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
Subsequently, Dr. Landis proceeded to offer both of us an additional yearly $3000 of grant funding, above the programs explicitly stated cap of $5000. This money was reserved "only for the students that ask for it," and the offer was only good "on the condition that it would guarantee our enrollment." I don't mean to sniff at $3000 per year, which is nice, but I found the offer to be rather petty given that the school estimated the overall cost of attending Penn for a year at $65,000-70,000. His suggestion that less than 1/20 of that value would sway my opinion is ridiculous. It also bothered me that he would complain both in his morning presentation and in our personal meeting that he didn't have enough money to give to students, but would then stash some cash away for those who happened to meet with him and ask for it. I didn't like his financial sleight of hand as a recruiting tactic, it almost trivialized the very real concerns I have about the cost of Penn. I think I'll ask him for $15,000 per year. The money seems to be there.
I tried to PM you but there doesn't seem to be that option - can you please be VERY specific - what EXACTLY did Landis offer you? Are you a prospective MCP or PHD? What grant monies was he referring to? Merit based? Need based? Please be as specific as possible. Thank you.
 

alexha

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
This is actually extremely helpful to me as well

I did not go to the open house, as Penn was basically the only place I got accepted, and I don't live close enough to justify spending the money to visit if I was planning on attending one way or another. I went out a week or so ago to interview for a position that would give me free housing, and I really liked the campus and community. Obviously, it's a well regarded program, and the part I want to focus on is domestic and social justice oriented, though I understand planning is more of a generalist field and I have to be open to other career paths. I guess I am having similar issues now to some here; I want to attend, but the projected cost feels very high now for what will effectively land me a public sector job (or a job that pays like one), and I can't tell if the program is worth it considering the debt I would rack up.
 

vl3

Member
Messages
17
Points
1
I did not go to the open house, as Penn was basically the only place I got accepted, and I don't live close enough to justify spending the money to visit if I was planning on attending one way or another. I went out a week or so ago to interview for a position that would give me free housing, and I really liked the campus and community. Obviously, it's a well regarded program, and the part I want to focus on is domestic and social justice oriented, though I understand planning is more of a generalist field and I have to be open to other career paths. I guess I am having similar issues now to some here; I want to attend, but the projected cost feels very high now for what will effectively land me a public sector job (or a job that pays like one), and I can't tell if the program is worth it considering the debt I would rack up.
I did attend an Open House at Penn and can speak to the quality of the program, its students, and faculty. I remember many students emphasizing the cost of the program and the debt that they were undertaking, but it didn't quite sink in until I started receiving acceptances with generous aid offers from every school I applied to -- every one of them, except for Penn. I did get accepted, but their offer of $5,000/semester was simply inadequate. Because I did have other offers on the table, my relationship with Penn quickly fizzled out. It had been a top contender throughout the process, because I thought highly of the program and felt like it was a good fit personally and professionally; but for the reasons you've mentioned, I couldn't justify taking on the debt! As an Ivy, Penn certainly has an endowment and I don't understand why none of that money is being granted to students who need and deserve it! But then again, clearly there are sufficient students who are willing to take on the debt, in exchange for the name on the diploma. I do think there are other programs that will provide a comparable education at a fraction of the cost. It really comes down to whether you are willing to take the next year to reevaluate your list of schools and perhaps strengthen your application. Or, if you do move forward with Penn, you can always count on the 10-year public sector loan forgiveness program, or the income-based repayment plans that exist, which may help ease your burden to an extent. Good luck with your decision!
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
462
Points
12
Extra Monies

I tried to PM you but there doesn't seem to be that option - can you please be VERY specific - what EXACTLY did Landis offer you? Are you a prospective MCP or PHD? What grant monies was he referring to? Merit based? Need based? Please be as specific as possible. Thank you.
I also emailed the PennDesign Dean a couple times and they finally got back to me 2 weeks ago saying they could offer another $3000 (for MCP). But at this point I've already committed to Cornell so I don't care anymore.
 

zeejay

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
Same Boat

I'd also like to know, did anyone from last year attend Penn or receive additional funding?

I'm in a similar position this year and I'm not sure if I can justify $100,000+ in debt. Any advice?
 

x_skim

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
Would also like to hear if anyone has chosen to go there/how they negotiated for more funding. As someone who's interested in pursuing urban design within planning, I'd love to go to Penn but cannot afford to take out so much loans. I'm coming straight from undergrad and only was offered $8k in aid. I filed my FAFSA before Feb 20 but weirdly my aid letter said that they haven't received my FAFSA... Anyone else have this problem? I'll be reaching out to them tomorrow about it.
 

tunglinhnguyen

Cyburbian
Messages
51
Points
5
Hi guys,

As I just submitted my first application to U British Columbia, I realized how costly this whole grad school application thingy is! It costs me almost $140 just to submit the application PLUS $25 to send my GRE score. Not to mention the money require to send the transcript. Oh god... Anyway, to make it short, due to my financial shortage, I am reconsidering my list so that I can opt out the schools that I am either not going to even if I get accepted or the one that is unlikely to offer much funding ( being an international student, money is tremendously burdensome for me ). My question is that if anyone knows much about the funding opportunity of UPenn? As I did a quick research, it seems like they are not that generous. Because I feel that the program is somehow not too suited to me, I am considering taking it out of my list if they don't offer large funding that often. But I'm still hesitant. The Ivy League name just.. makes it too hard to let it go. I'd appreciate any response. Thank you.
 

glutton

Cyburbian
Messages
462
Points
12
Penn's funding

Penn's initial tuition is so high that even the scholarship money they offer most people isn't enough.
HOWEVER, it is a school that is known to negotiate. Initially when I applied I got $3,000 and then I followed up and they upped it to $8,000. I've heard this happen to other people as well.

So it's worth a shot I guess? I've heard the program is really good for physical planning and hands on projects (infrastructure, transportation, urban design, real estate development etc). Not as much for economic development or international studies.
 

Vancity

Cyburbian
Messages
1,049
Points
13
UBC probably isn't going to offer funding. That's somewhat uncommon in Canadian schools.
 

kmurph42

Member
Messages
1
Points
0
Hey All,

Long time reader and first time poster.

How is Penn's program in terms of hands-on experiences? I love the idea of going to school in Philly and working in the community there, so I just want to know what their reputation is in that area.

I talked to a professor at my undergrad institution and she mentioned Penn's program founding or running a CDC of some sort? It was mentioned just in passing and I did not have a chance to ask more about it but it sounded like Penn's department either started a CDC in Philly or essentially runs it now. This sound familiar to anyone?


Thanks
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
18,469
Points
69
Moved all (or most) of the Penn threads to a single thread, to make it easier for Google, Bing, and you to find it. :)

Penn vs [some other school] discussions are still in their own threads.
 
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