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09/04/2019

UPenn admissions essay prompt?

QUESTION
UPenn admissions essay prompt?
Benjamin Franklin established the Union Fire Company, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society, Pennsylvania Hospital, and, of course, the charity school that evolved into the University of Pennsylvania. As they served the larger community of Philadelphia, each institution in turn formed its own community.
I was reading the essay prompt for the University of Pennsylvania and I wasn’t sure what it means by “academic communities.” I’m pretty sure that “social communities” refers to clubs and organizations and such, but can academic communities include clubs, or is it referring to the different schools at Penn?

I appreciate any help. Thank you!

Which of the academic communities and social communities that now comprise the University of Pennsylvania are most interesting to you and how will you contribute to them and to the larger Penn community?

ANSWER
I’ve been wondering the same thing. I just called the Penn admissions office and asked if they could clarify the question, and he told me:

What they really want to know is which aspects are most appealing that draw you to be interested in UPenn, and why are you a good fit for Penn (based on its academic and/or social community). He said that’s what they asked in the past–basically, “Why Penn?”– and we shouldn’t stress over the terms they use like “academic and social communities.” Really, just how is Penn good for you and how are you good for Penn; the question is a lot more complicated than what they want to know. I also asked if they want us to refer back to the “institutions” they mentioned, and he said they’re not really asking for that either.

I hope that helps. I called (215) 898-7507, if you want to ask them any more questions.

Good luck!