Penn Early Exploration Program

PEEP Applications are closed for 2024.

Penn is dedicated to enrolling the best and brightest from all backgrounds, and ensuring our students thrive once they get to campus. That’s why each year, we host the Penn Early Exploration Program (PEEP) for rising high school seniors.

In this four-week virtual program, you’ll gain practical skills to help you apply for college. You’ll also get to hear directly from our admissions officers, representatives from each of our four undergraduate schools, our six cultural resource centers, current professors, PEEP alumni, and more!

The Penn Early Exploration Program

Are you a high school senior interested in learning more about Penn and applying to selective universities? Would you like to gain confidence in navigating the application process and hone your application skills? Do you identify as limited-income and/or first generation to college?

Then PEEP might be the right program for you!

PEEP is an online workshop-based virtual program designed to help get you ready to apply to college and thrive once you’re there. Admissions experts and members of the Penn community will guide you through the college application process and help you gain insight on finding community and support at college. This program is completely free of charge.

PEEP meets virtually once a week on Wednesdays for four weeks. Each week features a two-hour workshop with different presenters, information, and activities. Asynchronous content will be hosted on Canvas, an online community and learning forum.

We’re happy to share that this year we’ll be offering PEEP twice to allow more students to attend.

This means we are offering the exact same program at two different points in the summer. This allows us to keep our cohort size small enough for you to have meaningful connections, while serving twice as many students.

When you apply, you’ll be asked to indicate which cohort works for you.

Cohort 1

Wednesdays from 7-9pm ET

July 24-August 14

Cohort 2

Wednesdays from 7-9pm ET

August 21-September 11

Here's a sneak PEEP of what to expect

  • An overview of the University of Pennsylvania including academic programs, cultural hubs, and student centers
  • Information about Financial Aid, first generation and limited income resources, and Penn's generous need-based aid
  • Time to connect with current students, faculty, and speak directly with admissions staff to have your questions answered

Who Should Apply to PEEP?

The Penn Early Exploration Program (PEEP) is designed to allow high school students who are first generation to college and/or limited-income (FGLI) to learn more about applying to highly selective schools, finding community, and, of course, about Penn!

PEEP is designed for students who:

  • Are seeking support with the application process to highly selective colleges and universities
  • Demonstrate high academic achievement through rigorous coursework and strong academic performance
  • Are interested in learning about Penn

There are three requirements you must meet to be eligible for PEEP:

  1. You are interested in studying at one of our four undergraduate schools or coordinated dual-degree programs
  2. You will be a high school senior in the fall of 2024 and graduate high school in the 2024-2025 academic year
  3. You are a citizen or permanent resident of the US, Canada, or Mexico, regardless of where you currently live

In addition, you must meet at least one of the below requirements:

  • Be the first person in your immediate family to attend a four-year higher education institution (ie, be a first-generation student)
  • Come from limited financial means (for example: you might be eligible for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL), or qualify for a fee waiver for the ACT or SAT)
  • Live in a rural area

Does that sound like you? Then read on to learn what to expect and how to apply!

The Application

PEEP Applications are closed for 2024.

Students interested in attending PEEP are asked to complete a brief application.

This application is made up of:

  • Your basic information
  • Report cards or unofficial transcript showing all courses taken and all final grades
  • Senior course schedule
  • List of extracurricular activities or Resume
  • One short answer question

This year's short answer question is:

How will you explore community at Penn? Consider how Penn will help shape your perspective, and how your experiences and perspective will help shape Penn. (150-200 words)

We encourage you to explore some of the many ways students find community on our campus to help you answer this question!



A student who is the first in their immediate family to go to college, i.e., your parent or parents did not complete a four-year college or university degree


Students who come from modest financial circumstances. You are considered to have limited income if any of the below apply to you:

  • Your family income is below $75,500 a year
  • You qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) at your school
  • You qualify for a fee-waiver for the SAT or ACT

Cultural Resource Centers

Penn has six Cultural Resource Centers, or CRCs, dedicated to celebrating and supporting specific populations and cultures. Each center consists of a physical space for students, as well as resources, events, and community for students to participate in. These include:

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand you may not yet have your final grades for the school year. Please submit your most current report card for the year when you apply, and forward your final transcript to us once it is available.

You are considered to have limited-income for the purposes of PEEP if any of the below apply to you:

  • Your family income is below $75,500 a year
  • You qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) at your school
  • You qualify for a fee-waiver for the SAT or ACT

Income and the opportunities to which it provides access varies significantly by geography, cost of living, and family size. Perception of income level may also vary based on the perceived wealth of the people around you. Therefore, the above list is not exhaustive, and if you believe your family could be described as limited-income, we encourage you to apply.

You may also use the “Additional Information” section of your application to contextualize any of the answers you provided or to provide any additional information.

You are considered first-generation to college if your parent or parents did not complete a four-year college or university degree.

You may also use the “Additional Information” section of your application to contextualize any of the answers you provided, or to provide any additional information.

We hope this program will better equip you to determine whether Penn may be a good fit for you by displaying the exciting array of academic and social opportunities available at Penn. PEEP will introduce you to the network of support that enables current students to thrive, as well as application tips to assist with the application process to any selective college or university. However, PEEP attendance does not have any bearing on your admissions decision should you decide to apply to Penn.

PEEP is a program specifically designed for citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Because there are nuances to the application process and financial aid that are unique to international students, international students are not eligible to apply for PEEP. We invite you to explore our upcoming virtual events and our YouTube channel to learn more about the international experience at Penn!

No. Each cohort will have its own capacity and is a closed group. Students can only participate in the cohort to which they are admitted.

Once you have your final transcript, please forward it to

A copy of your responses was sent to you along with a confirmation that we received your application. Please check your email for a message entitled “Submission Confirmation: PEEP 2024 Application.”