COVID-19 Update: Due to uncertainty around travel and the congregation of large groups, for the health and safety of our prospective students and the Penn community, we will host the Penn Early Exploration Program (PEEP) and Penn in Focus (PIF) in a virtual format this fall 2020.

Penn Early Exploration Program

Penn Early Exploration Program (PEEP)

Traditionally, PEEP is a 3-day, 2-night preview of academic and social life at the University of Pennsylvania for high school seniors. Programing is geared towards students from historically underrepresented backgrounds who are also either from a low-income background or who will be the first in their family to attend college. In a typical year, Penn Admissions would fully fund the cost of food, housing, and round-trip transportation to Philadelphia for participating students. Though the experience will be different this year, we are excited to make it helpful and meaningful for all who participate.

The deadline to apply for Virtual PEEP is 11:59 PM EDT on Sunday, August 16th, 2020.

  • To highlight the unique academic pathways, support network, and social atmosphere at Penn, an Ivy League institution
  • To demonstrate how Penn’s affordability and grant-based financial aid allow students to study what matters to them
  • To provide practical advice that students can use to strengthen their applications to highly selective colleges and universities

Consider applying to PEEP if:

  • You have a particular interest in programming and support services for underrepresented cultural minority groups and communities.
  • You are from a low-income background** or will be the first in your family to graduate from a 4-year college.
  • You will graduate this academic year from a high school in the United States.
  • You fall within the top 10% of your high school graduating class. (If your school does not rank, you should demonstrate strong academic performance.)
  • You are enrolled in a very rigorous academic curriculum at your school.
  • You are interested in studying liberal arts, business, engineering, and/or nursing.
  • You seek an intellectually stimulating and socially engaging college experience.

** For example, you are eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch (FRPL), you qualify for a fee waiver for the ACT or SAT, etc.

  • Given the many challenges we are facing today, we understand that you may not be able to provide some information. Put your best foot forward by completing this application to the best of your ability.
  • Keep in mind that space is limited for this program and the outcome of your Penn Early Exploration Program application will have no impact on your potential undergraduate admission to the University of Pennsylvania.
  • If you choose to submit a letter of recommendation. Contact your desired recommender as soon as you decide to apply. Trust us, the additional time for them to prepare will be much appreciated! The “Application Components” section includes the document we require you to share with the teacher, counselor, mentor, or community-based organization advisor who is completing your recommendation.
  • Type and save the essay prompt(s) in a separate document before beginning the application so you can easily upload it when you're ready.
  • Review our programs of study to get a sense of what is available at Penn and to determine which undergraduate school (College of Arts & Sciences, Wharton/business, Engineering, or Nursing) interests you most.

Online Application

Please note that you must complete the application in one sitting. You will not be able to save or return to your application.

Academic Materials

  • Unofficial Transcript or Report Card (showing final grades for all courses completed from grades 9 through 11)
  • Cumulative GPA
  • Class rank (if applicable)
  • Senior year course schedule
  • High School Profile (if available, this link provides instructions for your counselor or teacher recommender to submit one on your behalf)
  • High School Website (if available)
  • Self-reported SAT/ACT scores, PSAT/Pre-ACT (PLAN) scores, or AP test scores if taken

Extra-Curricular Activities

Activities list or a resume

Letter of Recommendation (OPTIONAL)

Name and email address of your recommender

Share this link with your recommender as soon as you decide to apply.

Essay (300-450 words)

Upon establishing the University of Pennsylvania, our founder, Benjamin Franklin, stated that, "the great aim and end of all learning is service to society." With Franklin's mission in mind, we are interested in learning about your academic interests – what they are and why they excite you – and how you envision shaping your college experience to enable you to impact society.

Academic Interest

  • Undergraduate School (The College of Arts & Sciences, The School of Engineering and Applied Science, The Wharton School [business], or The School of Nursing)
  • Optional Coordinated Dual Degree program (if you are seriously considering pursuing two full undergraduate degrees at once)

Penn In Focus Logo

PENN IN FOCUS (PIF)

PIF is a special program for current high school seniors who wish to explore and celebrate cultural communities that have been historically underrepresented at highly selective universities. This day-long event will spotlight Penn’s Ivy League, world-class academic resources and vibrant extracurricular life while underscoring the extensive cultural engagement opportunities infused throughout the intellectual and social experience at Penn. In a typical year, PIF would take place on our beautiful campus in Philadelphia, PA, and breakfast and lunch would be provided. Though the experience will be different this year, we are excited to make it helpful and meaningful for all who participate.

The deadline to apply for Virtual PIF is 11:59 PM EDT on Sunday, August 16th, 2020.

Consider applying to PIF if:

  • You have a particular interest in programming and support services for underrepresented cultural minority groups and communities.
  • You do not need additional guidance for students who will be the first in their family to graduate from a 4-year college.
  • You will graduate this academic year from high school.
  • You fall within the top 10% of your high school graduating class. (If your school does not rank, you should demonstrate strong academic performance.)
  • You are enrolled in a very rigorous academic curriculum at your school.
  • You are interested in studying liberal arts, business, engineering, and/or nursing.
  • You seek an intellectually stimulating and socially engaging college experience. 
     
  • Given the many challenges we are facing today, we understand that you may not be able to provide some information. Put your best foot forward by completing this application to the best of your ability.
  • Type and save the essay prompt(s) in a separate document before beginning the application so you can easily upload it when you're ready.
  • Review our programs of study to get a sense of what is available at Penn and to determine which undergraduate school (College of Arts & Sciences, Wharton/business, Engineering, or Nursing) interests you most.
  • Keep in mind that space is limited for this program and the outcome of your Penn in Focus application will have no impact on your potential undergraduate admission to the University of Pennsylvania.

Online Application

Please note that you must complete the application in one sitting. You will not be able to save and return to your application.

Academic Materials

  • Unofficial Transcript or Report Card (showing final grades for all courses completed from grades 9 through 11)
  • Cumulative GPA
  • Class rank (if applicable)
  • Senior year course schedule
  • High School Profile (if available, this link provides instructions for your counselor or teacher recommender to submit one on your behalf)
  • High School Website (if available)
  • Self-reported SAT/ACT scores, PSAT/Pre-ACT (PLAN) scores, or AP test scores if taken

Extra-Curricular Activities

Activities list or a resume

Essay Prompts

Academic Interests Essay: Upon establishing the University of Pennsylvania, our founder, Benjamin Franklin, stated that, "the great aim and end of all learning is service to society." With Franklin's mission in mind, we are interested in learning about your academic interests – what they are and why they excite you – and how you envision shaping your college experience to enable you to impact society. (300-450 words)

PIF Supplemental Essay: Why are you interested in attending an event highlighting cultural identity, diversity, and community at the University of Pennsylvania? (up to 150 words)

Academic Interest

  • Undergraduate School (The College of Arts & Sciences, The School of Engineering and Applied Science, The Wharton School [business], or The School of Nursing)
  • Optional Coordinated Dual Degree program (if you are seriously considering pursuing two full undergraduate degrees at once)