Although it typically has the second-largest freshman class in the Ivy League (about 2,400 students), the University of Pennsylvania is also one of the most selective. Once in, students clearly thrive: 96% of freshmen graduate, putting Penn in a six-way tie for the second-highest graduation rate of any college in the country. Only Harvard, with a 97% rate, is better.
Some of the most elite departments within Penn are business and economics, which are notoriously demanding. Students in introductory economics hold a midnight “Econ scream” just before midterms. It’s all worth it, given how highly employers value a bachelor’s degree from Penn’s Wharton business program. Holders report earning almost $67,000 within five years, which puts them in Payscale.com’s top five for undergraduate business programs. Students in other majors also thrive. After subtracting the impact of high-paying majors, the average Penn grad typically makes at least 20% more than the average for their degree.
For fun, Penn hosts Spring Fling the last week of classes, touted to be the largest college party on the East Coast. Past headliners have included Wyclef Jean, Ludacris and Gym Class Heroes.