Photo: Joy Lee / The Daily Pennsylvanian
After securing a top ten slot in the Times higher education world university rankings, Penn has set its sights even higher. For years, our humble not-state-school has been bullied by heavyweights such as Harvard, Princeton and Stanford in elite college rankings. All rankings, that is, except for one. Across the nation, universities have striven to make their course-scheduling websites as open and accessible as possible. But here at the University of Pennsylvania, the gleaming torch of competition and rigorous selectivity still burns brightly against the hoards of the unenlightened.
Boasting a jaw-dropping 5.6 percent acceptance rate, PennInTouch is the envy of its peers. Other schools are taking note. Dartmouth representative Claire Bolford released a press statement late Monday noting that “While Penn’s reign is impressive, Dartmouth would like to note that ever since the last known computer technician who knew how to find Hanover vanished in a snowdrift, our numbers have been within a percentage point of theirs.”
Twice each academic year, Penn students wake up to Scheduling Day with equal parts anticipation and sheer terror.
Today, Mark Olsberg (C '20) was presented with his fourth scheduling day so far. Last week, our reporter visited his one bedroom double, squeezing between at least a dozen members of the panicked sophomore’s extended family. “I thought I would be less nervous this time,” Olsberg chuckled through clenched teeth, “I-I mean, I’ve gotten into three consulting clubs, every acapella group that I know of, and apparently New College House almost let me in.” At this point, both of Mark’s parents began to rub comforting circles on Mark’s back, which was already showing signs of bruising. “He’s had to go three semesters without taking a single requirement-fulfilling class.” Mrs. Olsberg confided, “he’s worked so hard, and we tell him that we’ll be proud no matter what happens… but his little brother at Drexel is doing just fine, and sometimes I wonder if all of this competitiveness is even worth it.”
At exactly noon, Mark closed his eyes and gingerly pressed “refresh.” He didn’t even have to open his eyes. The sighs, groans, and muffled thumps of his parents limp bodies collapsing on his bed told him all he needed to know. Those three words that, across campus, would sear the eyes of thousands. Maximum Sessions Reached. Tough luck, Mark.
PennInTouch's acceptance rate is lower than ever, but the administration still isn't satisfied. "It could always be worse," said Morty Polonas, the school's Dean of IT Services. "We're trying to figure out how to make it give you a virus."