For Conestoga High School senior Julianna Quazi, applying early decision to Penn was a no-brainer.
“My dad went to Penn and so did my grandfather,” Quazi, a Berwyn, Pa., native, said. “I’ve always been exposed to the campus.”
While many students in her grade decided to apply for the newly reinstated nonbinding early action programs at Harvard or Princeton universities, Quazi said going to Penn has been her goal since freshman year of high school.
However, one obstacle standing in her way is that paying for a Penn education “might be a little tough for [her] family.”
Quazi explained that both of her parents, who once owned a software company, have been unemployed for about a year.
“People weren’t renewing their contracts,” she explained. “Because of the economy, that put us in a difficult position.”
However, after using the new Net Price Calculator on Student Financial Services’ website to determine a hypothetical package for her family, Quazi said she feels more confident that her family can afford Penn.
“It’s an amazing price that we got,” she said, adding that she “really liked” the calculator, modeled after that of the College Board aid calculator.
“I was extremely pleased with the results,” Quazi said.
However, she added that even if the financial aid package had not been so high, she would have still applied early to Penn.
“I’ve really grown to love the campus,” she said. Despite the financial burden, she said she “absolutely” thinks the University’s education will be worth it.
Quazi said the academics in particular drew her to Penn.
In addition to wanting to major in French, she plans on pursuing a pre-med track and possibly a minor in theatre arts.
“I’ve always wanted to be a doctor,” she said, adding that she was particularly inspired by medicine after getting back surgery in 10th grade.
Another factor that influenced her decision to apply early was “that [Penn] gives more advantage to legacies” in early decision.
Between 2005 to 2010, around 38 to 42 percent of legacy applicants who applied early decision were accepted to the University. Early decision applications are due on Nov. 1.
Quazi said she believes it’s fair for the school to look favorably on legacies because “we know experiences of our family members.”
Although there are “so many focused and driven students” in her grade, legacies are “really informed about Penn,” she said.
“We’re really dedicated.”
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