“Why do you have to be so bougie?” College freshman Pranav Trivedi said when asked about the differences between the resources available to students in the Wharton School and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Many single degree students like Trivedi feel that students in Wharton are provided with greater benefits than students in other undergraduate schools at Penn. However, many dual degree students, who often belong to Wharton and another undergraduate school, don't notice such a difference.
Many non-Wharton students mentioned the following factors when explaining why they feel Wharton students have access to greater resources than they do: a $20 printing budget, the ability to reserve a Group Study Room in Huntsman Hall and the ability to log onto and print from computers in Huntsman. This restriction of resources to Wharton students is not present in other buildings on campus. Computers and printers in the Engineering Quad, for example, are accessible to all Penn students.
“Why can’t we print in your building without a Wharton ID? Not even that, why can’t I log into a computer?” Trivedi said. “At [David Rittenhouse Laboratories], my home base, we invite everyone to freely print. Same with Engineering, my second home base.”
Many College students said they do not receive any special privileges from being in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“We have privileges as Penn students,” College sophomore Jack O’Neil said. “The College specifically doesn’t get any privileges like the other schools.”
O’Neil added that he believes this disparity in the resources available to Wharton in particular has to do with the prestige of the school, which enables it to get more funding.
“It’s mainly because it’s the best business school in the world,” O’Neil said. “Employers know that. The faculty here knows that. The administration here knows that and so they tend to prioritize Wharton.”
Nursing student Theresa Dierkes said that while she doesn’t believe Wharton students are really awarded any special privileges, she still feels the school is seen as more important than others.
“Wharton is Penn’s pride,” Dierkes said. “I think this is a big university and there’s going to be one school that is 'favored' over the others.”
However, students in dual degree programs do not notice a large difference in benefits across different undergraduate schools. Many said the perception of Wharton students having greater privileges is due to the condensed and focused nature of the program, as opposed to the College that has several different academic departments housed under one school.
“I don’t think the University prioritizes Wharton,” College and Wharton freshman in the Vagelos Program in Life Sciences & Management Abigail Wax said. “I think that there are still resources available to [College students]. They just might be harder to find. The College is so diverse. There are so many different departments.”
Wharton junior James Lai added he doesn’t think Wharton gets more funding than other schools.
“I doubt that we get more funding because for one, the College has a lot more departments than we do,” Lai said. “They should technically get more funding. I guess it doesn’t look that way because any funding the College receives has to be distributed across its different departments. At Wharton, all and any funding just goes to business resources.”
Wharton and Engineering junior Simon Oh said that Wharton and Engineering students enjoy about the same privileges. He added that despite what he sees as a parity in resource accessibility, there tends to be a greater deal of resentment between College and Wharton students than between College and Engineering students.
“I guess that’s because for many College students, their courses tend to have a lot more of an overlap with Wharton courses,” Oh said. “They just tend to notice any differences more."
The director of Wharton media relations declined to comment on variations in funding and resources across schools, but provided a link to Wharton's policies on printing and referred a Daily Pennsylvanian reporter to Leo Charney, director of communications in the Office of the Provost.
Charney said in an email, "I am not in the Wharton school," and referred the DP reporter to Alumni Relations.
The director of operations and special programs for Penn alumni relations said in an email, "I have no idea. I think you're in the wrong department. This is the alumni office."
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