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Shadrack Frimpong (left) and Charlie Javice (right) are two of the 25 Penn graduates that were selected for this year's Forbes 30 under 30 lists.

A total of 25 Penn graduates and one current Ph.D. student were selected for this year's Forbes 30 Under 30 lists, making Penn the university with the fourth most honorees in the world. 

There were more than 15,000 online submissions for 600 slots in the eighth annual list, placing the “acceptance” rate at less than 4 percent. Rounding out the top three schools were Stanford University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with 54, 46, and 34 honorees, respectively. The University of California, Berkeley placed fifth with 22 members on the list.

Each year, Forbes releases the sets of these lists, each serving as an “encyclopedia of creative disruption featuring 600 young stars in 20 different industries,” including finance, venture capital, and science.

The 25 Penn graduates as well as Seth Neel — a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in Statistics — placed into 13 of the 20 categories, missing out only on Arts & Style, Education, Healthcare, Marketing & Advertising, Music, Science, and Sports.

Among the honorees is Charlie Javice, a 2013 Wharton graduate, who is the founder of Frank, a 15-person startup that aims to reduce student debt by advocating for better initial financial aid. Founded in 2016, Frank has helped about 300,000 students each find between $25,000 and $30,000 in aid, according to Javice. 

Photo from Shadrack Frimpong

In the Social Entrepreneurs category, 2015 College graduate and current Social Policy and Practice graduate student Shadrack Frimpong was recognized for his nonprofit organization, Cocoa360. The first person from his Ghanaian village to attend college, Frimpong graduated from Penn as a recipient of Amy Gutmann’s President’s Engagement Prize, a $150,000 award for Penn seniors’ civic engagement projects. He utilized this funding to create Cocoa360, which runs a tuition-free all-girls school and community health facility from the proceeds of a cocoa farm in Tarkwa Breman, a small village in Ghana where Frimpong grew up.  

Credit: Julia Schorr

Penn had its strongest showings in the Finance and Social Entrepreneur categories, with five graduates and three graduates respectively.

Credit: Julia Schorr

The Wharton School was the most represented school among Penn’s honorees, with 13 Wharton graduates making the list, followed by the College of Arts and Sciences with nine graduates, the School of Engineering and Applied Science with five graduates, and the Perelman School of Medicine with one. 

Last year, although 26 Penn graduates earned a spot on the lists, Penn had only the fifth most honorees, behind Harvard, Stanford, Columbia University, and MIT. Penn alumni placed into 14 of the 20 categories, with sixteen graduates from the Wharton School, nine from the College of Arts and Sciences, and seven from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

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