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(Clockwise from top middle) Paree Pasi, Javier Quinones-Casanova, Zanna Ahmad, Maui Schwartz and Alexander Tsekov are among the students admitted early decision to Penn's Class of 2027 (Photos from Paree Pasi, Javier Quinones-Casanova, Zanna Ahmad, Maui Schwartz and Alexander Tsekov).

Penn welcomed its latest pool of incoming students from the Class of 2027 early decision applicants in December 2022. This year saw the largest early decision applicant pool in the University’s history with over 8,000 applicants.

According to a Penn Admissions blog post, admitted students come from 65 countries and 43 states across the US. The chosen applicants range from various socioeconomic and academic backgrounds.

Penn did not release detailed admissions results and the acceptance rate, continuing its decision to withhold this information for regular decision for the Class of 2026. Last year, the university saw 7,795 early decision applicants with 15.6% of applicants being admitted to the Class of 2026.

The Class of 2027 also marks the first year that Penn will be waiving its enrollment deposit for incoming students, making it the seventh Ivy League university to do so.

The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with five members of the Class of 2027 about their backgrounds, their motivations for applying to Penn and its role in their larger goals in life, and what they are looking forward to the most when they arrive on campus this fall.

Alexander Tsekov, a member of the Class of 2027 from Bulgaria (Photo from Alexander Tsekov).

Incoming College of Arts and Sciences first year Alexander Tsekov, originally from Bulgaria but now living in Boston, aims to further his passion and love for languages through his intended majors in East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Economics. He was first attracted to Penn due to the College’s language and culture programs.

“Language can bridge people — it creates an instant connection between two people who would otherwise be strangers. It’s something that I am really, really excited to learn more about,” Tsekov said, who speaks English, Bulgarian and Spanish and is currently learning Mandarin and Korean.

Tsekov believes that the College will give him flexibility in crafting his path and will also enable him to explore his other passions for business, economics, and mathematics. Tsekov shared that he enjoys the “data-driven problem-solving approach” that helps him better understand how various communities work from a different lens, and he hopes to further explore the intersection between his two passions at Penn.

Javier Quinones-Casanova, a member of the Class of 2027 from San Juan, Puerto Rico (Photo from Javier Quinones-Casanova).

Javier Quinones-Casanova, from San Juan, Puerto Rico, will also be joining the College. 

“It had always been a dream of mine to get into Penn,” Quinones-Casanova said. “I remember being in shock when I found out I got it — I wanted to cry from happiness. Just knowing I was going to attend such a great institution like Penn and that I was going to be able to walk through Locust Walk felt like a dream come true.”

Quinones-Casanova’s interest in attending Penn began in the fifth grade, when a cousin of his completed her Ph.D. at Penn and shared her experiences at the University with him. 

He will be attending the College of Arts and Sciences with an intended major in international relations. His intended major reflects the work he is already doing with his high school’s Model UN debate club, his student council where he serves as their current president, and his own venture, Nova News, an online news channel he started to provide unbiased news on global geopolitical events. 

Quinones-Casanova hopes he is able to further grow Nova News in his time at Penn by expanding his team and making his news platform faster, more reliable, and more efficient. He hopes that Penn will give him the knowledge, experience, and global exposure to further his impact.

Paree Pasi, a member of the Class of 2027 from Pennsylvania (Photo from Paree Pasi).

Paree Pasi, a Pennsylvania native from Bucks County, will be joining the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences this fall. An intended bioengineering major, Pasi was first introduced to the world of STEM earlier last year when she underwent a research internship at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, Pa. Her research, focused on molecular biology and COVID-19, piqued her interest to pursue the field further.

“I can’t wait to be a part of Penn’s community of bright, motivated, and kind individuals,” Pasi said when asked about what she is looking forward to the most upon joining the Penn student body this fall.

“Of all the Ivy Leagues, I think Penn has the most community vibe to it. I am just really interested to meet people from different cultures and I think that Penn has such a diverse student body,” Pasi said. “I’m also really interested to see how Penn relates to the greater Philadelphia area and how Penn gives back to its community.” 

Maui Schwartz, a member of the Class of 2027 from Florida (Photo from Maui Schwartz).

Incoming Wharton student Maui Schwartz from Florida spoke about how his life-long love for business and his search for a community to foster his talents in finance and business brought him to Penn.

“My dad was a small business owner, so he always talked to me about aspects of his business, finances, and management, so I always sort of knew that I wanted to do business,” Schwartz said. “Penn really stood out to me because of how tight-knit the community looked, and all the students seemed to really get along together.”

Schwartz hopes that the Wharton School and Penn will enable him to learn more about how his different interests can intersect with the world of business.

“I’m looking forward to exploring how business is applied in other fields that I’m passionate about like nutrition or computer science as well,” Schwartz said. “Hopefully at Penn, I can expand my love for business and tech in a broader field and learn about business beyond my local community.”

Zanna Ahmad, a member of the Class of 2027 from New Jersey (Photo from Zanna Ahmad).

Zanna Ahmad, an incoming College first year from New Jersey, will also be joining the Class of 2027 with an intended major in Health and Societies. Ahmad was drawn to the nonprofit and community service world after volunteering and working on fundraising campaigns with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which would eventually lead her to apply to Penn.

“I looked at a lot of Ivy League universities and highly ranked top universities, and none of them had that in-depth exploration of health and healthcare that Penn did,” Ahmad said. “I wasn't just going to a school because I felt like I fit in there, I was choosing a school that I felt fit me.”

Ahmad first learned about Penn when one of her cousins got into the University nearly a decade ago. As one of the only two girls on that side of her family, Ahmad said that her cousin was a role model to her and was her first exposure to Penn and Ivy League universities in general.

Recounting reading her decision letter from Penn, Ahmad said, “I remember reading the first line that said ‘Congratulations’ and just started screaming. I just could not believe that it was happening."

Ahmad's Penn "bucket list" includes meeting new people from across the globe, joining dance teams, exploring student government opportunities, and spending time in the city when out of class. She also mentioned that she is excited to continue getting involved in various community service opportunities, clubs and activities, and nonprofit opportunities during her time at Penn.