Penn released its regular decision admissions results for the Class of 2027 on March 30, accepting a class that represents the most diverse group of admitted students in Penn’s history.
Penn received the largest first-year applicant pool in its history, with more than 59,000 students applying to the Early and Regular Decision programs. As was the case last year, Penn did not immediately announce the acceptance rate and demographic data of the Class of 2027.
The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke with five students who were admitted through regular decision about their backgrounds, their academic interests, their motivations for applying to Penn, and what they are looking forward to when they arrive on campus this fall.
Karam Alkaissy is an incoming School of Engineering and Applied Sciences first-year hailing from Leiden, a small city in the Netherlands.
While Alkaissy loves the Netherlands, he said he became interested in moving abroad to continue his studies because of the diversity of the United States. He was particularly interested in Penn’s interdisciplinary education, its urban environment, and its entrepreneurial spirit.
Alkaissy is involved in student government at his school and participates in cancer research at his local hospital. He is planning to major in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
With his five years of theater experience, Alkaissy looks forward to auditioning for the Quadramics Theatre Co., a student-run theater group that produces a fall play and a Spring Fling musical. He also hopes to volunteer at the Reach-A-Peer Helpline, which offers confidential peer support.
“I think it’s really cool that a university offers [the Reach-A-Peer helpline] service, and students get to partake in making sure that everyone is doing okay mentally,” Alkaissy said. “In an environment like Penn, you’re surrounded by really bright minds, so it will be normal to suffer from imposter syndrome.”
Alkaissy told the DP that his family screamed so loudly after opening his Penn acceptance that their neighbors came over to check on them.
Kylie Jackson, from Oakland, Calif., is an incoming Wharton School first-year planning to concentrate in Business, Energy, Environment, and Sustainability.
Along with Penn’s urban location and study abroad programs, she said that the BEES program was one of the main reasons she chose to apply to Penn.
“I just didn’t see a program like that at any other school,” Jackson said.
A research trip to Yellowstone National Park in her junior year of high school sparked her interest in environmental science.
“Before that, I had no real interest in research and science. But, [during the trip], we were looking at different herds of bison and stuff like that, and it was a really cool experience,” Jackson said.
Outside of school, Jackson participates in a program that gets children involved in gardening and how to build a garden. At Penn, she said hopes to continue community service work and get involved with the West Philadelphia community.
“I’m the only person from my school going to Penn. I think I’m one of four people in my city going there. So, it’s going to be a really big change. I’m nervous about that, but I’m also excited about it,” Jackson said.
Incoming College of Arts and Sciences first-year Daniel Nasri was born in Florida but has been living in Dubai since he was three. While Nasri is excited to return to the United States, he said that he will miss the atmosphere of Dubai, describing the culture as being very supportive and respectful.
The wide array of student organizations and activities available at Penn is one thing that stood out to Nasri during the application process.
As a varsity rugby player for his school's Under 19 15-a-side team, Nasri is hoping to try out for Penn’s Club Rugby team in the fall and has been in contact with players on the team. He also has a "bucket list” of clubs he is interested in joining, including the Undergraduate Economics Society and Penn Lens Club.
Nasri is planning to major in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. His interest in economics peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic when the lockdowns resulted in stock markets crashing.
“Everything in the world revolves around economics, more or less, and getting to watch the news and understand what they’re saying is really cool,” Nasri said.
From Vancouver, B.C., incoming College first-year Chloe Chen is planning to major in International Relations.
Because of this, Chen was drawn to Penn’s civic culture, which resonated with her own values. She hopes to explore Penn’s Civic House, as well as Penn in Washington and the Kelly Writers House. She is also interested in getting more involved in the performing arts, such as joining a band.
Penn was not initially on Chen’s radar.
“I wasn’t even sure that I was going to apply to the States. I was pretty sure I was going to go to Toronto or Montreal for university,” Chen said.
It was only after talking to her Mandarin tutor’s son, who went to Penn, that she did more research on the school and found that her passions aligned with Penn’s resources.
Having never been to the East Coast, Chen is excited to explore a new city once arriving at Penn.
Incoming Wharton first-year Emre Karaarslan is from western Massachusetts. Karaarslan was not expecting to be accepted into Penn, so when he opened his decision in his basement, he said he “freaked out.”
“I ran up the stairs to my mom and I was like, ‘I got into UPenn,’ and she started crying … Her crying made me start crying,” Karaaslan said.
Karaaslan chose Penn because of the extensive opportunities, the resources offered by Wharton, and the support for first-generation, low-income students. He hopes to continue playing volleyball at Penn at a recreational level.
His interest in business came from being surrounded by business owners. He has worked at his uncle’s pizza shop since his first year of high school, experiencing firsthand how small businesses are run.
Previously, the DP spoke to five students who were admitted Early Decision to the Class of 2027.