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Five incoming freshman from the class of 2028: Crystal Yeh (top left), Bryan Acheampong II (top right), Allen Phuong (center), Teesh Liang (bottom left), and Jai Bajaj (bottom right) (Photos courtesy of Crystal Yeh, Bryan Acheampong II, Allen Phuong, Teesh Liang, and Jai Bajaj).

Penn released admissions results for its Early Decision program on Dec. 14, admitting roughly half of the Class of 2028.

Over 8,500 students applied to Penn through the Early Decision program this year — an increase from last year's totals, according to a University announcement. The admitted students hail from 68 countries and 41 states, though — as has been the case since the Class of 2026 — Penn did not immediately announce the early decision acceptance rate or demographic data.

The 2023-24 admissions cycle is the first since the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to overturn affirmative action, as well as the addition of school-specific questions to the supplemental essay prompts.

The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with five members of the Class of 2028 to speak with them about their backgrounds, aspirations, and what ultimately drew them to choose Penn.

Crystal Yeh is an incoming Wharton first-year from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. In her free time, she likes to paint, draw, and participate in musical theater, especially through one-act plays.

Yeh told the DP that she is excited to take advantage of Wharton’s new undergraduate concentration: Environmental, Social and Governance Factors for Business. She said that Penn's collaborative culture drew her to the University, where she is excited to pursue her passion for business.

“I'm really looking forward to creating something new with my fellow Penn classmates. Whether that be in the form of a startup, with a research project, or even just sharing a meal,” she said. “I’m just so incredibly grateful to be a part of the Penn community now.”

Bryan Acheampong II, who was born in Providence, Rhode Island but has lived most of his life in Accra, Ghana, will also be joining Wharton. He says he is most excited to explore Philadelphia, take advantage of Penn’s interdisciplinary opportunities, and explore various extracurriculars during his time on campus. 

At home, Acheampong founded a business club modeled after Shark Tank and created a nonprofit initiative that delivers resources to orphans across Accra. He explained that these activities helped him discover his passion for finance and marketing.

“You have to find a way to get your initiatives out there so people can participate and become informed. It turned into a passion throughout the years,” he said.

Acheampong is also involved in acting, and was the male lead in his first play last year. He says he is looking forward to exploring new and old interests through the Penny Loafers, the Marketing Undergraduate Student Establishment, and various finance clubs.

He explained that the opportunities Penn offers to get involved in activities outside the classroom were most enticing to him when choosing the University.

“Where I'm from, we don't really have a lot of these clubs,” he said. “I’m honestly so excited.”

Teesh Liang is from Auckland, New Zealand, and is planning to study Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Liang said that she views communications as the best way to learn more about society and the best way to pursue her dream career of journalism.

“It’s really important to give a voice to the voiceless,” she said. 

Liang has already graduated from high school and plans on expanding her nonprofit during her remaining time before arriving at Penn. Teesh is also a dancer and has worked with Paris Goble, an Emmy Award-winning choreographer, and hopes to continue dancing at Penn with the Pan-Asian Dance Troupe

While Liang said it will be difficult to leave her family and friends in New Zealand, she is excited to explore new cultures, people, and places. She says that she is most excited for the way Penn allows for both professional and social opportunities. 

“The fact that people at Penn come from all over the globe and are united in one single space is just so amazing,” she said. “We get to view life in such a different perspective.”

Jai Bajaj, an incoming School of Engineering and Applied Sciences first-year from Baltimore, Maryland, hails from an area much closer to Penn. 

Bajaj said that nearly six years of coding experience have led him to pursue a major in computer science. He explained that one of his favorite projects was an app he built that generated conversation through artificial intelligence to help him and his friends talk to girls. 

He intends for his Penn experience to encompass more than just coding, as he plays both squash and tennis and plans to get involved in Penn Aerospace Club to further his passion for physics.

Allen Phuong is an incoming first-year in the College of Arts and Sciences from Petaluma, California. He was drawn to Penn for its interdisciplinary offerings, extensive research opportunities, and urban environment as a home for his passion for neuroscience.

“I think what makes Penn such a great school are the students and the faculty,” he said. “So I trust that changing leadership will not significantly change Penn’s culture.”

Phuong says that his interest in neuroscience began when he held a cadaver’s brain in his hand, and that he hopes to gear his career toward working with children as a pediatrician. 

Phuong, as the first in his family to attend college, said that the University’s resources for first-generation students, including Penn First Plus and the Pre First-Year Program, heavily influenced his decision to attend.

He also said that he hopes to participate in intramural sports to continue his interests in wrestling, swimming, and weightlifting. This fall, he said that he is most excited to try a Philly cheesesteak.