The admissions office decided back in March that their fall programming – like tours and information sessions, as well as traveling to speak at high schools – would be virtual, five months before the University went fully online.
Students, including Kite and Key Society president and Rising Engineering senior Sofia Gonzalez, said they were shocked and saddened by Furda's decision to leave the University after leading the Admissions Office for 12 years.
Brian Taylor, managing director of New York City-based college admissions consulting firm Ivy Coach, believes the decision will influence other universities, and said it is likely that highly selective universities, such as Ivy League institutions, will be test-optional in the future.
College Board and ACT testing agencies canceled and postponed multiple test dates in response to the pandemic, prompting many universities to change standardized test requirements for future applicants.
Admissions experts say schools are anxious about international students possibly not being able to arrive on campus for the fall semester, and about domestic students who may choose to take a gap year instead of enrolling amid the coronavirus.
Because U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services suspended routine visa services at all embassies and consulates due to COVID-19, it is unclear if new international students will be able to secure visas in time for the fall semester.
This year's Quaker Days events, which were planned for April 6 and April 15, and the Multicultural Scholars Preview program on April 14, have been canceled, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda wrote in a press release.
The 1,269 students offered admission account for approximately 53% of the expected enrolling class. This year, Penn received 6,453 early decision applications, a 9% decline from last year’s 7,109 applicants.
The program, called Wharton MBA Advance Access, now allows student in their final year from any university to be accepted early to the full-time MBA program after working for two to four years after graduation.