Find Out Your Chances of Admission at University of Pennsylvania
As one of the Ivy League Colleges, U Penn ranks among the most selective colleges in the U.S. But every year thousands of talented applicants are accepted… could you be one of them? If you’re curious about your chances of admission at U Penn, Go4Ivy can help by calculating your highly accurate and guaranteed chances of admission.
- View a sample chances of admission report.
- Find out about our service and how it works.
The History of University of Pennsylvania
In 1749, eager to create a college to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin wrote and circulated a pamphlet titled "Proposals for the Education of Youth in Pensilvania." Unlike the other four American Colonial colleges that existed at the time -- Harvard, William and Mary, the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University), and Yale -- Franklin's new school would not focus on education for the clergy. He advocated an innovative concept of higher education, one which would teach both the ornamental knowledge of the arts and the practical skills necessary for making a living and doing public service. The proposed program of study became the nation's first modern liberal arts curriculum.
Ben Franklin assembled a board of trustees from among the leading citizens of the city, the first such non-sectarian board in America, and looked about for the least costly way to build a campus.
In 1740, a group of working class Philadelphians had decided to erect a great preaching hall for the evangelist George Whitefield. It was the largest building in the city, and it was also planned to serve as a charity school for "the instruction of poor children." The fundraising, however, for both the building and the school had fallen short and the plans for both chapel and school were suspended. Franklin saw an opportunity to open his Academy quickly and inexpensively and in 1751 the Academy, using the great hall at 4th and Arch Streets, took in its first students. A charity school also was opened in accordance with the intentions of the original "New Building" donors.
The University cites the earlier date as its founding, which enables it to claim to be older than its athletic archrival Princeton. Elsewhere, it is reckoned the fifth-oldest college in the United States.
Penn has continued that innovative tradition with the founding of the first university teaching hospital in 1874; the creation of the Wharton School, the world's first collegiate school of business, in 1881; the construction of Houston Hall, the first American student union building, in 1896; and the building of ENIAC, the world's first electronic, large-scale, general-purpose digital computer in 1946.