UPenn (CAS and Wharton) - Absolute Target?

Wu_Lei's picture
Rank: Senior Baboon | 213

(Freshman) I attend an extreme non-target and was weighing my options to potentially transfer into a top-tier institution for my junior year (obviously the likelihood of me being accepted is practically non-existent but I'm curious nonetheless). Consistently across these threads I see UPenn being mentioned as a high-end target. However, most of the time this pertains to only Wharton with some people stating that CAS is a target in of itself and others claiming that Wharton makes recruitment very difficult for CAS students. It is important to note that I would not be able to apply to Wharton (during what would be my sophomore year) because I would be transferring as a junior as per their transfer website. Can someone, preferably someone who has been or is at UPenn, provide any commentary on this?

Comments (27)

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 23, 2020

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 23, 2020

Tldr; while UPenn CAS is still an Ivy League, it's second-tier to Wharton and you would likely be better off at a different ivy vs CAS where you're not automatically second-tier for your own school's recruiting

May 23, 2020

Would it make a difference (assuming I got in) if I'm aiming for Houston, Chicago, or West Coast locations given that NYC is already so competitive?

May 26, 2020

Wrong. CAS students get access to the exact same interview slots as Wharton, and tons of CAS students who pursue IB/HF/PE get those jobs. The biggest differences are that a) Wharton kids will often have an edge in getting the interview slots and b) Wharton kids will often be better prepared for the interview as it draws from the work they actually do in class. However, if a CAS student is well-prepared for an IB interview they have every bit as good of a shot at securing it once they are in the room.

May 23, 2020

See, I don't think many people shit on the CAS program itself. It is just that it feel kinda bad to be kinda sidelined/limited from day 1. However, it is also an ivy school so if you go there it will definitely be a step up from your nontarget. If you really do go to an extreme non-target, I also assume your school isn't ranked that highly which will make transferring harder. If I'm not wrong, I think a lot of Ivy transfers come from peer schools (Other ivies, Nw, Duke, Gtown, other T20s...)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
May 23, 2020

Usually yes I think so but I believe they also have precedent of taking rando low ranked schools or community college kids who prove exceptional (4.0s, ivy-level SATs)

May 23, 2020

A couple of people a year above me were successful in transferring, so thats what brought the idea to my head. Stats wise I would say I'm solid.

May 23, 2020

Uhhhhh, they definitely do take some kids from lower ranked schools. But, I think a lot of it is either special cases (veteran, community college) or a peer (T20) school. Not to say you have no chance, but the odds definitely aren't in your favor. This is in contrast to the fact that if you have a good reason + the GPA at a peer school, your chances are much higher.

  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 23, 2020

Do you mean transfers to Penn specifically? I was under the impression that being at a peer school gave you almost no chance at transferring and that they preferred people with worse off backgrounds. For example, a huge proportion of transfers to Princeton are military.

    • 1
May 23, 2020

It depends. Like there is a monumental difference in applying to Penn as a transfer (which takes like 170) versus Princeton which takes like 13 military veterans. Not all ivies have the same transfer friendliness. Most of the 170 transfers will be from T20s just because they go to better schools (so long as they have a reason for transferring). Like Penn is more likely to take the Gtown transfer who wants to study Engineering at Penn (b/c Gtown doesn't have engineering) over somebody from UFresno saying the same thing. At the end of the day, they will take the most impressive applicants (who also come from top schools consequently). The only Ivies that really only care about veteran / special case transfers are Dartmouth/ Princeton. Like look at Brown's transfer page and see that most of the schools are either well-known or are community colleges (https://admission.brown.edu/transfer/candidates)

  • Intern in HF - Other
May 24, 2020

Princeton is up its own ass and only takes ~unique~ transfers but all the other Ivies just take smart/passionate kids from any school. I am an Ivy transfer and know some of all backgrounds at most of them. It's as difficult as applying out of high school though, probably even harder as a junior since I've met far fewer junior transfers.

Most Helpful
  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
May 23, 2020

There are a lot of CAS kids with the same jobs as Wharton students.

    • 7
May 23, 2020

Is your source for this anecdotal or does it come from the institution's website?

    • 1
  • Intern in PE - Growth
May 23, 2020

CAS vs Wharton doesn't really matter. you just preferably need a solid gpa (3.75+) to get looks from everywhere

  • Intern in IB-M&A
May 23, 2020

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May 23, 2020

Look at the Career Services website.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
May 24, 2020

My source is myself, a student at Penn.

May 23, 2020

just make sure you don't drop the gpa to 2.8 or something at CAS. I know someone in a similar position, difficult to redeem yourself and diminishes top MBA chance too.

also depends on how non target you are

is it DeVry? or Indiana? or Michigan? or Duke I think you'd be much better off doing well where you currently are if it's towards the latter ones

    • 1
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
May 23, 2020

When he said that he attends an extreme non target, I do not think he meant Michigan or Duke lol.

    • 1
May 23, 2020
Comment
    • 1
May 24, 2020