Penn’s application evaluation process is holistic, meaning all parts are considered and added together to gain a fuller understanding of you, your interests, your experiences, and your goals. The application essays allow you to share your story in your own words, while the extracurricular section presents the ways you have spent your time beyond the classroom.
We understand that there may be particular contextual details that, while pertinent to our comprehensive review process, may not be completely captured in applicants' responses to our standard application questions. Thus, applicants may use the additional information sections of the Common App and Coalition Application to shed light on particular experiences and circumstances for the admission committee's consideration. Some examples of useful contextual information include: gaps that may have occurred in your education and cannot be explained elsewhere; and context or circumstances that are essential to your story or application and have not been included elsewhere.
We encourage applicants to use discretion and only provide non-duplicative, essential information that is not captured in other sections of the application.