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Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011!

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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2009, 08:06
Did anyone else receive an email last week that the financial aid office was waiting on other materials to complete the fellowship process? I was curious if this went out to everyone who hadn't submitted all materials. I am still hanging on to the delusion that this meant I might actually get a dollar or two in fellowship money.

On another note, how are you folks planning on finding housing? Specifically those who think they will live in a brownstone. Out in California everyone seems to use the same website, so I was wondering if there is something comparable in Philly. Craigslist never seems to be the most reliable or complete source. I want to start to get a better feel for what is out there and the range of prices before I make the next visit.

Anyone else starting to feel like their life is about to get pretty crazy? I know it's almost five months away, but it feels like next week.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2009, 08:19
dayman wrote:
Did anyone else receive an email last week that the financial aid office was waiting on other materials to complete the fellowship process? I was curious if this went out to everyone who hadn't submitted all materials. I am still hanging on to the delusion that this meant I might actually get a dollar or two in fellowship money.

On another note, how are you folks planning on finding housing? Specifically those who think they will live in a brownstone. Out in California everyone seems to use the same website, so I was wondering if there is something comparable in Philly. Craigslist never seems to be the most reliable or complete source. I want to start to get a better feel for what is out there and the range of prices before I make the next visit.

Anyone else starting to feel like their life is about to get pretty crazy? I know it's almost five months away, but it feels like next week.


Wharton housing guide.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2009, 13:37
When is the next admit weekend?
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 13 Mar 2009, 02:19
pguard wrote:
When is the next admit weekend?


April 16 - 19. Pissed off I won't be there, should be terrific fun - away with the rugby team for a tournament.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2009, 09:20
Hey guys-

For those of you who have already recieved your Award Notification Letter, is the "expected minimum contribution from student" ALWAYS $8k?

Just wondering where they get that figure from..and whether most people just meet the minimum or go above and beyond it?
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2009, 10:09
on my ANL, the total for first year is given as $83K. So Im assuming the student contribution would be 8.3K

Of course, the 83K figure is based on the assumption you will be spending as much as what is listed on the proposed budget (which is a bit bloated, IMHO).



sterny wrote:
Hey guys-

For those of you who have already recieved your Award Notification Letter, is the "expected minimum contribution from student" ALWAYS $8k?

Just wondering where they get that figure from..and whether most people just meet the minimum or go above and beyond it?
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2009, 07:44
Anyone receive their PennKey?
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2009, 07:59
I had the same question - I haven't received mine yet....
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2009, 14:24
jjright or anyone else who received fellowship $$, did the notification come in the mailed preliminary financial aid award notification letter?
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2009, 14:31
yes it did

dayman wrote:
jjright or anyone else who received fellowship $$, did the notification come in the mailed preliminary financial aid award notification letter?
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 19:04
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I just visited Philly this weekend to do some apartment hunting. I looked at 6 different high rises in the area, prices ranging from 1200-2000+. Here's a quick summary of what I learned:

Overall, the center city area is quite small. For someone like me, who had never explored Philly, I had imagined the area to be much bigger. The distances between the different apartments are only 5-10 blocks.

It seems that living on Locust St is slightly less convenient for Wharton students because Locust is one way the wrong way. This comes into play if you want to take a taxi to school. Apparently it adds $2 and 5 min to your cab ride. Walnut St, on the other hand, is ideal. It crosses the bridge into University City. Don't know if that's a big deal at the end of the day, but these little inconveniences can add up.

I also found out that utilities are much cheaper compared to Boston, typically ranging from $30-70 for heat, electric, and water.

Only one of the 6 places I visited allowed subletting. A leasing agent did suggest to me, however, that I could add someone to the lease for 3 months and then take them off.

Finally, a note about timing. I'm glad I went early. Apparently apartments go fast during welcome weekend, and I didn't want to get caught playing that game. The only drawback for being early is that the places don't know their availability for July / August timeframe yet. Not a big deal, though. They'll put you on a waitlist and notify you immediately when something you want is available (requires $50-100 non-refundable credit check fee + refundable security deposit that ranges from $500 to 1 month's rent). Being early just means you're at the top of the waitlist.

Two less relevant side notes:
1) The street parking is ridiculously expensive. 7.5 minutes per 25 cents.
2) Banking seems like a little bit of a pain. There are 6-7 major banks in Philly, which seems to dilute the non-fee ATM density in the city. Compared to Boston, which is dominated by Bank of America, this could be slightly annoying.

I'll write up my notes on the individual buildings in the next six posts.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 19:07
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Riverloft
http://www.riverloftapartments.com
2300 Walnut St.
Studio, 1BR, 3BR

Overall impressions
This is probably the nicest building I visited. It's a mid-rise w/ 8-ish floors. The management/leasing agent was the friendliest and clearly the most responsive of all the places I visited. I've already swapped 6 e-mails and spent 30 min on the phone with the woman who showed me around since my visit on Saturday. The apartments are relatively nice with very high ceilings. There's a decent gym with free weights and standard cardio machines. The cardio machines don't have individual TVs, though, which was disappointing (I'm spoiled).

Although I knew this was the nicest place I was going to see, I was skeptical because apartmentratings.com has two complaints about mice in the building. The leasing agent explained that this was a temporary 1-month problem that was quickly taken care of and due to an unusual construction circumstance. I confirmed with a Wharton student living there that she nor her neighbors have had any pest problems during their stay.

Location
This is the best compromise b/w being close to school and being in Center City. It is right next to the bridge that crosses over to University City. Basically this is as close as you can get to Wharton while still being in Center City.

Lease
Allows a 22-month lease but locks you into a 3% rent increase for the second year.
One-time amenities fee: $175

Public transportation
Bus across the street that goes to University City
Cab light outside for hailing taxis

Shopping
Trader Joe's ~4 blocks away.
Rite Aid w/ pharmacy 1 block away

Apartments
Small Studio: $1500-1650
658 sq ft.
The small studios are definitely cozy. You can view the floor plans on their website, so I won't go into detail. The one note I will make is that there is a small den that is not part of the living area that can be used as the bedroom. When I say bedroom, I mean you can fit a bed in there and that's it. Possibly a night stand, but I'm not sure about that. There is not a lot of closet space, so if you're a girl or a metrosexual (i'm looking at you, solaris1), these studios may not be ideal. In addition, to those who enjoy bubble baths (again, i'm looking at your solaris1), there is no full bathtub, just a shower. The floor is all hardwood. All-in-all, if you want a reasonably priced place and are willing to sacrifice some space for quality and location, this is not a bad option.

Large Studio: $1900
~950 sq ft.
I didn't get to see this layout They only have 8 of these layouts in the entire building. Essentially a 1BR, but the BR is officially a den, because it has no windows, which is why it's called a studio.

1BR Loft: $1970-2200
~950 sq ft.
These are swank apartments and is what I ended up taking. The leasing agent showed me a model apartment, and everything about it was very nice. I really appreciate the large space and ended up being talked into splurging by my friends and family (who would've thought my cheap asian parents would convince me to spend money?). These also have 1.5 baths for those that don't like guests using their main bathroom. If you're a social person, this is a perfect party apartment. Hardwood floors in the living room (for easy beer spill cleaning). Carpets upstairs in the loft bedroom. Tons of closet space.

1BR Flat / 3BR: ??
??
Didn't see these, so I know nothing about them. I know they're available, though.

Note: If you go visit this place, PM me. I will give you my name and you can put me down as your referral. I will split the referral bonus with you 50/50 if you end up living here.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 19:13
Zoinnk made some really great points about the apartment situation.

As someone who actually did thorough analysis of Center City (Philly) for the purpose of applying to Wharton last year (before I accidentally got off at the wrong subway stop, and walked through the wrong neighborhood that surrounds UPenn campus, and decided that UPenn wasn't gonna be an option....Yes, I know...New Haven might be worse... :( ), I highly recommend the apartment complexes around the Rittenhouse Square.

Doorman buildings are relatively inexpensive (2 bedroom I looked at was only $1600 to $1800/month with 2 yr lease) and there's a vibrant nightlife scene around the area. All the best cafes, shopping malls, amish-market, B&N, bars, 24 hr CVS, and etc are conveniently located in the area.

Trolley or subway stations are nearby for convenient 3 or 4 stop ride to Wharton campus.



Click here for Rittenhouse Square website

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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 19:32
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1500 Locust
http://www.scullycompany.com/communitie ... b=1&id=210
Studio, 1BR, 2BR

Overall impressions
This is your typical high-rise with 40+ floors. There's a gym (with brand new equipment that they were just about to move in), a pool, a hot tub, locker rooms, saunas, a roof deck, and community activities (yoga, pilates, public speaking classes, etc.). While they seem to promote the community within 1500 Locust, I definitely felt that
the place had an impersonal air to it. With so many apartments to manage, I find it hard to believe that management/maintenance is responsive or adds a personal touch.

This place, however, is clearly Wharton central. The leasing agent even knew that Thursdays were Wharton party days, since there are no classes on Friday. If you want to live in the social center of the Wharton class, this place is for you. Obviously, there are disadvantages that come with that. Specifically, I've heard that noise can be an issue here. If you want a quieter living situation, I would investigate the noise issue thoroughly hear before committing to the building

Location
This building was the furthest away from Wharton.

Lease
Does not allow 22 month leases.
Running a special right now due to the housing market. 2 months free for a 13-month lease. This means that typically expensive apartments are very affordable! The apt I saw is regularly $1840 but is now $1557 (with the 2 free months prorated over the 13 months).
Be forewarned, though. If you want to renew and do a 10-month lease to get you through May/June of 2nd year, you will be kicked to the regular rent + rent increase + $650 penalty for short-term (i.e., <12 month) lease.

Public transportation
Public transportation is close by (I forget how close), but the leasing agent says that all the students take cabs in the morning rather than public transportation anyways.

Shopping
Super-convenient. Almost everything you need is within the complex. Dry cleaning, tailoring, convenience, small food market. If you're looking for easy errand-running. This place is for you!

Apartments
The apartments here vary greatly. Some are renovated. Some aren't. Make sure to ask to see the specific apartment you will be leasing. The leasing agent will tell you if it's renovated or not, but you should still see it at least.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 20:01
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Lofts at 1835 Arch
http://www.1835arch.com/
1BR, 2BR

Overall impressions
If I were living in Philly but not going to Wharton, this is the building I would choose. The area is by far the nicest area of the six places. It is right next to all the museums in Philly / Logan Square. It is also a typical high-rise, but it spoke to me more than 1500 Locust did. One nice perk is the monthly merchant spotlight they do in their lobby, which highlights a local business (restaurant or shop).

All-in-all, if you're married and/or not into the party scene, this would be an excellent option for you.

Location
This building is on the border of Center City and the Art Museum area (i.e., north border of Center City). Probably the most inconvenient location of the places I visited, requiring the longest commute to school. The leasing agent said 20-30 min by public transportation to school.

Lease
22 month leases are available w/ no baked in rent increase
Extra storage unit for additional $25-50/month (depending on size)

Public transportation
Public transportation is close by (I forget how close), but the leasing agent says that all the students take cabs in the morning rather than public transportation anyways.

Shopping
Everything you need (grocery, pharmacy, etc.) is within a 5 block radius. Most of the places, though, are on the border of the 5 block radius, so it's on the long end of a short walk.
20% food & drink discount at on-site restaurant, mission grill.

Apartments
They have six different floor plans for 1 BRs. 3 flat styles and 3 loft styles. The lofts aren't true lofts. The bedroom area is just slightly raised -- 3-4 steps. The variations within the styles are just sizes (615-850 sq ft). The smallest sized apartments have less-than-desirable closet space.
Price for 1 BRs is very affordable! $1250-2000 depending on floor, size, and style, but even the nicest style starts at $1700.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 20:24
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Wanamaker House
http://www.wanamakerhouse.com/
2020 Walnut St.

Overall impressions
This is a condo building, so Wanamaker management does not handle leasing. Allan Domb Realty takes care of leasing for individual owners of the condos. The building itself is fine. It is solidly average. I don't have many good or bad things to say about this place. It did not blow me away nor did it cause me to convulse in disgust. The gym is a bit small and left a little to be desired. The rooftop pool is also a nice perk.

One annoying thing is that the place does not have in-unit washer/dryer, which would be fine except that each floor has 1 washer and 1 dryer ($2 for wash and $2 for dry).

Overall, I came out of this visit completely indifferent to Wanamaker. Seems like it would be ok for 2 years.

Location
This is smack dab in the middle of Center City, maybe two blocks away from Rittenhouse Square. Basically split the difference b/w Riverloft and 1500 Locust.

Lease
Leases vary depending on the individual owner.

Public transportation
Public transportation is close by (I forget how close), but the leasing agent says that all the students take cabs in the morning rather than public transportation anyways.

Shopping
Everything you need (grocery, pharmacy, etc.) is very close by, since it's in the middle of Center City. I didn't scope out exactly how close, but my sense from my 5 minutes of walking around that convenience would not be a concern.

Apartments
Very difficult to comment. I saw a studio, a 1 BR, and a 2 BR. Two had carpets and one had hardwood floors. It completely depends on the owners. All three of the apartments had an older look to them. Definitely not the modern stylings and renovations of most high rises.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 20:38
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2400 Chestnut
http://www.2400chestnut.com/

Overall impressions
This is the poor man's high-rise. Prices are super-low for a reason. The apartments were not very nice and had an old, musky smell. The gym, in the basement, left a lot to be desired. It resembled a prison gym. All the weights were rusted over. The cardio machines were packed in very closely.

No in-unit washer dryer. 2 W/Ds per floor.

I don't have much detail on anything, as I mentally checked out the moment I walked into the first apartment. To be fair, if you're on a tight budget, this is a very good option. You sacrifice a decent amount of quality, but everyone who lives at 2400 Chestnut seems quite happy there. It isn't a horrible bang for your buck.

Location
Like Riverloft, this is located on the very west edge of Center City, right next to a bridge over to Center City. In this case, however, Chestnut St. is one-way the wrong way.

Lease
Allows 22 month leases.
Surprisingly expensive WL deposit of $300 (don't know if it's refundable, but I assume it must be).
The only high-rise that allows subletting.
Rent includes free DirecTV with only basic cable channels

Public transportation
2400 Chestnut runs it's own shuttles to University City. Super convenient!

Shopping
Just as convenient as RiverLoft. Trader Joe's is 4 blocks away. The same Rite Aid is also a block or two away.

Apartments
The apartments are really not very nice for a professionally managed building. They will re-carpet and re-paint for new tenants. But the appliances, cabinets, and closets are all clearly very old. The pricing on the website is accurate.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 23 Mar 2009, 20:51
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Left Bank
http://www.leftbankapts.com/
3131 Walnut St.
Studio, 1 BR, 2 BR, 3 BR

Overall impressions
This is the last place I saw on Saturday. Maybe I was just exhausted by then and didn't care, but I didn't come out with a good feeling even though the quality of the apartments were about the same as 1835 Arch, which is to say quite nice. A large contributing factor was the leasing agent was clearly selling me hard, and I react very negatively to boilerplate hard sells.

The gym was the nicest of the six buildings I visited.

Location
This is the only building not in Center City that I visited. Left Bank is on the University City side of the river (hence Left Bank), so it's only 200-300 yards away from the edge of center city. Very convenient to school but less convenient to the Center City social life.

Lease
Does not allow 22 month leases

Public transportation
You probably won't need public transportation to get to school from here, but you can pick up buses to Wharton if you can't handle the 10 min walk.

Shopping
Leasing agent freely admitted you would need a car to track down groceries or any other shopping.

Apartments
Apartments were very similar to 1835 Arch. They are very nice and modern. The leasing agent was not particularly detailed about the different options for 1 BRs, but I saw a 1 BR flat and 1 BR loft. Prices for 1 BR start at $1700 and go to $2350. Studios $1500-1650.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2009, 07:00
zoinnk - you are amazing buddy! Great job posting your review of these places.

I am kinda curious - how much does the average Wharton student spend on housing? I am definitely leaning towards getting a 2BR and splitting it with a room-mate to bring down the cost closer to $1000. Do you think that's a realistic possibility?

Last edited by sterny on 24 Mar 2009, 07:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011! [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2009, 07:13
sterny wrote:
zoinnk - you are amazing buddy! Great job posting your review from these places.

I am kinda curious - how much does the average Wharton student spend on housing? I am definitely leaning towards getting a 2BR and splitting it with a room-mate to bring down the cost closer to $1000. Do you think that's a realistic possibility?


I think that's totally reasonable. I would say a 2 BR in a nice high-rise will run you $1200-1400. Don't quote me on that, though, as I was not looking at 2BRs particularly closely.
Re: Admitted to Wharton Class of 2011!   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2009, 07:13
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