From Bulgaria to Bucks County, meet five Class of 2027 students admitted via Early Decision

Class of 2027 early decision profiles

(Clockwise from top center) Paree Pasi, Javier Quinones-Casanova, Zanna Ahmad, Maui Schwartz and Alexander Tsekov are among the students who were pre-admitted to Penn’s Class of 2027 (Photos by Paree Pasi, Javier Quinones-Casanova, Zanna Ahmad, Maui Schwartz and Alexander Zekow).

Penn welcomed its newest pool of incoming students from the Class of 2027 early decision applicants in December 2022. This year, with over 8,000 applicants, there was the largest pool of applicants for the early decision in the history of the university.

Admitted students come from 65 countries and 43 states in the US, according to a Penn Admissions blog post. The selected applicants come from different socio-economic and academic backgrounds.

Penn did not release detailed admissions results and the acceptance rate, continuing his decision to withhold that information for the regular Class of 2026 decision. Last year, the university recorded 7,795 early decision applicants, with 15.6% of applicants going into the Class of 2026.

The Class of 2027 also marks the first year that Penn is waiving its enrollment fee for incoming students, making it the seventh Ivy League university to do so.

The Daily Pennsylvanian spoke to five members of the Class of 2027 about their backgrounds, their motivation for applying to Penn and their role in their larger life goals, and what they’re most looking forward to when they arrive on campus this fall.

Alexander Tsekov, a member of the Class of 2027 from Bulgaria (photo by Alexander Tsekov).

Alexander Tsekov, originally from Bulgaria but now based in Boston, is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences looking to further his passion and love for languages ​​through his intended majors in East Asian Languages ​​and Civilizations and Economics. Penn was first attracted to him because of the college’s language and culture programs.

“Language can connect people – it creates an instant connection between two people who would otherwise be strangers. I’m really looking forward to learning more about it,” said Tsekov, who speaks English, Bulgarian and Spanish and is currently learning Mandarin and Korean.

Tsekov believes the college will give him flexibility in shaping his path and also allow him to explore his other passions in business, economics and math. Tsekov shared that he likes the “data-driven approach to problem solving,” which helps him better understand how different communities function from a different perspective, and he hopes to further explore the intersection between his two passions at Penn.

Javier Quinones-Casanova, a member of Class 2027 from San Juan, Puerto Rico (Photo by Javier Quinones-Casanova).

Javier Quinones-Casanova of San Juan, Puerto Rico will also join the college.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to get into Penn,” said Quinones-Casanova. “I remember being in shock when I found out I had it – I wanted to cry with happiness. Just knowing that I could visit such a great facility as Penn and walk the Locust Walk felt like a dream come true.”

Quinones-Casanova’s interest in visiting Penn began in fifth grade when a cousin of his received her Ph.D. at Penn and shared her experiences at the university with him.

He will attend the College of Arts and Sciences with an intended major in International Relations. His intended major reflects the work he already has with his high school’s Model UN debating club, its student council of which he is the current president, and his own business, Nova News, an online news channel he started to provide unbiased news to provide on a global scale geopolitical events.

Quinones-Casanova hopes to continue growing Nova News during his time at Penn by expanding his team and making its news platform faster, more reliable and more efficient. He hopes Penn will give him the knowledge, experience and global presence to amplify his impact.


Paree Pasi, a member of Class 2027 from Pennsylvania (Photo by Paree Pasi).

Paree Pasi, a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, will join the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences this fall. Pasi, who plans to major in bioengineering, was first introduced to the world of STEM subjects early last year when she completed a research internship at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Her research, which focused on molecular biology and COVID-19, further sparked her interest in the field.

“I can’t wait to be a part of Penn’s community of bright, motivated, and kind people,” said Pasi when asked what she’s most looking forward to about joining the Penn fraternity this fall.

“Of all the Ivy Leagues, Penn has the most community spirit in my opinion. I’m just really interested in meeting people from different cultures, and I think Penn has such a diverse student body,” said Pasi. “I’m also very interested in seeing how Penn interacts with the greater Philadelphia area and how Penn gives back to his community.”

Maui Schwartz, a member of the Class of 2027 from Florida (Photo by Maui Schwartz).

Florida-based prospective Wharton student Maui Schwartz spoke about how his lifelong love of business and his search for a community that would nurture his talents in finance and business brought him to Penn.

“My dad was a small business owner, so he was always talking to me about aspects of his business, finances and management, so I kind of always knew I wanted to do business,” Schwartz said. “Penn really caught my eye because the community was so tight and all the students got along really well.”

Schwartz hopes the Wharton School and Penn will allow him to learn more about how his diverse interests can intersect with the world of business.

“I’m excited to explore how economics is applied to other areas I’m passionate about, like nutrition or computing,” said Schwartz. “Hopefully at Penn, I can expand my love of business and technology into a broader field and learn about business outside of my local community.”

Zanna Ahmad, a member of Class 2027 from New Jersey (Photo by Zanna Ahmad).


Zanna Ahmad, an incoming college first grader from New Jersey, will also be entering the Class of 2027 with an intended major in Health and Society. Ahmad was drawn to the world of community and community service after volunteering and working on fundraisers with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, which eventually led her to apply to Penn.

“I’ve looked at many Ivy League universities and high-ranking top universities, and none of them had as thorough research into health and healthcare as Penn did,” Ahmad said. “I didn’t just go to a school because I felt like I would fit in there, I chose a school that I felt would suit me.”

Ahmad first learned about Penn when one of her cousins ​​entered the university nearly a decade ago. As one of the only two girls on this side of her family, Ahmad said that her cousin was a role model for her and was her first exposure to Penn colleges and the Ivy League in general.

Ahmad recounted reading her decision letter from Penn, saying: “I remember reading the first line that said ‘Congratulations’ and I just started screaming. I just couldn’t believe it was happening.”

Ahmad’s “bucket list” for Penn includes meeting new people from around the world, joining dance groups, exploring student representation opportunities, and spending time in the city outside of class. She also mentioned that she looks forward to continuing to be involved in various community service opportunities, clubs and activities, and community service opportunities during her time at Penn.

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