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Hey Freshmen! Where Your Parents Work Is Not an Icebreaker


Photo by USAG- Humphreys / CC BY 2.0

Hi freshmen. As you are trundling about New Student Orientation, meeting new friends, classmates, and prospective business partners, you may feel the urge to compare family incomes. Contrary to 19th-century thought, your parents’ income is no longer a personality trait, virtue, or attraction. 

Typically, students at Penn are at Penn due to their own merit and accomplishments, and only occasionally are they at Penn because of their parent’s money. As such, please do not feel the need to voluntarily disclose, say, or spout where your parents earn their money.