The University of Pennsylvania is a US private research university located in Philadelphia. It was founded in the middle of the 18th century (1740) as a charitable school even before the signing of the Declaration of Independence,
Benjamin Franklin. The University of Pennsylvania, one of the oldest institutions of higher education and the first university in the United States, as well as one of nine colonial colleges founded before the Declaration of Independence was signed, is part of the elite Ivy League. Despite its name, the university is private and is sometimes confused with Pennsylvania State Public University, located in State College.