The University of Pennsylvania announced a $224 million financial-aid budget for 2017-2018—the largest in the University’s history —while increasing total undergraduate charges by 3.9 percent.
Since Amy Gutmann became Penn’s president in 2004, Penn’s financial-aid budget has grown by 171 percent, and the University has awarded $2 billion in undergraduate aid to a total of 17,253 students.
Penn is the largest US university with a need-blind admissions policy and grant-based financial aid for undergraduates. Upon admission, Penn determines students’ financial need, then reduces the cost of tuition, room and board and fees through University grants and work-study jobs. These grants, made up largely from Penn’s funds as well as federal and state grants, do not require repayment. This current academic year, 46 percent of Penn undergraduate students received need-based grants from the University, with the average grant for students estimated at $45,368.
“Approaching the tenth anniversary of establishing grant-based financial aid among the highest of our priorities, Penn’s Ivy League education is more accessible and affordable to students with the greatest promise from all backgrounds than ever before,” said Penn President Gutmann. “Doubling the number of first-generation college students is just one among the many educational and societal benefits that flow from Penn’s doubling of financial aid and our outreach efforts, which we continually strengthen. As the first in my family to attend college, I understand the transformative impact that affordable access to high quality higher education can have. It is the single greatest gateway to economic opportunity and has an indelible impact on society. This is the enduring value fueling Penn’s grant-based financial aid program.”
Penn’s grant-based financial aid initiative supports the University’s long-standing commitment to its need-blind admissions policy, which means students are accepted based on academic achievement, regardless of their ability to pay.
Financial aid packages are determined based on the cost of attendance for 2017-2018, which includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, transportation and personal expenses. For 2017-2018 undergraduate tuition will increase to $47,416 from $45,556; room and board will increase to $15,066 from $14,536; and fees will increase to $6,118 from $5,908.
Demonstrating Penn’s commitment to supporting a socio-economically diverse student body, 48 percent of aided students receiving grants in the academic year 2016-2017 were awarded more than $50,000. Most undergraduate students with a family income of less than $40,000 received grant-based aid covering the total cost of tuition, room and board and fees. Ninety-four percent of undergraduate students with a family income of $180,000 or less received grant assistance.
Penn’s grant-based financial aid program is aligned with the inclusion goals outlined in the Penn Compact 2020 Presidential Initiatives, which include a comprehensive effort to raise additional funding for the endowment to support undergraduate financial aid as well as graduate and professional student aid. At Penn, one in eight members of the class of 2020 are first generation, up from one in 20 in 2004, reflecting success with inclusion goals.
Additional information on undergraduate financial aid at Penn is available at www.sfs.upenn.edu