Here are the questions we hear most often. If your concern is not isn’t addressed below, feel free to contact us directly.
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Are family financial background and ability to pay tuition considered when making admissions decisions?
Penn is one of the few colleges and universities that do not take into consideration a family’s ability to pay when making admissions decisions. This is the policy of need-blind admissions. Penn admits bright, talented, ambitious students who will make positive contributions to the Penn community—and meets 100 percent of their demonstrated need, for four years, through an aid package that does not include loans.
While Penn practices need-blind admissions for U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the offer of admission to other students is directly linked to their ability to meet expenses. Non-citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico who have the financial means to afford Penn’s educational costs are encouraged not to apply for financial aid. The University provides more than $6 million in financial support each year for international students who do apply for aid—but competition for these funds is high.
What is the significance of Penn’s “No-Loan” financial aid policy?
Most colleges and universities ask students to take out loans as a part of their financial aid package. In contrast, Penn has replaced the loan portion of financial aid awards with additional grant funds that do not have to be repaid, which means students can graduate debt-free.
How is Penn able to offer no-loan financial aid packages when loans are expected at most other colleges and universities?
Penn has made the decision to devote considerable resources to assisting students who are talented enough to gain admission to Penn but lack the financial means to pay the full cost of a Penn education. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Penn will dedicate more than $160 million to undergraduate financial aid.
Are Penn students prohibited from taking out student loans?
No. Some students choose to take out loans to pay their family contribution. But even among students who do, debt upon graduation is significantly lower than for students from most other colleges and universities, public or private.
I did not receive any financial aid—how will Penn help my family?
Penn’s office of Student Financial Services offers counseling and payment plan options for families seeking assistance in managing their family contribution.
Is applying for aid complicated?
It doesn’t have to be; you and your family will need to organize some basic financial information and be mindful of deadlines and priority dates.
Is aid available for international students?
Penn practices need-blind admissions for U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Financial aid for other international students is limited, and, as a result, an applicant’s ability to pay for a Penn education is considered in the admission process.
Admitted international students who apply for aid when applying for admission will receive aid that meets 100 percent of their family’s demonstrated need—during each year of their undergraduate career. The University provides more than $6 million in financial assistance to such students each year.
That said, since competition for aid among international students is high, non-citizens and non-permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico who have the financial means to afford educational costs are encouraged not to apply for financial aid.
Will my financial aid remain the same for all four years?
Students must reapply for aid each year. If the family’s situation remains relatively stable from year to year, the amount of aid should remain fairly stable. If circumstances change during the year (such as a parent losing a job), the financial aid package will be adjusted.
What is Work-Study?
As part of a financial aid package, on-campus Work-Study jobs allow students to apply their earnings to college expenses.
What are the annual costs of Penn?
The total cost of tuition, fees, housing, meals, and estimated books and personal expenses for the 2012-2013 academic year is $59,600. The average financial aid package for incoming awarded freshmen in 2012 is $41,135.
What is the average financial aid package?
The average financial aid package for incoming awarded freshmen in 2012 is $41,135.
Penn’s Cost of Attendance
2012 - 2013
Benjamin Franklin founded Penn on the idea that all the best minds
should have access to the finest education, regardless of their families’
ability to pay.