We are committed to making a Penn education accessible and affordable for all students, regardless of your financial circumstances. So, how do we do it?
First, Penn is a need-blind institution for students that are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico.* That means that we don’t consider your financial need when we make decisions about your admission. If you’re admitted to Penn, we’ll cover your need—it’s as easy as that.
Second, your financial aid package is entirely grant-based, which means that it’s made up of scholarships and work-study funds that you don’t have to pay back.
To learn more, check out the details below or refer to the Student Registration and Financial Services website directly.
*Penn is need-aware for international students—see below for more information.
Penn commits to meeting full demonstrated need for four years or eight semesters for all admitted students. If your family’s financial circumstances remain the same, financial aid remains similar; if circumstances change during the year (such as a parent losing a job or a sibling entering or leaving college), your financial aid package may be adjusted. Students must reapply for financial aid each academic year.
Financial aid at Penn is awarded on the basis of financial need, which is the difference between Penn’s cost of attendance and the amount your family is expected to pay (your expected family contribution). Penn’s cost of attendance includes both direct costs that appear on your student bill such as tuition, fees, housing, and dining, and indirect costs that are not billed by Penn, such as books and supplies, transportation, and an allowance for personal expenses.
Penn offers two options to help you and your family estimate your costs and potential financial aid funding.
This tool will provide you with a ballpark estimate of your net cost to attend Penn based on six simple questions. Note that this tool currently only works for students from the United States.
Net Price Calculator
If you have more time and access to more financial records, you can use the Penn Net Price Calculator, which we offer in partnership with the College Board. For the most accurate estimate, you will want to gather student and parent tax returns, earning statements, bank and investment statements, and records of any untaxed income before beginning.
Penn cannot provide a fully accurate assessment of your aid eligibility until you are admitted and formally apply through the financial aid process.
Financial aid for international applicants is a bit different. Penn is need-aware for international applicants, non-citizens, and non-permanent residents of the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This means a family’s ability to pay does factor into admissions decisions. International students who want to be considered for financial aid must apply for it at the same time they apply for admissions. Requests for financial aid after being admitted cannot be considered.
Each year, Penn commits millions of dollars in undergraduate aid funds to support international students. International students admitted as financial aid recipients will receive need-based aid that covers 100% of their demonstrated need, just like a student from the U.S. Because need does factor into international admissions decisions, candidates whose families have the financial means to afford education costs are encouraged not to apply for financial aid.
Financial Aid Application Process
Important points to consider if you’re concerned about your family's ability to meet the full cost of Penn for four years and wish to apply for financial aid:
International students, including students from Mexico, should follow the Checklist for International Students on the Student Financial Services website.
Citizens and permanent residents of Canada must complete Penn's Financial Aid Application for Canadian Citizens and submit copies of the student’s and parents' Canadian tax returns. See the Checklist for Canadian Citizens on the Student Financial Services website.
Penn will not admit a financial aid candidate for whom we cannot provide aid. As a result, some candidates we would otherwise want to admit will be turned away.
International applicants who anticipate the need for financial aid at any time during their four-year course of study must make this anticipated need known at the time of application.
Penn seeks to build a student body of highly talented individuals and believes that having a diverse student body enriches the educational experience of every student and broadens the leadership pipeline of graduates. These partnerships are one way in which the University aims to engage outstanding yet underserved students with high potential who might not otherwise have the opportunity to go to Penn.
Say Yes to Education
Founded by Penn alumnus and Trustee, George A. Weiss, W'65, the mission of Say Yes is to value and realize the potential of economically disadvantaged youth and families. Say Yes is committed to providing this support to at-risk children and their families, enabling them to graduate from high school, accomplish post-secondary educational success, and achieve meaningful life goals, including giving back to their communities.
Penn partners with QuestBridge—an organization that shares Penn’s commitment to expanding economic diversity—to increase the number of highly talented students from low-income backgrounds in our community. Since 2008, more than 100 QuestBridge scholars have matched with Penn and have enrolled. Additional QuestBridge scholars were not matched but were admitted to Penn in the Regular Decision round.
Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)
KIPP is a national network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory public charter schools with a track record of preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. KIPP was founded in Houston in 1994 and has grown to 162 schools serving more than 58,000 students in 20 states and Washington, D.C. As KIPP’s first college partnership with an Ivy League institution, Penn projects enrolling 12-15 KIPP students who meet admissions requirements each year. KIPP students who enroll at Penn support each other on their journey through college and enjoy a home base provided by the Greenfield Intercultural Center.
Maguire Scholars is a partnership with 19 higher education institutions to offer scholarship support for students in area high schools. Maguire Scholars' partners with Faith in the Future, Mastery Charter School, St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Cristo Rey, Merion Mercy Academy, and AIM.
College Track (CT) empowers students from underserved communities to graduate from college through comprehensive academic support, leadership training, financial and college advising, and scholarships starting from the summer before 9th grade. Penn is committed to collaborating with CT to support its students so that they may enroll, thrive, and graduate.