Students at graduation

How it Works

Penn is committed to meeting 100% of your demonstrated need with grant-based aid. That’s right—that means it’s possible to graduate from Penn debt-free (with no strings attached).

Fast Facts About Financial Aid at Penn

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?

  1. All Penn financial aid awards are need-based, not merit based. That means all aid is based on your family’s ability to pay Penn’s cost of attendance. Penn does not offer merit-based scholarships.
  2. Penn is a need-blind institution for citizens and permanent residents of the US, Canada, and Mexico. This means your ability to pay DOES NOT factor into admissions decisions!
  3. Your financial aid package is entirely grant-based, which means it’s made up of work-study earnings and scholarships that you don’t have to pay back. It covers 100% of your demonstrated need.

To learn more, check out the Student Registration and Financial Services website directly.

How is Aid Determined?

Financial aid at Penn is awarded based on financial need. This is calculated as the difference between Penn’s cost of attendance and the amount your family is expected to contribute toward the overall cost of your education each year (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, school supplies, transportation, and an allowance for personal expenses.

Learn more about how aid is determined at Penn.

Financial Aid for Your Four Years

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 so we can best assess and meet your current level of need!

Our Partners

Penn seeks to build a student body of highly talented individuals. We believe 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 we aim to support highly talented students who may come from low-income, or underserved backgrounds.

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. QuestBridge scholars who enroll at Penn have access to Penn’s local chapter, which strives to foster a stronger community among scholars throughout the University.

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 specific Philadelphia 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 their students so that they may enroll, thrive, and graduate.

Our Financial Aid Office is Here to Help!

We know understanding your financial aid eligibility is an important part of planning your future. We also know it can be a little overwhelming to navigate. Dedicated financial aid counselors are standing by to help. Please contact the SRFS Student Service Center with your questions!