University of Pennsylvania expands financial aid resources to include new Student Service Center.
In its latest move to create holistic, wrap-around services to support students navigating issues related to financial aid, billing, student records, and course registration, the University of Pennsylvania has opened the Student Service Center. The center serves as a “one-stop shop” for a variety of student support services, with financial aid counseling staff rotating through the space, including two staff members who are specifically dedicated to undergraduate students with the greatest levels of financial need, known as “highly aided” students. The Service Center also partners with the Financial Wellness @ Penn program to offer one-on-one counseling with peer educators trained in issues related to personal finance and features a new veteran’s lounge, a first-of-its-kind office to serve the nearly 300 veteran and military-affiliated students taking advantage of VA benefits at Penn.
Since Amy Gutmann became Penn’s president in 2004, increasing the financial aid budget has been a top priority, with the University awarding more than $2.6 billion in undergraduate aid to more than 24,000 students. The University has used these resources to expand aid for families across income levels. Penn’s grant-based undergraduate financial aid program meets 100% of demonstrated financial need with grants and work-study funding, making it possible for students to graduate with a world-class undergraduate degree debt-free.
Penn’s Undergraduate Financial Aid Commitment
- For students with family incomes less than $65,500, Penn provides financial aid packages that cover tuition, fees, room, and board. In keeping with the holistic approach to supporting students, these packages also may come with additional layers of support, including coverage for health insurance costs, funding to purchase a new laptop, and access to funding for summer internship and research experiences.
- To further expand aid for middle-income families, students with household incomes of up to $140,000 a year (and typical assets) now receive financial aid packages covering at least the cost of tuition.
- For students with family incomes greater than $140,000 who are eligible for aid, the average aid package is typically greater than half of the cost of tuition.
- Penn practices need-blind admissions for students who are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. Financial aid policies relating to international students differ from those described above and can be read here.
The Student Service Center is a physical representation of the University’s commitment to access and affordability, and its modern and comfortable design creates a welcoming space for students to receive support on the financial issues that matter to them most. “These students are navigating complicated issues of budgeting, beginning to develop credit histories, or responding to financial demands of families who rely on them for income. These issues are not necessarily intuitive, and take practice and consideration to learn to balance,” says MaryFrances McCourt, senior vice president of finance and treasurer. “The Student Service Center is a place where students can not only get help navigating the financial aid process, but also begin to hone these skills and receive the guidance that will help them create a strong foundation in financial wellness.”