Undergrad fees rise slightly

Next year's 3.9 percent increase in total undergraduate charges is the smallest in three decades, according to Penn President Judith Rodin. Tuition, fees, room and board will run undergrads $30,490.

The figure accelerates the downward trend for tuition and fee hikes at Penn. "Our 3.9 percent increase is slightly below last year's average family income growth rate of approximately 4 percent across the nation," Rodin said.

The $30,490 figure, approved by the Trustees at their March meeting, includes tuition and fees of $23,524, up 4.5 percent from this year; average room rates of $4,560, up 3 percent; and $2,676 for a standard 15-meal plan, same as last year.

Rodin credited the smaller increases to Penn's restructuring efforts. "Our continuing efforts to reduce costs and limit price increases are clearly working," she said.

The Trustees also approved enhancements to Penn's financial aid program aimed at keeping it among the country's most competitive. The key enhancement is the creation of new "Trustee Scholarships" that provide students full financial support with no loans. The scholarships, which will be awarded to the most academically gifted students who show financial need, are patterned on the Mayor's Scholarships offered to outstanding Philadelphia high school graduates.

Originally published on April 2, 1998