Penn Announces Continued Commitment to Affordability

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Media Contact: | | October 17, 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania announced today that it remains firmly committed to making a Penn education affordable for students from all economic backgrounds regardless of the uncertain economic times.

“The founder of the University of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin, once commented that an investment in education pays the best dividends,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said. “His perspective came during a period of history when an emerging nation also faced turbulent times.”

“The current volatility in the markets and the overall uncertainty of the economy has all families, regardless of background, concerned about their financial security, but prospective Penn undergraduate students can be assured of our commitment to a loan-free education at one of the world’s premier teaching and research universities.”

“Penn values the talent, engagement and rich diversity that students from a broad range of backgrounds bring to campus,” Eric J. Furda, dean of admissions, said.

“At this time of economic stress and uncertainty, it is more important than ever for Penn to reaffirm its commitment to affordability,” Bill Schilling, director of financial aid, said.

This commitment is reflected in Penn’s basic principles and policies:

• All Penn undergraduate students eligible for financial aid receive no-loan packages, regardless of family income.
• Their needs will be met with grants and/or work-study opportunities. This policy allows students to either completely avoid debt for their undergraduate education or to use their eligibility for federal loans to help offset their family contributions.
• A need-blind admissions policy means students are accepted based on academic and other strengths, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Applying for aid does not adversely affect an applicant's admission decision.
• Almost 55 percent of all Penn undergraduates receive some form of financial assistance.
• Penn meets 100 percent of each student’s determined financial need for all of the undergraduate years.
• If a family’s situation changes at any time, whether from one year to the next or during an academic year, Penn will review the student’s eligibility for financial aid.
• In addition to its traditional financial aid-programs, Penn is committed to working with all families, aided or not, to help them find ways to meet their contributions.

Additional information regarding the affordability of a Penn education is available at http://www.sfs.upenn.edu/paying/paying-pro.htm.
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