Total Undergraduate Charges at the University of Pennsylvania Will Increase 4.6 Percent for 2002-2003

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Media Contact:Phyllis Holtzman | | 215-898-8721March 21, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Total undergraduate charges for tuition, fees, room and board at the University of Pennsylvania will increase 4.6 percent for the 2002-2003 academic year from $34, 614 in 2001-2002 to $ 36, 212 in 2002-2003. The increase was approved today by the Board of Trustees.

Tuition and General Fee for undergraduate students for the 2002-2003 academic year will increase 4.3 percent, from $26, 630 to $27,788; average room and board charges will increase 3 percent, from $7,984 to $8, 224; and a new $200 recreation fee will be instituted, yielding an increase in total charges of 4.6 percent.

Total student charges at Penn for the 2002-2003 academic year are in line with those at other institutions in the Ivy League, based on charges already announced at Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

"We have done everything possible to keep the rate of tuition increase as low as possible, while at the same time dramatically striving to enhance the quality of the educational program that makes Penn the school of choice for our students," Penn President Judith Rodin said. "Furthermore, our need blind admissions policy maintains our commitment to keeping a Penn undergraduate education as affordable as possible and available to the best and brightest students in the nation and in the world regardless of their economic circumstances."

In the coming year, she said, Penn will continue its longstanding policy to admit students based on academic achievement without regard for their ability to pay.

"We are continuing our commitment to reduce the debt burden on our students by increasing the number of grants offered to students and reducing loans," Rodin said. "In fact, we are projecting an increase of 7.8 percent in Penn need-based undergraduate grants and scholarships in the coming year."

Since 1997-1998, the percentage of the average freshman aid package met by grants has increased from 67.7% to 75.4%, while the average loan as a percentage of total aid has declined from 22.9% to 14.6%. Roughly 30% of the University's aided freshmen will have their need met without any expected student loan.

Penn will continue, for the third year, the Summer Savings Waiver Program, which provides grants to offset the normal summer self-help work contribution requirement of students who participate in unpaid or low-paying community-service or career-related activity over the summer.

Penn continues to experience exceptional demand from the nation's top high school graduates, receiving 18, 770 applications for 2,385 places in its undergraduate program.

"We have a number of key initiatives under way to enhance the undergraduate experience for our students," Rodin said. These initiatives include:

  • the continuing recruitment of top faculty in social science, physical science, information science, and the humanities;
  • the opening this coming academic year of the Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, a 150,000 square foot state-of-the-art recreation and personal fitness facility;
  • the ongoing renovation of all of Penn undergraduate residence halls, including the completion this Summer of a four-year $75 million renovation of the Quadrangle and the commencement this Summer of a four-year $80 million renovation program for Penn "high rise" residences;
  • expansion of Penn innovative network of undergraduate student "hubs" with the addition next year of Weiss Technology House, complementing the existing "hubs" -- Kelly Writers House, Civic House, and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships;
  • continued enhancements to Penn innovative College House undergraduate residential living-learning program, in which undergraduate houses are led by resident faculty members and academic support services and student-led co-curricular programs are organized and provided in residence;
  • the opening of Huntsman Hall, a new 300,000 square foot academic facility for the Wharton School that will house classes, study halls, and activity spaces for Wharton undergraduate programs as well as the Wharton MBA programs;
  • the opening of Levine Hall, a 40,000 square foot facility which will double the size of Penn computing and information science program, including new spaces for student research and a new cyber lounge.