PHILADELPHIA -- Total undergraduate charges for tuition, fees, and room and board at the University of Pennsylvania will increase 5.4 percent for the 2005-2006 academic year, bringing the total cost of an undergraduate year to $41,766. The increase was approved today by the Board of Trustees.
At the same time, Penn announced enhancements to its financial aid programs that will affect approximately 1,250 students. Penn will increase its financial aid budget by an incremental $1.8 million over the previously planned increase of $5 million, with the funds targeted to help middle-income and low-income families. The specific initiatives include:
- Outside scholarships will supplement, rather than replace, Penn-funded aid;
- The allowance for incidental expenses for low-income students will increase;
- Grant will replace summer savings for low-income students.
"Tuition is a vital source of revenue at Penn, President Amy Gutmann said. "It provides the resources we need to recruit world-class faculty, support and enhance our academic programs and maintain our facilities and campus.
"Above all, however, we are committed to ensuring that all of our students -- no matter what their resources -- can afford a Penn education. By taking these additional steps to ease the financial burden on low-income and middle-income students and their families, we are moving forward to make financial aid at Penn ever more robust."
Tuition and general fees for undergraduate students for the 2005-2006 academic year will increase 5.4 percent to $32,364; average room and board charges will increase 5.4 percent, to $9,402. A portion of the proposed housing increase will create a pool of funds to support necessary capital investment in the College Houses.
Penn will continue its longstanding need-blind admissions policy, which admits students based on academic achievement, without regard for their ability to pay. Penn's need-blind admissions policy guarantees that those students who matriculate with a demonstrated financial need will receive financial aid packages that meet the full extent of the student's need for a full four years.
The University is projecting an increase of 9.3 percent in its 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 percent to 80 percent, while the average loan as a percentage of total aid has declined from 22.9 percent to 11.2 percent. The average freshman grant increased by 51 percent during this same period.
Roughly 40 percent of the University's aided freshmen will have their need met without any expected student loan.
Penn will continue, for the sixth 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.