PHILADELPHIA â€“ The University of Pennsylvania has been named one of the most affordable private colleges in the United States.
The ranking was issued by Kiplingerâ€™s Personal Finance and lists â€śthe private universities and liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding quality with affordability.â€ť Penn was ranked sixth among the nationâ€™s top 100 private universities.
Since 2004, Penn President Amy Gutmann has increased the Universityâ€™s undergraduate financial aid budget by more than 100 percent, and launched a no-loan policy in 2008 that meets the full, demonstrated financial need of every undergraduate student. As a result, the average aided Penn freshman now pays less in tuition than a similar student in 2005.
â€śCost should not be a barrier to a Penn education,â€ť Gutmann said. â€śIt is our responsibility to help educate future generations of leaders, regardless of economic background. As students and their families experience mounting financial needs, we are committed to keeping Penn affordable to every undergraduate who enrolls.â€ť
Penn is one of the few universities in the nation to practice â€śneed-blindâ€ť admissions â€“ students are considered for admission without consideration of their or their familiesâ€™ ability to pay.
A statement from Kiplingerâ€™s said the survey â€śassesses quality according to measurable standards, including the percentage of students who are admitted out of those who applied, the test scores of incoming freshmen, the ratio of students to faculty members and the four- and five-year graduation rates.
â€śThis year, Kiplinger adjusted its criteria to better reflect the issues affecting families. Now, the rankings give more weight to the four-year graduation rate â€” a measure of the collegeâ€™s ability to deliver academic support and of the overall cost to families -- and to colleges that keep student debt down.â€ť