Increases in Total Student Charges, Undergraduate Tuition Lowest in Three Decades at The University of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA Total student charges at the University of Pennsylvania will increase 3.4 percent for the 2000-01 academic year, the lowest percentage increase in more than three decades, according to an announcement today (March 23) by President Judith Rodin.

This 3.4 percent increase raises total student charges from $31,902 to $32,996 for next year. Breaking down this number, tuition and fees for undergraduate students in FY '01 will increase 3.9 percent, from $24,230 to $25,170; average room and board 2.0 percent, from $7,672 to $7,826.

The increase continues a three-year trend in which rates of increase in student charges at Penn are the lowest in three decades. Note: The increase in total student charges was 3.7 percent for FY '00, with a 4.2 percent increase in tuition and fees; it was 3.9 percent for FY '99, with a 4.5 percent increase in tuition and fees.

"Once again, we have done everything possible to limit the rate of increase for both tuition and fees and total student charges for our undergraduates," Dr. Rodin said. "We are committed to continue to work to keep a Penn undergraduate education as affordable as possible and available to the best and the brightest students in the nation and around the world regardless of their economic circumstances."

She said that total student charges at Penn for the 2000-01 academic year are expected to be among the lowest in the Ivy League, based on charges already announced at Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

Dr. Rodin also said that with the demonstrated support of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, "we are able to maintain our need-blind admission policy," continuing to provide financial assistance to those students who demonstrate need throughout their undergraduate experience.

She said that Penn's undergraduate, need-based grant budget for the 2000-01 academic year will likely exceed the $54 million budgeted this year, reflecting " ...our continued commitment..." to enrolling the most talented students without regard to their financial circumstances. More than 40 percent of the undergraduates at Penn received grant support from the University last year.

Dr. Rodin said that she and the trustees remain "...enthusiastically committed..." to Penn's campaign to raise $200 million to further enhance its endowment for undergraduate financial aid, one of the goals of Agenda for Excellence, the University's strategic plan. She said that well over $100 million has been raised to date.

"The trustees," she said, "continue to send a very clear, strong and positive message to present and future Penn students: This institution will continue to recruit and enroll the finest students, and no student will need to decline the opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the Penn experience for financial reasons."

Dr. Rodin added that Penn has received 18,806 applications for undergraduate admission for the class of 2004, an increase of 6.5 percent over the 17,666 applicants a year ago.

"Students and their parents are responding very positively to the scope and breadth of the educational opportunities afforded undergraduate students at Penn," Dr. Rodin said. "And our applicant pool is exceedingly broad-based." She said that extraordinary students, from throughout the United States and around the world, are continuing to apply to Penn in record numbers.

"We continue to hold the line on our costs, and we are maintaining our financial aid program as one of the nation's best," Dr. Rodin said, adding that both work to make possible a commitment "to continue to keep Penn's doors open to the nation's most qualified students."