Penn Sets Tuition for 2010-11 Year; Boosts Financial Aid Budget in Tight Economy


PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania today announced one of its smallest tuition increases in 42 years -– 3.8 percent -– while reaffirming its commitment to its innovative no-loan financial-aid program. Penn will expand its financial-aid budget for the coming year by $15 million, or 11 percent, to $149 million.

In 2009-2010, the number of aided undergraduates jumped by 10 percent, and aid expenditures have grown by 19 percent.

“The effects of the lingering recession remain deep and painful, with millions still without work as many struggle to meet their day-to-day obligations,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said. “This is why we remain so committed to no-loan financial-aid packages for our dependent, undergraduate students and why we will continue to respond to changes in families’ financial circumstances as we did throughout this past challenging year.”

Beginning in September 2009, Penn substituted grants for loans for all aid-eligible undergraduates. The average grant for those students is $32,548.

Total undergraduate charges for 2010-2011 -- tuition, fees and room and board –- will increase by 3.9 percent. Undergraduate tuition will increase to $36,208 from $34,868; room and board will increase to $11,430 from $11,016; and fees will increase to $4,306 from $4,102.

The Budget and Finance Committee of Penn’s Board of Trustees approved the tuition increase yesterday. The full board approved it today.

In 2009-10, 42 percent of Penn’s undergraduate students received need-based grants from Penn. Most undergraduates from families with incomes of less than $175,000 are receiving some level of grant assistance, and the typical student with family income of less than $40,000 receives grant aid that covers tuition, room and board.

Penn’s financial-aid budget has increased 71 percent since 2004, the first year of Gutmann’s presidency.

Penn is one of fewer than 50 private institutions in the United States that both admits academically qualified students without regard to their families' ability to pay and meets the full need of all undergraduates. Of the handful of other colleges and universities that have adopted no-loan policies in their financial-aid packages, Penn has the largest undergraduate enrollment at more than 10,300.

Increasing educational access remains a priority of Penn’s historic $3.5 billion Making History campaign, which has raised $2.64 billion to date. The campaign includes a fundraising goal of $350 million for undergraduate student aid and another $323 million for graduate and professional student aid.

Additional information on undergraduate financial aid at Penn is available at