Penn Trustees approve 2019-20 financial aid budget and tuition

College Hall

At its meeting today, the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees approved a 3.9% increase in tuition for the coming year, while also approving a record $247 million undergraduate financial aid budget, an increase of 4.5% percent and the largest financial aid budget in Penn’s history.

Since Amy Gutmann became Penn’s president in 2004, increasing the financial aid budget has been a top priority, with the University awarding more than $2 billion in undergraduate aid to more than 19,000 students. 

Through its signature grant-based aid program, Penn commits to meeting each family’s full demonstrated need with a financial aid package consisting entirely of grants and work-study funding. Penn’s financial aid program supports its philosophy that a world-class education should be affordable and accessible to talented students from all financial backgrounds. Currently, 46 percent of Penn’s undergraduate students receive grant-based financial aid packages, with an average of $53,943 in funding—more than the cost of tuition. 

To maintain Penn’s world-class academic programs, campus, and student services, undergraduate student charges will increase by 3.9 percent for 2019-2020 to $51,156 for tuition, $6,614 for fees, $10,600 for housing, and $5,590 for dining. 

“Each year, Penn furthers its commitment to accessibility through its ever-growing financial aid initiatives,” said MaryFrances McCourt, vice president for finance and treasurer. “Penn’s institutional grant funding—combined with donor-funded endowments, federal funds, and state funds—makes a transformative difference in the lives of our students.”   

“Over the past year, Penn has greatly enhanced its commitment to highly aided students with new initiatives designed to close the achievement and experience gap for first-generation and low-income students. At the same time, we remain deeply proud of the financial aid we offer students from middle- and higher-incomes families. We assess each student as an individual and build a package custom to their personal financial circumstances,” she said.   

Since establishing a grant-based financial aid program in 2008, Penn has increased its financial aid budget by more than 150 percent, averaging 8 percent growth annually—more than twice the growth rate of total charges. Today, Penn is the largest U.S. university with need-blind admission and grant-based financial aid for undergraduates. Students with family incomes less than $65,500 and typical assets receive financial aid packages that cover tuition, fees, room, and board. Students from families with incomes up to $130,000 receive average aid packages that are greater than tuition. 

Penn’s grant-based financial aid program is aligned with the inclusion goals outlined in the Penn Compact 2020 Presidential Initiatives, which include a comprehensive effort to raise additional funding for the endowment to support undergraduate financial aid as well as graduate and professional student aid. 

Additional information on undergraduate financial aid at Penn is available at