Penn Trustees approve 2024-2025 undergraduate charges and financial aid budget

The University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees has approved a 3.9% increase in tuition and a record $311 million undergraduate financial aid budget for the coming year.

Penn’s College Hall.

At its meeting today, the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees approved a 3.9% increase in undergraduate tuition for the coming year, while also approving a record $311 million undergraduate financial aid budget, a 4.5% increase over the prior year.

Undergraduate student charges for 2024-2025 total $87,860, with tuition of $60,920, fees of $7,766, a standard room rate in the residence halls of $12,640, and a meal plan charge of $6,534. The accompanying growth in the financial aid budget offsets the increase in cost for students with demonstrated financial need. This academic year, 46% of students received need-based financial aid, significantly offsetting their costs based on their demonstrated financial need, without loans.

Measured increases in tuition and fees reflect the increasing annual costs of delivering a Penn education, such as employing a world-class faculty and staff, expanding interdisciplinary academic programs, offering the largest no-loan undergraduate financial aid program of its kind, and accounting for inflationary cost increases across many operating expense categories.

“Each year when assessing increases in undergraduate charges, we grow our financial aid support at an even higher rate, keeping costs stable for families with demonstrated need,” said vice president for Budget Planning and Analysis Trevor Lewis.

Last year, Penn announced that students whose families make $75,000 or less (with typical assets) would now receive financial aid packages that cover at least tuition, fees, housing, and dining. As a result of this policy, more than 200 additional students received larger financial aid packages and access to a suite of Penn First Plus supplemental initiatives, including first-year laptop grants and access to summer internship and research opportunity funding. Students whose families make up to $140,000 receive financial aid packages that cover at minimum the cost of tuition and often much more based on their specific demonstrated needs.

“Even as the cost of tuition increases over time, the average net cost for an aided student to attend Penn has held relatively steady since launching our grant-based, no-loan financial aid program in 2008,” said vice president for finance and treasurer Mark Dingfield. “In fact, when adjusted for inflation, that net cost has actually decreased by about 26% in constant 2008 dollars.”

The University’s undergraduate financial aid program meets 100% of demonstrated need without loans, relying on grant funds and work-study, supporting its philosophy that a Penn education should be attainable for talented students from all financial backgrounds. The average financial aid package this year is $66,764—more than the cost of tuition and 75% of the entire cost of attendance, which includes billed expenses like tuition, fees, housing, and dining, and unbilled expenses like books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. In 2008, when Penn’s grant-based aid program was first launched, the average package covered 57% of the total cost of attendance.

A combination of measured annual cost increases and generous financial aid has made it more possible than ever for students to graduate from Penn with no educational debt. Only 19% of financial aid recipients borrow loans today, compared to 76% in 2008.

The University’s student resources extend well beyond financial aid. Financial Wellness @ Penn, a financial literacy program, aims to help students feel empowered to set financial goals, make informed financial decisions, and improve their financial behaviors. A team of nearly a dozen peer educators offer workshops and personal counseling appointments, all geared toward enhancing student financial well-being.