Financial Aid at UPenn

November 12, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Financial Aid at UPenn

With the help of grants and work-study funds, UPenn’s grant-based undergraduate financial aid program allows students to graduate debt-free while meeting all of their documented financial needs.

Each graduate and professional school at the graduate level provides program-specific financial aid at UPenn as well as loan guidance for both federal and private loans.

How much financial aid does UPenn give?

How much financial aid does UPenn give? All undergraduate financial aid at UPenn is given out according to need. Grants are not given at UPenn based on academic or athletic achievement. With financial aid packages that are fully made up of grant funds and work-study, UPenn helps families from all socioeconomic backgrounds by covering demonstrable financial needs. Students from diverse backgrounds can now afford a UPenn education, thanks to this.

No matter your financial situation, UPenn is dedicated to making education accessible and affordable for all students. What is their process, then?

Pile books and a calculator placed on a table.

First off, UPenn accepts students who are citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States, Canada, or Mexico without regard to financial necessity. This implies that when they decide whether to admit you, they won’t take your financial situation into account. It’s as simple as that: If UPenn accepts you, they will take care of your financial needs.

Second, you don’t have to repay any of the monies in your financial assistance package because it is totally grant-based and consists of work-study money and scholarships.

Expected Family Contribution

Every package of financial aid at UPenn includes the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). According to UPenn’s package philosophy, a student’s education is an investment that they, their family, and the university all make together. Because of this, each student receiving financial aid has an EFC and is required to contribute in some way to the costs of their education. The EFC may be quite low for families who are in the greatest need of financial assistance.

Please be aware that your student account’s billed expenses will differ from the Expected Family Contribution. Some of your EFC may be best used on planned living expenditures because UPenn financial aid packages are based on the whole cost of attendance, which includes unbilled costs like books and supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Make sure that when making plans for the academic year, you are taking the total cost of attendance into account.

Grant-Based Financial Aid Packages

UPenn compares your EFC to the Cost of Attendance for your academic program, which includes both billed and unbilled costs such as books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. Billed costs include tuition, fees, housing, and meals. Your demonstrated financial need is the difference between your Cost of Attendance and your Expected Family Contribution.

Your demonstrated financial need is fully met by UPenn through grants and work-study opportunities. Money from a variety of sources, such as institutional UPenn Grants, endowed donor scholarships, or state and federal funding, may be included in your package. International students financial aid packages will only consist of institutional grants because they are not eligible for state or federal support.

Each year, Penn InTouch will send you a financial aid notification that includes a description of the different parts of your package, your cost of attendance, and your eligibility for financial aid.

What are the different types of financial aid at UPenn?

Multiple fund types and sources are awarded by Student Financial Services to satisfy your proven financial need.

Your award will probably include institutional assistance, such as a UPenn Grant or an endowed donor scholarship if you are a first-year student. In some situations, depending on your eligibility and financial need, they may involve federal or state financing. Additionally, you can get a work-study award from a federal or institutional source. Federal and private loans are available to students who decide to take out loans.

Unidentified person typing on a calculator.

If possible, institutional grant funding from your academic program may be included in graduate student awards. Federal or private loans make up the majority of graduate financial help. Some programs might also allow for work-study eligibility. Contact a representative from your school for detailed information about the aid procedures for your graduate program. So, what are the different types of financial aid at UPenn? AdmissionSight listed them below.

Grants and Scholarships

Like other Ivy League institutions, financial aid at UPenn is based on need. Scholarships are not given by the University based on performance in sports or the classroom. UPenn is dedicated to providing grant-based help to cover your entire demonstrated need for eight academic semesters.

You must submit a FAFSA, demonstrate satisfactory academic progress, be exempt from financial default on any federal loans, and have no outstanding Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) refunds to be eligible for federal help. Federal money is typically ineligible for international students.

View an unidentified person using a laptop on a table with a notebook.

You must submit the necessary information from your federal income tax return along with a CSS Profile, the Penn Financial Aid Supplement (PFAS), and other requirements in order to be eligible for institutional monies.


A common element of financial aid programs is work study. It can often be used to generate revenue that aids in paying for indirect costs of attendance like personal expenses, course materials, and travel throughout the academic year. It is earned as part of a permitted job you undertake, either on- or off-campus. Federal Work-Study assistance may be available to Americans and legal permanent residents.

For students who might not be qualified for federal grants, such as international students, UPenn Work-Study funding is available.

The highest amount you are permitted to make during the academic year is indicated in your financial aid letter as a dollar amount. When classes are in session, you are only allowed to work a total of 20 hours per week, and when classes are not in session, you are only allowed to work 40 hours per week. You can choose to turn all or a portion of your Work-Study award into a loan if you don’t want to work or need to access the money you can’t earn by working. You can get help with this from your financial aid advisor.

Female students looking out the window while thing about Cornell deadlines

You can look through job postings published by the Office of Student Employment if you are given a Work-Study award.

Work-study positions must be given to students after an interview. You will be paid weekly for the hours you work depending on the timesheet you and your supervisor complete. Each work-study position has different duties and various compensation rates.

Student and Parent Loans

All requests for Federal loans with loan periods ending in Summer 2022 must be sent no later than Friday, July 22, in order for loan processing to be completed by the conclusion of the Summer 2022 semester.

Student Loan Central. You can get access to a number of federal, institutional, and private loan programs through Student Financial Aid to help pay for your education. Both undergraduate and graduate students can apply for loans, and before deciding which loan program is right for you, SFA can help you understand the terms and limitations that apply to each form of a loan.

Emergency Funding

It is crucial that you notify Student Financial Services as soon as possible if you are dealing with an unanticipated financial crisis that affects your capacity to pay for your academic expenditures. You might be able to submit a request for reevaluation if your financial situation has fundamentally altered. A financial aid counselor will then assess your aid package for modifications. If your financial situation is more urgent, you can be qualified for emergency grants or loans from a number of sources.

How is financial need at UPenn assessed?

How is financial need at UPenn assessed? To ascertain your financial need, Student Financial Services conducts a thorough evaluation of your family’s financial situation.

Three students using a laptop in a table.

UPenn examines the financial data you provide via the FAFSA, CSS Profile, Penn Financial Aid Supplement, and other supporting financial papers to ascertain your demonstrated financial need. This evaluation results in the calculation of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Your expected family contribution (EFC) is the annual sum that you and your family are expected to put toward the overall cost of your education.

Federal and Institutional Methodologies

Each family that submits a fully-completed financial assistance application to UPenn will have their EFC determined using both federal and institutional methodologies. The federal government evaluates federal methodology and computes an EFC from the data you provide on your FAFSA to help determine your eligibility for need-based federal funding like the Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), and Federal Work-Study Program.

The completion of the FAFSA and other supplemental documents required by each state agency determines eligibility for state grant funds. By state, this varies. The state agency determines eligibility, which is then provided to the educational institution.

Your eligibility for extra-institutional grant funds beyond any possible federal or state funding is determined by UPenn using an institutional approach. Using the data you submit on the CSS Profile and the Penn Financial Aid Supplement, the institutional technique provides a larger view of your family’s financial stability.

The following elements are taken into account by UPenn when calculating your Expected Family Contribution:

  • Family income
  • A percentage of parent and student assets (varies by source)
    • This includes the value of the current home, investments, another real estate, business or farm value, and savings
  • Taxes paid
  • Family size
  • Number of siblings enrolled in college
  • Other taxable or nontaxable income
  • Special circumstances (i.e., severe family health issues, changes in the marital status of biological parents, death in the family, etc.)

Non-Custodial Parents

When parents are divorcing or living apart, UPenn anticipates that both parents will contribute to the cost of the student’s education. UPenn requires financial information from both parents, which is taken into account when calculating the overall Parent Contribution, in order to be eligible for institutional grant-based financing.

On the College Board website, the non-custodial parent must fill out the Non-Custodial Parent form. Extenuating factors can be documented in a letter of appeal by families, including the date of the separation or divorce, the history of child support payments, the frequency of contact, and any other relevant details. Families should also provide any third-party paperwork that is readily available from individuals like a high school guidance counselor, lawyer, or clergy member.

Student Contribution

The institutional methodology for the Student Contribution assumes that each year you will make a contribution of money you have saved from your summer jobs as well as a share of any assets you disclose. The standard summer savings expectation (SSE) for each grade level is listed below.

  • First-year: $3,000
  • Sophomore: $3,200
  • Junior: $3,200
  • Senior: $3,200

Affording Your EFC

It should be noted that UPenn anticipates families to fund their Expected Family Contribution by utilizing all of their available alternatives. Some families opt to use a federal or private loan to cover all or a portion of their EFC, while others decide to budget their spending utilizing the Penn Payment Plan for the duration of the academic year.

How is financial aid for international students?

How is financial aid for international students? There are few financial assistance options available for international undergraduate students, and UPenn admits students based on need for those who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States, Canada, or Mexico. The application for institutional need-based financial aid at UPenn must be submitted at the same time as the application for admission to UPenn by international students. International students are ineligible to seek financial aid later in their undergraduate program if they are not admitted with financial aid in their initial year.

Nevertheless, UPenn’s grant-based financial aid policy fully covers accepted overseas students, and UPenn pledges to provide all grant funding and work-study to satisfy all of their demonstrated needs, just like it does for American undergraduate students. Over $10 million in financial help is given out by the university each year to students who are neither nationals nor legal permanent residents of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

Any financial aid received will be in the form of institutional money because international students typically aren’t eligible for federal funding. This covers work-study and grant money. International students who are interested in borrowing money should talk to a financial aid counselor and will probably need to find a co-signer who resides in the United States.

International students are supported by millions of dollars in undergraduate aid grants each year from UPenn. International students who are accepted as beneficiaries of financial aid will get need-based help that fully satisfies their established needs, just like a student from the United States. Candidates whose families have the financial ability to cover tuition fees are recommended not to apply for financial help because need does enter into judgments about foreign admissions.

What is the application process for financial aid at UPenn?

What is the application process for financial aid at UPenn? AdmissionSight listed the following important things to think about if you want to apply for financial aid and are worried that your family won’t be able to pay the whole cost of attending UPenn for four years:

  • Citizens and permanent residents of Canada must complete UPenn’s Financial Aid Application for Canadian Citizens and submit copies of the student’s and parents’ Canadian tax returns.
  • International students, including those from Mexico, should follow the Checklist for International Students on the Student Financial Services website.
  • UPenn will not admit a financial assistance applicant for whom they cannot give aid. This means that some candidates who would otherwise be admitted will not be.
  • International applicants must disclose their projected need for financial aid at the time of application if they anticipate needing it at any point during their four-year course of study.

We hope that the above information answers your question, “What is the application process for financial aid at UPenn?”

Tax Information

Be aware that as an international student, a portion of any grant money you receive from UPenn may be liable to U.S. taxes. Any taxes UPenn has paid on your behalf will appear as a charge on your student account. Take note that extra grant cash from UPenn cannot be used to pay these taxes. By submitting a yearly tax return, you might be able to recuperate part of this funding.

Financial Assistance for Undocumented Residents

Undergraduates who have been accepted and have DACA status or who do not have legal status will receive support from UPenn.

Regardless of citizenship, if a candidate can pass UPenn’s stringent admission requirements and is accepted, the aid program at UPenn will satisfy the admitted student’s entire demonstrated need as established by Student Financial Services.

When submitting an application for admission, applicants should also mention whether they want to seek financial aid. If an applicant is later admitted to UPenn without having previously indicated their plan to apply for aid, they will not be eligible for need-based institutional support for any period of their UPenn enrollment.

As a private university, UPenn uses its own institutional funds to give financial help to qualified international students and non-citizens who meet certain requirements. While attending UPenn, a non-citizen student may apply for federal financial aid if they later become a citizen of the United States or an eligible non-citizen.

There’s no need to hesitate anymore if you are enthusiastic about entering UPenn. We at AdmissionSight can help you with every step of the admissions process and guarantee a service that would greatly benefit you. Contact us today to learn about our professional, reliable, and trusted consulting services.

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