The Essential Info About the University of Pennsylvania Financial Aid Program

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The Ins and Outs of the University of Pennsylvania Financial Aid Program

University of Pennsylvania (Penn) was established in 1740, and it is America’s first university. Attending this Ivy League school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a dream come true for many ambitious students. If you are one of them, sky-high tuition may be a reason to give up on your dream. What you should know is that Penn offers plenty of financing options to help you pay for your education.

Check out this easy-to-read guide and find out everything you need to know about the University of Pennsylvania financial aid program—including how many years you can receive financial aid.

If you’ve already applied for aid but got a disappointing offer, and let us help you appeal the University’s decision.

What Types of Financial Aid Can You Apply for at the University of Pennsylvania?

The University of Pennsylvania offers five basic types of financial aid to its students, and those are:

  1. Grants and Scholarships
  2. Student and Parent Loans
  3. Work-Study
  4. Summer Funding
  5. Emergency Funding

Grants and Scholarships

As an undergraduate student, you can apply for the programs listed in the table below:

Type of AidIndividual Programs
  • Penn Grant
  • State Grant
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Named Scholarship
  • Mayor’s Scholarship
  • Maguire Scholarship
  • Outside Scholarships

Keep in mind that Penn undergraduate aid is completely need-based—the University does not award scholarships based on athletic or academic achievement.

When it comes to graduate students, each of the twelve graduate and professional schools at the University of Pennsylvania administers its own financial aid program. Some schools award grants based on demonstrated need, while others award them based on academic or professional achievement.

Student and Parent Loans

Both undergraduate and graduate students can apply for loan programs to finance their education. Some of these programs are based on need, and others are based on a credit check.

Check out for which loans you can apply as an undergraduate or graduate student:

Undergraduate StudentsGraduate Students
  1. Federal Direct Loan
  2. Federal Direct PLUS Loan
  3. Nursing Student Loan
  4. Student Aid Loan
  5. Private Alternative Loans
  1. Federal Direct Loan
  2. Federal Direct Grad PLUS Loan
  3. Health Professions Student Loan
  4. Private Alternative Loans

Bear in mind that loans are a primary source of financial aid for graduate students.


While Federal Work-Study is available only for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, the Penn Work-Study program is available for other students who may not qualify for federal funds.

Students taking part in work-study programs can work either on- or off-campus. The income they earn helps them pay for indirect costs of attendance (travel, personal expenses, and course materials).

Summer Funding

To qualify for federal aid during the summer, you must be enrolled at least half-time. If you want to attend a summer course, you should fill out the application available on the Financial Aid Forms page. You can also apply for a summer internship at a variety of offices across campus.

Emergency Funding

If you have a financial emergency that affects your ability to pay for your studies, notify Student Financial Services about it as soon as possible. You may be able to request a reevaluation or even receive an emergency loan or grant.

How To Qualify for Financial Aid

To qualify for federal funds, you must:

  • Complete a FAFSA application
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Not owe a refund on a Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) or Federal Pell Grant
  • Not be in default on any federal loan

Note that International students are not eligible for federal funding.

To be eligible for institutional aid, you must:

  • Complete a CSS Profile
  • Complete the Penn Financial Aid Supplement (PFAS)
  • Submit the federal income tax return information

How To Apply for the University of Pennsylvania Financial Aid

Both undergraduate and graduate programs have their own requirements for completing a financial aid application.

Undergraduate students are divided into three groups:

  1. Prospective students
    1. U.S. Citizens and permanent residents
    2. Canadian students
    3. International students
    4. Undocumented U.S. residents/DACA recipients
    5. Accelerated Nursing Program students
  2. Current students
    1. U.S. Citizens and permanent residents
    2. Canadian students
    3. International students
  3. LPS students
    1. Degree candidates
    2. Non-degree students

To find out what the application procedure looks like for each of the three groups and their subgroups, visit the Applying for Financial Aid page.

To apply for financial aid, graduate students need to check out the rules for the school they attend:

  1. Annenberg School for Communication
  2. College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS)
  3. Graduate School of Education
  4. Law School
  5. Perelman School of Medicine - MD Program
  6. Medical Master's and Certificate Programs
  7. School of Arts and Sciences
  8. School of Dental Medicine
  9. School of Engineering and Applied Science
  10. School of Nursing
  11. School of Social Policy & Practice
  12. School of Veterinary Medicine
  13. Weitzman School of Design
  14. Wharton School

The Awarded Amount Is Too Small—What Now?

If Penn awarded you a ridiculously small amount of money or even declined your request for aid, don’t give up straight away. You have the right to ask for more aid!

Avoid wasting your time on the tedious task of writing an appeal letter, and let DoNotPay do it for you in minutes!

All that’s left for you to do is complete these three simple steps:

  1. Choose the Appeal for More Financial Aid product
  2. Answer a few questions from our chatbot

Once you’ve provided us with all the important information regarding your application, we will generate a personalized financial aid appeal and send it to the University of Pennsylvania Financial Aid Office.

Are you interested in multiple colleges? Check out their financial aid programs!

We have prepared numerous guides that provide you with important information, such as when to apply for financial aid and how much aid you can get at a variety of universities and grad schools, such as the ones below:

University of California, Santa Cruz Financial AidPurdue University Financial AidRutgers University Financial Aid
MIT Financial AidNew York University Financial AidColumbia University Financial Aid
University of California, Los Angeles Financial AidPrinceton University Financial AidCornell University Financial Aid
University of California, Davis Financial AidUniversity of California, Berkeley Financial AidYale University Financial Aid
Stanford University Financial AidHarvard University Financial AidUniversity of California San Diego Financial Aid

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