Between the 91 different majors to choose from as an undergraduate and 136 research centers and institutes, studying at the University of Pennsylvania will afford you nearly endless options as long as you first investigate how to pay for your time at Penn. From Perelman to Wharton, Penn students enjoy a top-ranked education and join a network of more than 300,000 alumni after graduating.
How much does it cost to attend Penn?
Like most private elite schools, the price tag is not insignificant. For undergraduates attending Penn in the 2015-2016 school year, tuition cost $49,536, with the total cost of attendance estimated to be $66,800 for the year.
For Wharton MBA students, yearly tuition is quite a bit more, costing $70,870 in tuition and $100,454 per year for all-in expenses. Penn law students paid $55,300 for tuition and the full cost was just over $80,000. For Perelman medical students, the costs were $52,210 tuition and $82,469 for the total cost of attendance. Now multiply these annual costs by the number of years you would expect to be in a given program.
What kind of financial aid does Penn offer?
While undergraduates cannot rely on merit to get them Penn scholarships (Penn only grants awards based on need), the university does meet 100% of demonstrated financial need.
The sticker price on a private school like Penn is high, but in many cases students will end up paying the same as they would to attend a public school due to generous need-based aid packages.
In addition to federal Pell grants and state grants, the Penn Grant is a major source of meeting financial need. Other grants offered by the university include University Named Scholarships, which are funded by private endowments by alumni and friends of Penn, and the Mayor’s Scholarship, awarded to residents of Pennsylvania who attended high school in a Pennsylvania county.
Wharton students, while offered less assistance in terms of grants, are considered for a number of graduate fellowships. In addition to dozens of corporate and foundation-sponsored fellowships, there are a number of additional types of fellowship.
Joseph Wharton Fellowships, for example, are the most general, awarded to students “with outstanding records of academic, personal, and professional achievements.” Howard E. Mitchell Fellowships cover the entirety of tuition for students from underrepresented backgrounds. In addition to financial assistance, these fellows join a powerful network of Mitchell Fellow alums and take part in leadership activities while at Wharton. Students in public or not-for-profit work will be considered for Social Impact Fellowships.
Unlike undergraduate and business students, Penn law students are eligible for merit-based scholarships. The Levy Scholars Program, for example, covers three years of tuition and fees, as well as facilitates mentorship relationships with faculty members who have similar interests as the students. The James Wilson Scholarship, named after Penn’s first law professor, awards between $60,000 and $75,000 in tuition assistance to students demonstrating exceptional leadership skills. Other law school scholarships include the Silverman-Rodin Scholars program, the Dean’s Scholarship, the Toll Public Interest Scholars Program, the CTIC Scholars Program, and the Teach For America Scholarship.
The Perelman School of Medicine similarly offers both need and merit-based scholarships, although merit-based grants are limited to 30 per year. These are awarded as Scholarly Awards, full-tuition scholarships that every admitted student is considered for. Need-based scholarships are also awarded based on FAFSA applications.
What kinds of extras should I expect to pay for at Penn?
Greek life is fairly popular in the undergraduate community at Penn, so you may want to be involved for the social and professional connections. But if you do partake, you might want to account the cost of fraternity or sorority membership, which can total thousands over the course of your four years at Penn.
If you plan to bring a car to campus, remember you’ll need to pay for gas, car insurance, and car payments if your car isn’t paid off in addition to the non-trivial parking fees. Many Penn students report not needing a car, particularly if you’re living on campus.
Lastly, remember that the climate in Philly is anything but temperate, so plan to spend on clothes for every season if you come from somewhere more mild.