Penn's Grant-Based Policy

Penn’s Grant-Based Program provides students with a financial aid award, up to Financial Need, that includes grants and a work-study job for eight academic semesters. There are no loans included in a student’s financial aid award.  Eligible dependent undergraduate students at Penn receive these grant-based aid packages.

This grant-based program represents Penn’s strong commitment to increase access for qualified students from all economic backgrounds.


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Q: Does the policy apply to every Penn student?

A: The policy applies to dependent undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Wharton School, who have not already received a baccalaureate degree.

Independent students, for whom no parental contribution is expected, will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Because there is no expected parental contribution, independent students are expected to assume a somewhat higher share of their expenses than dependent students, and may continue to have need-based loans. The policy is in effect for the standard undergraduate career of eight academic year semesters.

Q: Will I be allowed to take out loans even if a loan is not included in my aid package?

A: Loans will still be available, at the student's discretion, and if eligible, to substitute for work-study and expected summer savings.

Note: Federal loans can only be used to cover allowable cost of attendance expenses. Private loans have more flexibility.


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