Paying for a Penn Education
Cost of Attendance
Academic Year 2019-2020

The cost of attendance represents the cost of attending Penn for an academic year, and includes both direct costs that appear on your student bill such as tuition, fees, housing, and dining, and indirect costs that are not billed by Penn, such as books and supplies, transportation, and an allowance for personal expenses. Students should consider their cost of attendance as their budget for each academic year. Penn also uses the cost of attendance to help determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid.

Penn lists three separate costs of attendance for the undergraduate schools. The first applies to students living in on-campus housing with a meal plan; the second applies to students living off-campus in a building unaffiliated with the university; and the third is for students who live at home with their families and commute to class each day.
Undergraduate Cost of Attendance
Budget Items Living On Campus Living Off Campus Living at Home With Family
Tuition $51,156 $51,156 $51,156
Fees $6,614 $6,614 $6,614
Housing $10,600 $9,632 0
Dining $5,590 $4,774 $1,910
Books and Supplies $1,358 $1,358 $1,358
Transportation $922 $964 $1,556
Personal Expenses $1,946 $1,946 $1,946
Total Budget $78,186 $76,444 $64,540

Tuition and fees are fixed costs. These mandatory fees include the general fee, the educational technology fee, and the student health clinical fee.

The housing allowance is based on the standard room rate in the University College Houses. To stay within the allowance, be conscious of your room selection and choose it by the Penn Housing deadline. If you choose to live in a room priced at the higher rate, SFS can help you access loan funding to cover the cost difference. Residential freshmen are required to live in on-campus housing during their first year of enrollment.

The meal allowance represents the cost of one of the first-year dining plans through Penn Dining. If you live at home with your family, an allowance for meals away from home is included. Freshmen are required to participate in a meal plan during their first year of enrollment.

The books and supplies allowance provides for the expected annual cost for textbooks and supplies.

The transportation allowance provides for standard commuting. For students from the U.S., we add a separate travel allowance to account for two round-trips home. The amount is standardized by region and based on your permanent address: Eastern/Central: $1,336; Mountain/Pacific: $1,438; Alaska/Hawaii: $2,474. International students should speak to a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for travel funds.

The personal expenses allowance assumes expenses for clothing, recreation, etc.

See below for information specific to certain populations or circumstances:

Students Living Off-Campus
The off-campus housing allowance is based on a survey of off-campus residences and accounts for a room in an average two-bedroom apartment over a nine-month period. The off-campus dining allowance is based on information about average grocery costs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plus a minimal campus meal plan that allows students to eat two meals a day on campus. If you receive financial aid and choose to live off-campus, your financial aid award will be based on the off-campus cost of attendance. Please click here for additional information and guidance on how financial aid applies to off-campus living expenses.

Students Living at Home with Family (Commuters)
Housing costs are not included in the cost of attendance for commuter students because of the existing housing arrangement with their family. The dining allowance assumes two meal per day away from home.  

Student Health Insurance Requirement
Students who do not have health insurance, whose plans do not provide coverage in the Philadelphia area, or whose plans do not meet Penn’s criteria for alternative insurance will automatically be enrolled in the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP). This cost will be added to your cost of attendance. Click here to read more details about the plan on the Student Health Service’s website. Please contact your financial aid counselor if you would like to request additional financial aid to cover the cost of PSIP.

College of Liberal and Professional Studies Students
Because your cost of attendance is based on the number of courses in which you are enrolled, your cost of attendance will vary. Your cost of attendance will be based on the number of credits you are registered and enrolled in a particular term. Most importantly, this will be based on LPS tuition rates. If you change your registration plans, please contact your assigned financial aid counselor or submit a revised registration form so we can adjust your cost of attendance and aid. These changes may also impact your financial aid eligibility. Please note: LPS students are not eligible for Penn’s grant-based financial aid program.

Married Students and Students with Dependents
Your cost of attendance will reflect the expenses of a single student living in Philadelphia. Expenses incurred based on marital status cannot be considered in your cost of attendance. Childcare costs may be considered. Speak to a financial aid counselor for specific requests.

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