Special Policies
Students Living Off-Campus
Off-Campus Housing Policy
Students who live off-campus (e.g. in an apartment or sorority/fraternity house) receive financial aid based on an assessment of off-campus living expenses in the Philadelphia area.
To-Do List for Off-Campus Residents
Students on financial aid often choose to live off-campus. Because you will be responsible for paying your landlord directly, it is especially important that you understand your budget and plan accordingly. You can view the standard off-campus undergraduate cost of attendance here.
Review the terms of your lease and ask yourself the following questions:
  • Is your lease for nine months or 12 months?
    • Financial aid packages are for the academic year only—for most students this means nine months of housing
  • Have you budgeted for the initial costs of renting?
    • Keep in mind that financial aid does not cover:
      • Application fees
      • Costs that must be paid in advance, such as security deposits or first/last month’s rent
      • Moving expenses
  • Have you budgeted for charges aside from monthly rent?
    • Utilities
    • Purchasing furniture
    • Renters insurance
    • Maintenance fees

Student Account Refunds
If your financial aid (grants, scholarships, and student loans) is greater than your billed tuition and fees, you will be eligible for a student account refund that you can apply toward your housing expenses. Read more about student account refunds here.

For more information about living off-campus, please visit Penn Off-Campus Services.


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