Lifting the Burden of School Loans

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To widen access to Penn, the University will replace loans with grants for students of families with annual incomes less than $50,000, and at the same time is increasing its undergraduate financial aid budget by $6.3 million. Penn currently devotes more than $78 million of its operating budget to financial aid.

“By eliminating loans for low- and middle-income students, our financial-aid program now enables students from every family income level to enroll at Penn,” President Amy Gutmann announced. This move will “ease [students’] financial concerns, not only throughout their education but also after graduation, enabling them more freedom to choose the most satisfying careers.”

The highest-need students will each receive grant aid of more than $45,000 in the coming school year to cover tuition, fees, room and board, and incidental expenses. About 40 percent of freshmen receiving financial aid will have their need met without a loan.

“With this initiative,” Gutmann added, “Penn becomes the first major research university to fund the majority of its financial aid from its operating budget to eliminate loans for low- and middle-income students.” (Other institutions with similar programs fund the majority of financial aid from endowment income.)

Total undergraduate charges for tuition, fees, and room and board will increase 5.25 percent, to $43,960, for the 2006-2007 academic year.

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