Total Undergraduate Charges at the University of Pennsylvania will Increase 4.8 percent for 2003-2004

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Media Contact:Phyllis Holtzman | | (215) 898-8721March 21, 2003

PHILADELPHIA  -- Total undergraduate charges for tuition, fees, room and board at the University of Pennsylvania will increase 4.8 percent for the 2003-2004 academic year from $36,212 in 2002-2003 to $37,960 in 2003-2004.  The increase was approved today by the Board of Trustees.

Tuition and general fees for undergraduate students for the 2003-2004 academic year will increase 4.8 percent, from $27,988 to $29,318; average room and board charges will increase 5.1 percent, from $8,224 to $8,642, yielding an increase in total charges of 4.8 percent.

Total charges at Penn for the 2003-2004 academic year are in line with those at other institutions in the Ivy League, based on charges already announced at Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth and Yale.

"Despite the challenges we are facing in these uncertain economic times,  we have remained committed to keeping tuition increases as low as possible, while at the same time continuing to offer our students an education that is among the very best available," said Penn President Judith Rodin.  "Furthermore, our need blind admissions policy maintains our commitment to keeping a Penn undergraduate education accessible to the best and brightest students in the nation and in the world regardless of their economic circumstances."

In the coming year, Penn will continue its longstanding policy to admit students based on academic achievement, without regard for their ability to pay, Rodin said.  For those students who matriculate with a demonstrated financial need, Penn creates financial aid packages that meet the full extent of the students' need for a full four years.

The University is projecting an increase of 7.5 percent in its need-based undergraduate grants and scholarships in the coming year, Rodin said.

Since 1997-1998, the percentage of the average freshman aid package met by grants has increased from 67.7 percent to 76 percent, while the average loan as a percentage of total aid has declined from 22.9 percent to 13.8 percent.  The average freshman grant increased by 39 percent during this same period.

Roughly 30 percent of the University's aided freshmen will have their need met without any expected student loan.

Penn will continue, for the fourth year, the Summer Savings Waiver Program, which provides grants to offset the normal summer self-help work contribution requirement of students who participate in unpaid or low-paying community service or career-related activity over the summer.

Penn continues to experience exceptional demand from the nation's top high school graduates, receiving, 18,797 applications for 2,385 places in its undergraduate program.

Penn's resources are dedicated to achieving the goals of "Building on Excellence: The Leadership Agenda," the University's guidelines for excellence through 2007.

These include:

  • Continuing recruitment of top faculty in social science, physical science, information science and the humanities;
  • Building upon Penn's special strengths to develop academic priorities that will include urbanism, the life sciences, technology innovation, a global strategy and innovative, interdisciplinary cultural programs and curricular development.
  • Sustaining excellence in all undergraduate education programs, through continued enhancements to Penn's innovative College House undergraduate residential living-learning program, in which undergraduate houses are led by resident faculty members and academic support services and student-led co-curricular programs are organized and provided in residence;
  • Defining the future of education by adapting Penn's pedagogical methods to the learning needs of current and future generations.
  • Developing further the physical, financial, operational and entrepreneurial capacities to sustain the academic enterprise.
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