University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania


Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, the University of Pennsylvania is the nation’s oldest university and a member of the Ivy League. The university offers undergraduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Engineering & Applied Science, the School of Nursing and the Wharton School (Business). Penn is a popular choice among high achieving students who are the first in their families to attend college. Family income is not considered in the admissions process, making it need-blind for all citizens and permanent residents of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The University is committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated financial need with our all-grant aid packages. More than 270 years after its founding, it remains faithful to Franklin’s spirit of limitless intellectual inquiry, and his adage that "The great aim and end of all learning is service to society."

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Pre-College Summer Experience Pre-Freshman Program (PFP) and Pennsylvania College Achievement Program (PENNCAP)

The Pre-Freshman Program, a rigorous four-week long residential summer academic experience, gives invited participants comprehensive support services that begin with PFP and continue throughout the students’ undergraduate experience. PFP participants build lasting bonds of friendships through social and cultural activities. PFP is hosted by PENNCAP, an umbrella organization which offers coaching, counseling, academic support and assistance to Penn students throughout the year so that they can more confidently move towards their personal and academic goals

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Multicultural Preview Programs

Penn offers two overnight fly-in programs for students, the Penn Early Exploration Program (PEEP) for prospective students in the Fall, and the Multicultural Scholars Program (MSP) for admitted students in the Spring. Both programs seek to showcase Penn’s academic and cultural vitality for students who may otherwise not have the chance to visit campus. Penn covers all costs for students admitted into PEEP and will cover transportation costs for any eligible students during MSP.

Scholarship & Financial Aid All-Grant Financial Aid for Qualifying Students

Penn’s All-Grant Program provides students with a financial aid award that includes grants and a work-study job. There are no loans included in a student’s financial aid award. All undergraduate students eligible for financial aid at Penn receive these all-grant aid packages, regardless of family income level.

Scholarship & Financial Aid Partner College with QuestBridge & the KIPP Foundation

Penn partners with the QuestBridge program to offer students from low-income backgrounds the opportunity to attend Penn on a full scholarship. In addition, Penn’s partnership with the KIPP Foundation, which is KIPP’s first Ivy League partnership, will grant enrollment to a projected 12-15 KIPP students per year who meet admissions requirements. Through Penn’s need-blind admissions policy, the University will address the demonstrated financial need of all KIPP students who enroll.

Student Diversity

  • 10,173
  • 51/49
  • 13%
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 20%
  • 7%
    Black or African American
  • 10%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 44%
  • 4%
    Two or more races
  • 3%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 12%

Student Success

  • 97%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 98%
    Six-year graduation
  • 95%
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 58%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 1,458
    Full-time faculty
  • 309
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 6:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Business, Bioengineering, History, International Relations, Psychology, Computer Science, Nursing

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Center for Hispanic Excellence: La Casa Latina, Greenfield Intercultural Center, LGBT Center, Makuu: Black Cultural Center, Multicultural Greek Council, Natives at Penn, Pan Asian-American Community House, and various culturally-focused arts and academic clubs


Cost of Attendance

  • $51,464
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • n/a
    Required Fees
  • $14,536
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $214,000,000
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $49,815
    Average aid package
  • $17,737
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 14%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 47%
    Students with financial need
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 100%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 100%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 38,918
    # of applicants
  • 9%
  • n/a
    Average HS GPA
  • 33
    ACT Composite
  • 680—770
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 700—800
    SAT Math
  • n/a—n/a
    SAT Writing
  • n/a
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 01/05
    Regular application closing date
  • $75
    Application Fee
  • $75
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 11/01
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date