Undergraduate Financial Aid COVID-19 FAQs

All information about Penn’s response to COVID-19 can be found on the University’s website: https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/. Specific information for students and families is on: https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/students-families/student-faq. Both webpages will be frequently updated, and we encourage you to visit often for updates.

Departments across Penn formed a rapid response team to provide comprehensive support and resources to highly aided undergraduates, international students, and other impacted populations who needed to move from campus and transition to remote learning: https://penntoday.upenn.edu/news/extraordinary-measures-penn-services-help-students-critical-needs-leaving-campus.

The shift in University operations will not change student’s financial aid package for the spring 2020 semester.

Students currently employed in a work-study job—both on- and off-campus—may still submit and receive payment for their scheduled hours each week during a suspension of normal operations.

Penn will provide all undergraduate students whose financial aid packages include a summer savings expectation with a supplemental COVID-19 Summer Savings Grant for the 2020-2021 academic year. This increase in financial aid applies to both incoming and returning aided undergraduate students and will replace the entire amount of a student’s summer savings expectation.

We understand that some students were unable to travel home for extreme personal reasons or because they live in an area that is under travel restrictions. These students were asked to complete a short application with their request, and international students from Level 3 countries and some highly aided students and students with special circumstances received approval to remain on campus.

International students can also access additional information at: https://coronavirus.upenn.edu/students-family/international-student-faq.

Gifts to help aided undergraduate students and their families during this time can be directed to the COVID-19 Special Response Fund for Undergraduates. This fund will be used to support emergency and ongoing financial needs for undergraduates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Undergraduate Emergency Financial Aid Fund is used to address the unexpected and unique needs faced by international undergraduate students, such as ongoing hardships related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating impact from the war in Ukraine. Support for this fund helps Penn ensure that our international undergraduates can seamlessly complete their studies while enduring extraordinary circumstances.

In this time of uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, we appreciate Penn alumni and friends who are interested in promoting job and internship opportunities to current students or more experienced Penn alumni who may be looking for new opportunities. We urge alumni and friends with such opportunities to post them on Handshake, Penn’s internship and job platform. Positions can be posted for free for opportunities in the U.S. and international locations. Simply register for an employer account by visiting: https://app.joinhandshake.com/employer_registrations/new. After creating an account, choose to connect with the University of Pennsylvania as one of your schools of interest. As soon as you request access to Penn through the platform, please send Penn’s Handshake administrator, Natty Leach (nleach@upenn.edu) a quick email so that we can go in and quickly approve your account. After your account is approved you will be able to post the job or internship in Handshake. Given the situation with COVID-19, we have seen many employers posting virtual or remote internship opportunities and would encourage you to consider this option if it is a possibility for your organization. We recommend including the word “remote” in the job title or job description so that it can be easily found via keyword search. Penn Career Services has created a guide that is designed to help students identify remote job and internship opportunities and provide them with tools to be prepared for remote work environments. If you would like to specifically promote your internship to first generation and/or lower income (FGLI) students at Penn please include the following line in your job description: “We especially encourage first generation and/or lower income (FGLI) students to apply for this opportunity.” Interested students will then be able to keyword search for such opportunities in Handshake and we can also promote it through other Penn channels. We will encourage students to indicate in their cover letters that they self-identify as having a first generation and/or lower-income background. Please note that we recommend that all employers seeking to recruit first generation and/or lower-income students for internships offer an hourly rate of at least $15 an hour.

You can also connect directly with students via QuakerNet (https://quakernet.alumni.upenn.edu). In QuakerNet, you can indicate that you are willing to share your expertise with current students in “Employment Information” on your profile. Please note that you will be asked for your PennKey in QuakerNet.