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Penn Expands Undergraduate Financial Aid and Penn First Plus Initiative

Penn sets the gold standard in higher education with the largest grant-based financial aid program in the country. And now the University’s longstanding commitment to access will reach even further. At the meeting of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania on March 2, an expansion was announced of the University’s undergraduate financial aid program and the Penn First Plus initiative. Starting with the 2023-2024 academic year, students whose families make $75,000 or less will be eligible for financial aid packages that fully cover tuition, fees, housing, and dining with grants and work-study funds. Prior to this announcement, the income limit for this type of financial aid package was $65,500.

This expansion of Penn’s undergraduate financial aid program will make the path to Penn possible for hundreds of additional students each year. As student and family need increases, so do Penn’s efforts to not only meet that need, but to deliver resources and opportunities that amplify the Penn experience.

These students will also have access to a cadre of supports and resources through Penn First Plus and Student Financial Aid, including:

  • Summer internship and research opportunity funding
  • Grant funding to cover the cost of Penn’s health insurance plan
  • A free laptop computer for incoming first-year students
  • Stipends to cover the cost of food during Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks while dining halls are closed
  • Free academic regalia as seniors
  • Grant funding to cover tuition for summer courses

Students in the Penn First Plus community also have a home in the Shleifer Family Penn First Plus Center, a dedicated physical space in the heart of campus. There, students can access comprehensive resources from across the University, meet with Penn First Plus professional staff, and connect with experts in academic support, financial aid, wellness, and career services.

“Penn provides grant aid to more undergraduate students than any other college or university in the country with a grant-based financial aid policy,” said Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Mark Dingfield. “Given the large number of students who benefit from the program, these enhancements to Penn’s financial aid program represent a significant budgetary commitment. This would not be possible without the generosity of alumni and a shared commitment by Penn’s leadership to make this an ongoing priority.”

Together, we have done much to build an even more diverse and inclusive Penn, but our work is not done. To learn how you can continue to help us provide the critical resources that ensure all of our students’ success, contact Maryann O’Leary Salas, Executive Director of Development for Undergraduate Financial Aid & Penn First Plus at 215-898-4551 or