Undergraduate Cost of Attendance

Information about the annual cost of attendance for traditional undergraduate students. 

Understanding Cost of Attendance

2021-2022 Academic Year

The cost of attendance represents the cost of attending Penn for an academic year, and includes both direct costs that appear on your student bill such as tuition, fees, housing, and dining, and indirect costs that are not billed by Penn, such as books and supplies, transportation, and an allowance for personal expenses. Students should consider their cost of attendance as their budget for each academic year. Penn also uses the cost of attendance to help determine a student’s eligibility for financial aid. 

Penn lists three costs of attendance for the undergraduate schools. The first applies to students living in on-campus housing with a meal plan, the second applies to students living off-campus in a building unaffiliated with the university, and the third applies to students living at home with their families, learning remotely or commuting to campus.

An asterisk (*) indicates a billed expense in each scenario. All other expenses are unbilled and are used to determine financial aid eligibility and to inform your personal budgeting. 

  Living On Campus Living Off Campus Living With Family
Tuition $54,652* $54,652* $54,652*
Fees $7,058* $7,058* $7,058*


$9,632 $0


$4,870 $1,948
Books and Supplies $1,358 $1,358 $1,358
Transportation $922 $984 $1,566
Personal Expenses $2,004 $2,004 $2,004
Total Budget $83,298 $80,558 $68,586

2020-2021 Academic Year

  Living On Campus Living Off Campus Living With Family
Tuition $53,166* $53,166* $53,166*
Fees $6,876* $6,876* $6,876*

Fall: $4,320
Spring: $5,507

$9,632 $0

Fall: $2,597
Spring: $2,885

$4,870 $4,870
Books and Supplies $1,358 $1,358 $1,358
Transportation $922 $984 $0
Personal Expenses $2,004 $2,004 $2,004
Total Budget $79,635 $78,890 $68,274

Cost of Attendance Categories

Tuition and fees are fixed costs. These mandatory fees include the general fee, the educational technology fee, and the student health clinical fee. 

The housing allowance is based on the standard room rate in the University College Houses. Students are required to live in on-campus housing during their first two years of enrollment. Students paying rent off-campus have a housing allowance to cover nine months of living expenses. Please click here for additional information and guidance on how financial aid applies to off-campus living expenses. 

The dining allowance represents the cost of one of the first-year dining plans through Penn Dining. Students are required to participate in a meal plan during their first two years of enrollment. For students who live off-campus, an allowance for food purchases is included. 

The books and supplies allowance provides for the expected annual cost for textbooks and supplies. 

The transportation allowance provides for standard local commuting.

The personal expenses allowance assumes expenses for clothing, recreation, etc. For students living at home with family, this allowance can be used for Internet access. 

Additional Considerations

While the cost of attendance tends to be standard for all Penn students, there are additional expenses that may be added to an individual's cost of attendance. Below are some common additions to the cost of attendance.

Students who do not have health insurance, whose plans do not provide coverage in the Philadelphia area, or whose plans do not meet Penn’s criteria for alternative insurance will automatically be enrolled in the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP). This cost will be added to your cost of attendance. Click here to read more details about the plan on the Student Health Service’s website. Please contact SFS if you would like to request additional financial aid to cover the cost of PSIP. 

For students from the U.S., we add a separate travel allowance to account for two round-trips home. The amount is standardized by region and based on your permanent address:

  • Eastern/Central: $1,336

  • Mountain/Pacific: $1,438

  • Alaska/Hawaii: $2,474.

International students should speak to a financial aid counselor to determine their eligibility for travel funds. 

Population-Specific Costs

Because your cost of attendance is based on the number of courses in which you are enrolled, your cost of attendance will vary. Your cost of attendance will be based on the number of credits you are registered and enrolled for in a particular term. Most importantly, this will be based on LPS tuition rates. If you change your registration plans, please contact your assigned financial aid counselor or submit a revised registration form so we can adjust your cost of attendance and aid. These changes may also impact your financial aid eligibility. Please note: LPS students are not eligible for Penn’s grant-based financial aid program. 

Your cost of attendance will reflect the expenses of a single student living in Philadelphia. Expenses incurred based on marital status cannot be considered in your cost of attendance. Childcare costs may be considered. Speak to a financial aid counselor for specific requests.  

The off-campus housing allowance is based on a survey of off-campus residences and accounts for a room in an average two-bedroom apartment over a nine-month period.  It does not include funding for a security deposit or upfront first/last-month rent payments.

The off-campus dining allowance is based on information about average grocery costs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, plus a minimal campus meal plan that allows students to eat two meals a day on campus.

If you receive financial aid and choose to live off-campus, your financial aid award will be based on the off-campus cost of attendance. Please click here for additional information and guidance on how financial aid applies to off-campus living expenses.