Grants and Scholarships

An overview of the various sources of graduate and undergraduate grant funding, which does not need to be paid back.

Undergraduate Grants and Scholarships

Like other Ivy League schools, Penn undergraduate aid is entirely need-based. The University does not award scholarships based on academic or athletic merit. Penn is committed to meeting your full demonstrated need for eight academic semesters with grant-based aid.

To be eligible for federal aid, you must file a FAFSA, make satisfactory academic progress, not be in default on a Federal loan, and not owe a refund on a Federal Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). International students are generally not eligible for federal funding.

To be eligible for institutional funds, you must complete a CSS Profile and the Penn Financial Aid Supplement (PFAS), as well as submit the required federal income tax return information.

Penn Grant is the foundation for many financial aid packages and is funding that Penn has decided to invest in you to meet your financial need. Penn Grant is a need-based institutional grant and is available to all traditional undergraduate students for up to eight academic semesters.

A named scholarship results from the generous gifts of Penn alumni and friends who have chosen to help an undergraduate student finance their Penn education. If you have a Named Scholarship on your financial aid notice (i.e. Ben Franklin Endowed Scholarship) that means a donor is directly supporting your time at Penn. Some scholarships are assigned because of specific criteria that you meet (your hometown, your major, etc.). Named scholarships are all need-based and the eligibility criteria is the same as Penn Grant.

Students receiving named scholarships are invited to a special event during New Student Orientation that explains the Named Scholarship Program in greater detail. You will be asked to write a short thank you note to your donor each year, and you may be invited to an annual reception either on campus or in New York City to meet your scholarship donor.

If your financial aid notice lists a grant from your home state, this means you are eligible for a state grant based on the data you provide on your FAFSA. Not all states award grants to students studying out of state, and each state has its own set of criteria. Please check with your state of residence for more information.

Residents of Pennsylvania may be eligible to receive a grant from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).  Students must submit the FAFSA before PHEAA’s deadline and complete the State Grant Form. For more information visit the PHEAA State Grant Program website.

If you are a resident of the states of Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, or West Virginia, you must apply for a state grant by submitting your FAFSA before your state’s deadline. Vermont residents must complete a separate Vermont grant application. Eligibility for these grants is based on your FAFSA. University Grant will not be available to replace state grant funds if you miss the deadline.

This is a grant funded by the federal government and is based on your financial need as determined by your FAFSA and the funding availability of the institution.

Pell Grants are funded by the federal government and are based on your financial need as determined by your FAFSA.

These awards from Penn funds are offered annually to high school seniors who are Philadelphia residents and who attend schools in Philadelphia or contiguous Pennsylvania counties. The scholarship amount varies according to financial need as determined by Penn and is renewable for returning students if the recipient continues to demonstrate financial need. Click here for more information.

The Maguire Foundation provides last-dollar scholarship support to up to five students in each incoming class for four years based on financial eligibility and academic standing. 

Students who receive outside scholarships (i.e., scholarships awarded from non-governmental sources outside the University) will see those scholarship reflected in their financial aid notice. Many Penn students pursue outside scholarships. Click here for more information about how we factor outside funding into your financial need and how to report outside scholarship funding.

Graduate Grants and Scholarships

Each of Penn's 12 graduate and professional schools administers their own financial aid program. Depending on your academic program, your award may include institutional grant funding if available, as well as federal or private loans. Some programs also award work-study funding. 

To be eligible for graduate aid, you must submit a FAFSA and complete any other application requirements.

At Penn, each of the 12 graduate and professional schools provides limited assistance in the form of grants. Some schools award grant funding based on finance need, and others award funding based on academic or professional merit. Contact your school for information on its policies and application procedures for grants and scholarship funding.

Depending on your program, there are many outside scholarship resources available to graduate students at Penn. Outside organizations use their own criteria to award their funding, and we encourage you to seek out these funding opportunities. Your school may have specific recommendations for outside funding sources you can explore.