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Highly Aided Students
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Penn is proud of its commitment to meet every undergraduate student’s demonstrated financial need with a grant-based financial aid package. As part of the Penn First Plus initiative, we make a special commitment to make Penn accessible and affordable for students with the highest financial need.
These eligible students receive financial aid packages that cover tuition, fees, housing, and dining with grants and work-study funds. They also have access to a wide range of additional Penn First Plus funding opportunities detailed below.
How Does Penn Define Highly Aided?
Highly Aided students are identified based on their financial aid eligibility. Starting with the 2023-2024 academic year, Penn expanded eligibility criteria for this population. A student is now eligible to receive this type of financial aid package if their family has $75,000 or less in income (with typical assets). These eligible students will also have a Parent Contribution of $2,000 or less.
Highly Aided first-years, sophomores, and juniors are eligible to receive up to $4,500 from SRFS to support unpaid or underpaid summer internship and research opportunities.
Click here to read more about eligibility and application timelines.
SRFS waives the summer savings expectation for all Highly Aided students. This translates into a direct increase in grant funding available at the start of each term.
SRFS appoints financial aid counselors to work specifically with Highly Aided students.
Highly Aided students who are participating in the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) offered through the Student Health Service will receive additional grant to cover this charge in full. Please allow at least two weeks for the additional grant funding to post to your student account after the charge has posted.
Incoming Highly Aided first-years are eligible to receive laptop computer funding from Penn. SRFS works with the Penn Bookstore to select standard computer offerings and communicates details directly to incoming students during the summer.
Highly Aided students who will remain on campus are invited to participate in meal programs during breaks when on-campus dining options are not available. Students will receive an email from SRFS before each break with instructions on how to participate.
Please click here to read more about the current break meal program.
SRFS partners with Business Services to cover the cost of academic regalia for graduating Highly Aided students. Students will receive an email from SRFS with more information about this benefit in early spring of their senior year.
Highly Aided Students will receive federal and/or institutional grant funding for up to 2 undergraduate course units for the Summer of 2023. Students will not receive grant funding for graduate course units. Living expenses will not be covered by grant funding over the summer. Please speak with the Student Service Center regarding loan funding to cover living expenses.
Highly Aided Students can apply their existing financial aid package to a semester- or year-long study abroad program. Highly Aided Students are eligible to receive a mixture of grant and loan funding for a study abroad program during the fall, spring, or summer semesters.
Students with unexpected or urgent financial need should first consult with their financial aid counselor, who may recommend they submit an application for emergency funding.
SRFS uses grant funding to cover some of the fees that are charged to your student account, including the laboratory and tech fees associated with certain courses, and the New Student Orientation fee.
Currently, enrolled Highly Aided international students are eligible to receive funding to support round-trip travel between Penn and their home country once each year. Currently, enrolled students should complete the International Travel Assistance Application as early as possible prior to their anticipated travel.
If you are an incoming international student in the fall of 2024 please reach out to admissions for assistance.
Highly Aided first-year international students receive funding for the SEVIS fee and travel to campus. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions contacts incoming students to coordinate logistics, and SRFS provides funding through your financial aid package. This funding also applies to Canadian and Mexican students.
If you are a Highly Aided student with questions about any of these programs, you may contact the Highly Aided Counseling Team.