International Student FAQ

Answers to common questions about financial aid for international undergraduate students. 

The University commits over $10 million a year in financial assistance to students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States, Canada, or Mexico.

If your family has the financial means to afford educational costs, we recommend not applying for Penn-sponsored financial aid, as the offer of admission for non-citizens is directly linked to the ability to meet expenses. If your family cannot afford the total cost of Penn, then you should apply for financial aid. Please note you will be in competition for very limited funds. In recent years, we have offered an average of 45 aid awards to admitted international freshmen, and one or two to admitted international transfer students.

Some candidates whom Penn would like to admit will be declined because we have exhausted our aid budget.

Penn Admissions cannot reevaluate your case once a final decision has been made based upon the information you provided in your application. This is the only way to ensure fairness in the selection process.

Like other Ivy League universities, Penn does not offer aid based on academic or athletic merit. Penn’s financial aid policy is need-based. Therefore, financial aid is based only on your family’s financial need, as determined by Student Financial Services. 

Penn is committed to meeting 100% of a student's demonstrated need with grants and work-study funds. This includes admitted international students who have applied for financial aid. Students who receive financial aid are assured of continued support throughout their four-year undergraduate program if they continue to demonstrate need.

Financial need is calculated by subtracting your Expected Family Contribution from your Cost of Attendance (the sum of tuition and fees, room, meals, books, and an allowance for personal expenses). The cost of a Penn education and a candidate’s financial need is calculated in U.S. dollars.

You should apply by the deadline listed on the Financial Aid Application Checklist for Prospective International Students. An early application will ensure notification about your financial assistance with your letter of admission.

International students can only apply for financial aid during the initial admissions process. If you foresee a need for financial aid at some point during your undergraduate career, you must apply for it as an incoming freshman or transfer applicant.

We consider international applicants for financial aid under both our Early and Regular Decision programs, as well for Transfer students.