Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.31
Liaison Natalie Walker
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Pennsylvania
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 4.00 Natalie Walker
Sustainability Manager
Penn Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Percentage of need met, on average, for students who were awarded any need-based aid :
100

Percentage of students graduating without student loan debt:
73

Percentage of entering students that are low-income:
12.80

Graduation/success rate for low-income students:
92.40

A brief description of notable policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The Penn Compact 2022 affirms inclusion as a means toward the essential ends of higher education: equalizing opportunity, educating leaders for all sectors of society, and enriching the experience of all members of the University community.

The cornerstone of Penn’s initiative to increase access for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds is its grant-based financial aid program. Since 2004, the University has awarded $2 billion in undergraduate aid to more than 22,000 students. Forty-six percent of undergraduate students received grant-based financial aid in 2018-19, with an average package of $54,301.

The Power of Penn Campaign is expanding Penn’s robust undergraduate grant-based financial aid program and growing graduate and professional student aid to minimize the burden of debt. Penn is building spaces like the New College House West that unite people with common interests under one roof, and empower first-generation college students to achieve their full potential through the Penn First Plus initiative.

Penn First Plus is the University of Pennsylvania’s hub for efforts to make the campus more inclusive of all forms of diversity, specifically at the intersections of social and economic background. Specifically, we expand access to the Penn experience for currently enrolled undergraduates who are the first in their families to pursue a bachelors degree in the United States of America or at an institution with the resources and opportunities of a highly selective private research university. Students who identify as lower-to-middle income are also part of our community of scholars.


A brief description of notable policies or programs to support non-traditional students:

The First-Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) Program opened in in 2016 at the Greenfield Intercultural Center (GIC), part of the Division of the Vice Provost for University Life. The FGLI Program supports students’ academic, personal, and social transition needs while facilitating community-building and a sense of belonging.

The Vice Provost for University Life's (VPUL) Equity and Access Programs nurture the academic aspirations of hundreds of local community members each year, from middle school through graduate study. Youth-based programs such as Talent Search, Upward Bound, and Upward Bound Math Science help to guide promising local middle and high school students toward college. Adult-based programs, including the Educational Opportunity Center and Veterans Upward Bound, assist adult community members seeking to return to education or extend their current educational experiences. These support services help students enhance learning in core academic subjects, manage time, find financial aid, meet mentors, and feel more confident about their abilities. Penn’s Equity and Access Programs provide community members a pipeline of opportunities for educational success.

The Provost Summer Mentorship Program (SMP) is an innovative four-week program geared to inspire first generation underrepresented students in Philadelphia to view higher education as an achievable goal. Students attending this program have the opportunity to participate in five of Penn's professional schools (Dental Medicine, Nursing, Engineering, Medicine, and Law). Over the course of the program, high school students gain first-hand exposure to an academic discipline and the opportunity to explore a variety of career opportunities. Since 2009, 255 SMP alumni (STEMMP included) out of 276 SMP alumni are either currently enrolled at or have graduated from a post-secondary institution. Since 2009, 21 total SMP alumni (STEMMP included) are either currently enrolled at or have graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. More information on the program can be found here: https://www.vpul.upenn.edu/eap/smp/


Estimated percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:
46.20

Website URL where information about the institution’s accessibility and affordability initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The University of Pennsylvania is a major research institution, with over 3,000 degrees granted annually from twelve professional and academic schools at the Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate levels. Penn is committed to reducing emissions and energy use, as stated in the 2019 "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." This submission documents Penn's efforts during the FY20 year and compares them to the FY09 baseline year which corresponds with the University's "Climate and Sustainability Action Plan 3.0." The submission relies on information related to the main, academic, West Philadelphia campus, but to more fully document efforts across the Penn system, information related to the Morris Arboretum and New Bolton Center has also been referenced and noted as outside the boundary in descriptions. The information is used to enrich examples of University efforts and is not intended to be the primary justification for credits. The responses for each of the questions and sub-questions are drawn from University materials, both internal and public documents. Each section notes the website where the information can be found.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.