How to Get University of Pennsylvania Financial Aid and Loans

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As one of the Ivy League’s eight institutions, the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most prestigious and well-respected schools in the nation. According to The Princeton Review, it’s also one of the top universities when it comes to career placement.

But that reputation comes with a high price tag.

Cost of attending University of Pennsylvania
Tuition and fees $53,534
Room and board $15,066
Total cost (2017-18) $68,600
Average financial aid package for incoming freshmen (2016) $48,977
Approximate net cost (after aid) $19,600
Median debt after graduation $20,634
Sources:
University of Pennsylvania
College Scorecard
University of Pennsylvania college costs calculator

The FAFSA: Unlocking financial aid

Despite its high costs, there are many ways to pay for the University of Pennsylvania, including grants, scholarships, federal loans, work-study programs, and private loans.

If you want to attend the University of Pennsylvania but need help paying for it, your first step to getting financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA is a snapshot of your family’s income, family size, and how many people are in college. It’s what the government and schools use to determine how much you can afford to pay for your education. Most grant, loan, and scholarship programs require you to submit the FAFSA each year.

Grants for University of Pennsylvania students

Thankfully, the University of Pennsylvania financial aid program includes grants. Unlike student loans, which have to be repaid, grants are usually “free money,” which you almost never have to pay back.

The school’s policy is that financial aid awards will be in the form of grants and work-study jobs rather than student loans. The university has committed to meet 100% of all students’ demonstrated financial need without the use of loans for up to eight semesters of undergraduate study.

To be eligible for school grants, you must complete the FAFSA, continue to make satisfactory academic progress each year, and not be in default on a federal loan. For institutional grants, you must also complete the College Scholarship Service Profile and the Penn Financial Aid Supplement, and submit the required federal income tax return information.

The University of Pennsylvania issues “Penn Grants” to students from general school funds. The amount you’re awarded is dependent on your need.

Besides the Penn Grant, there are state and federal grants available, including the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

Scholarships for University of Pennsylvania students

Like grants, scholarships usually don’t need to be repaid. Plus, you can combine multiple scholarships and grants to offset your education costs, reducing the need for student loans.

The University of Pennsylvania offers the following scholarships:

  • University-named scholarships: Some alumni and school connections give financial gifts to the university for use as scholarships. All named scholarships are need-based, so they require you to complete the FAFSA to qualify.

  • Maguire Scholarship: Each year, the school selects up to five students in each incoming class to provide financial support that other aid didn’t cover.

  • Mayor’s Scholarship: The Mayor’s Scholarship is awarded to outstanding students who are residents of Philadelphia and who went to high school in Philadelphia or neighboring counties. If the student has a continued demonstrable financial need, the award can be renewed each year.

If you don’t qualify for any of these scholarships, it’s important to know there are other options. There are thousands of scholarships available that are offered by organizations and private companies. You can search for scholarship opportunities on sites such as Fastweb and Scholarships.com.

Federal and school work-study programs

If grants and scholarships aren’t enough to cover your total cost of attendance, a way to fill the gap is to take part in a federal or school work-study program.

In a work-study program, you’re awarded a set number of hours of paid employment, which you can use to offset your school expenses.

At the University of Pennsylvania, there is both a federal work-study program and a school program. The Penn Work-Study program is available for those who still have a financial need after receiving grants, scholarships, and federal subsidized student loans.

For more information about the work-study program and how to participate, contact the school’s Office of Student Employment.

Federal student loans

If you’ve exhausted your grant and scholarship options and still need help paying for school, federal student loans should be your first stop. Federal student loans tend to have lower interest rates and more generous repayment benefits than private loans.

Federal loans also offer unique perks, such as:

  • Income driven-repayment (IDR) plans: If you can’t afford your payments after graduation, you might be able to switch from a Standard Repayment Plan to an IDR plan. Under IDR, the loan servicer extends your repayment term to 20 to 25 years and caps your monthly payments at a percentage of your discretionary income. Depending on your income, loan balance, and family size, you could qualify for a payment as low as $0. Private student loans aren’t eligible for IDR plans.

  • Loan forgiveness: If you have federal loans and work for a qualifying nonprofit or government agency, you could be eligible for loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The remaining balance of your loans is wiped away after you make 120 monthly payments. Payments made under an IDR plan count as qualifying payments, so the savings can be significant.

  • Forbearance and deferment: If you can’t afford your payments or are facing financial hardship, you can enter your loans into deferment or forbearance. That means you can postpone making payments without becoming delinquent on your loans. Private lenders don’t typically offer forbearance or deferment, but some do under special circumstances.

As an added benefit, the rates on federal loans are fixed for the length of the loan, so you don’t have to worry about your rate skyrocketing.

There are several different federal loans available.

Federal student loans
Loan type Meant for Interest rate Origination fee Annual loan limit
Direct Subsidized Undergraduate students with a financial need 5.05% 1.066% $3,500 – $5,500, depending on what year of school you’re in and whether you’re a dependent student
Direct Unsubsidized Undergraduate and graduate students 5.05% for undergraduate students; 6.60% for graduate students 1.066% $5,500 – $20,500, depending on what year of school you’re in and whether you’re a dependent student
Direct PLUS Graduate students or parents of undergraduate students 7.60% 4.264% Total cost of attendance
Information accurate as of Aug. 21, 2018
Source:
Federal Student Aid

University of Pennsylvania loans and payment options

Beyond scholarships and grants, the University of Pennsylvania offers several other financing options:

  • Student Aid Loan: For undergraduate students who have extra financial need, the Student Aid Loan helps them cover the remaining cost after financial aid. With a 6.00% interest rate and a nine-month grace period, it’s a much better option than private loans.

  • Tuition Prepayment Plan: If you can afford to pay for all four years of college at once, you could save money with the school’s Tuition Prepayment Plan. When you pay upfront, you lock in the current rates for tuition and fees, avoiding future increases.

Use these options first before pursuing private student loans to reduce your debt burden.

Private student loans

If you still need help covering the cost of your education, private student loans can be a useful tool.

Although they usually have higher interest rates and fewer perks than federal loans, they can help you complete your degree. But it’s wise to take out federal loans first before applying for private loans.

Unlike federal government loans, private loans are offered by banks and financial institutions. Each lender will have its own eligibility requirements, interest rates, and repayment terms.

Before applying for a loan, it’s a good idea to compare offers from several private student loan lenders to ensure you get the best rate and terms.

The bottom line: Paying for University of Pennsylvania

Although the University of Pennsylvania is an expensive school, there are many financing options available that can make it more affordable.

Grants, scholarships, payments plans, and work-study programs can reduce your costs, minimizing how much debt you take on or even eliminating the need for any debt.

If you do need to borrow money to pay for school, make sure you understand the difference between federal and private loans and compare offers to get the best rates.

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2 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

(1)All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

(2)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7% variable Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 96 monthly payments of $179.28 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $17,211.20. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

(3)As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.

Information advertised valid as of 5/22/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
3 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

4 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. At least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) qualifies for a one-time cash reward of 1% of the loan amount of each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
  2. View Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.

5 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.

SunTrust Disclosures

Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.

Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.

©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Interest rates and APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) depend upon (a) the student’s and cosigner’s (if applicable) credit histories, (b) the repayment option and repayment term selected, (c) the requested loan amount and (d) other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate applicable to your loan. Rates and terms effective for applications received on or after 5/1/2019. The current variable APRs for the program range from 4.251% APR to 11.300% APR and the current fixed APRs for the program range from 5.251% APR to 12.00% APR (the low APRs within these ranges assume a 7-year $10,000 loan, with two disbursements and no deferment; the high APRs within these ranges assume a 15-year $10,000 loan with two disbursements). The variable interest rate for each calendar month is calculated by adding the current One-month LIBOR index to your margin. LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. The One-month LIBOR is published in the Money Rates section of The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). The One-month LIBOR index is captured on the 25th day of the immediately preceding calendar month (or if the 25th is not a business day, the next business day thereafter), and is rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of one percent. The current One-month LIBOR index is 2.500% on 5/1/2019. The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the One-month LIBOR index changes. The fixed rate assigned to a loan will never change except as required by law or if you request and qualify for the auto pay discount.
  2. Any applicant who applies for a loan the month of, the month prior to, or the month after the student’s graduation date, as stated on the application or certified by the school, will only be offered the Immediate Repayment option. The student must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for the partial interest, fully deferred and interest only repayment options unless the loan is being used for a past due balance and the student is out of school. With the Full Deferment option, payments may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time at an approved school and during the six month grace period after graduation or dropping below half-time status, but the total initial deferment period, including the grace period, may not exceed 66 months from the first disbursement date. The Partial Interest Repayment option (paying $25 per month during in-school deferment) is only available on loans of $5,000 or more. For payment examples, see footnote 7. With the Immediate Repayment option, the first payment of principal and interest will be due approximately 30-60 calendar days after the final disbursement date and the minimum monthly payment is $50.00. There are no prepayment penalties.
  3. The 15-year term and Partial Interest Repayment option (paying $25 per month during in-school deferment) are only available for loan amounts of $5,000 or more. Making interest only or partial interest payments while in school deferment (including the grace period) will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. Payment examples within this footnote assume a 45-month deferment period, a six-month grace period before entering repayment and the Partial Interest Repayment option. 7-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 7-year repayment term (84 months) and 8.382% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $198.61. 10-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 10-year repayment term (120 months) and an 8.851% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $161.70. 15-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 15-year repayment term (180 months) and a 9.335% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $135.68.
  4. The 2% principal reduction is based on the total dollar amount of all disbursements made, excluding any amounts that are reduced, cancelled, or returned. To receive this principal reduction, it must be requested from the servicer, the student borrower must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and proof of such graduation (e.g. copy of diploma, final transcript or letter on school letterhead) must be provided to the servicer. This reward is available once during the life of the loan, regardless of whether the student receives more than one degree.
  5. Earn an interest rate reduction for making automatic payments of principal and interest from a bank account (“auto pay discount”). Earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from any bank account and an extra 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from a SunTrust Bank checking, savings, or money market account. The auto pay discount will continue until (1) automatic deduction of payments is stopped (including during any deferment or forbearance) or (2) three automatic deductions are returned for insufficient funds during the life of the loan. The extra 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from a SunTrust Bank account will be applied after the first automatic payment is successfully deducted and will be removed for the reasons stated above. In the event the auto pay discount is removed, the loan will accrue interest at the rate stated in your Credit Agreement. The auto pay discount is not available when payments are deferred or when the loan is in forbearance, even if payments are being made.
  6. A cosigner may be released from the loan upon request to the servicer provided that the student borrower is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, has met credit criteria and met either one of the following payment conditions: (a) the first 36 consecutive monthly principal and interest payments have been made on-time (received by the servicer within 10 calendar days after their due date) or (b) the loan has not had any late payments and has been prepaid prior to the end of the first 36 months of scheduled principal and interest payments in an amount equal to the first 36 months of scheduled principal and interest payments (based on the monthly payment amount in effect when you make the most recent payment). As an example, if you have made 30 months of consecutive on-time payments, and then, based on the monthly payment amount in effect on the due date of your 31st consecutive monthly payment, you pay a lump sum equal to 6 months of payments, you will have satisfied the payment condition. Cosigner release may not be available if a loan is in forbearance.
  7. If the student dies after any part of the loan has been disbursed, and the loan has not been charged off due to non-payment or bankruptcy, then the outstanding balance will be forgiven if the servicer is informed of the student’s death and receives acceptable proof of death. If the student becomes totally and permanently disabled after any part of the loan has been disbursed and the loan has not been charged off due to non-payment or bankruptcy, the loan will be forgiven upon the servicer’s receipt and approval of a completed discharge application. If the student borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled prior to the full disbursement of the loan, and the loan is forgiven, all future disbursements will be cancelled. Loan forgiveness for student death or disability is available at any point throughout the life of the loan.

6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see 


7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.

Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.

Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
If you are unable to pay your government loan, the government can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount. In addition, the government has special powers to collect the loan, such as taking your tax refund and applying it to your loan balance.

A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If you refinance your government loan, your new lender will use the proceeds of your new loan to pay off your government loan. Private student loan lenders do not have to honor any of the benefits that apply to government loans. Because your government loan will be gone after refinancing, you will lose any benefits that apply to that loan. If you are an active-duty service member, your new loan will not be eligible for service member benefits. Most importantly, once you refinance your government loan, you will not able to reinstate your government loan if you become dissatisfied with the terms of your private student loan.

If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you are a borrower with a secure job, emergency savings, strong credit and are unlikely to need any of the options available to distressed borrowers of government loans, a refinance of your government loans into a private student loan may be attractive to you. You should consider the costs and benefits of refinancing carefully before you refinance.

If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.

Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.


8 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Student Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of May 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.48%. Variable interest rates range from 4.45%-12.42% (4.45% – 12.32% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 5.25%-12.19% (5.25% – 12.09% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co-signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan. 
  2. Citizens Bank Student Loan Eligibility: Borrowers must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution. Borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or an international borrower/eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For borrowers who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank- participating school.  
  3. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply. Borrowers whose loans were funded prior to reaching the age of majority may not be eligible for co-signer release. Note: co-signer release is not available on the Student Loan for Parents or Education Refinance Loan for Parents.
3.99%
11.32%
2
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

4.50% – 11.35%*,3Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

4.84%
13.49%
4
Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

4.25% – 11.30%5Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SunTrust

4.50% – 9.47%6Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit LendKey

3.74%
9.72%
7
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit CommonBond

4.45%
12.32%
8
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

VISIT CITIZENS

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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