Stop Penn From Increasing Tuition!

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Working families across our nation and the world are experiencing extraordinary financial hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the University of Pennsylvania is to continue to create a diverse and dynamic student body in the years to come, then Penn must make its world class education more accessible. We the students, parents, and community members of the University of Pennsylvania are calling on Penn to:

  • Refund the 3.9% increase in tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year

  • Freeze all further increases in tuition and fees until the 2025-26 academic year

  • Commit all donations made to Penn’s endowment for FY2021 towards increasing the financial aid budget and subsidizing the 5 year tuition freeze

We appreciate and acknowledge that Penn has committed to increasing its financial aid budget for the coming academic year. However, families whose household incomes are between $65,500 and $140,000 are still expected to cover related expenses beyond baseline tuition costs. And for families making above $140,000 who still qualify for financial aid, the difference between the average $53,943 financial aid package and the total $73,960 cost of a Penn education may prove to be unaffordable. Furthermore, many students who typically work over the summer have been unable to find jobs or internships due to COVID-19.

Our country has experienced soaring unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression. Beyond widespread job loss, working families have also struggled with food insecurity, forgoing medical care or refilling prescriptions, and making rent, mortgage, and other payments. Black, Latinx, and Native American and Alaskan Native communities have been hit especially hard, as they disproportionately make up the workforce in “essential industries,” such as retail, services, and manufacturing. Communities of color have been most affected by widespread job and income loss. They are also disparately vulnerable to being hospitalized and dying from COVID-19, exacerbating financial hardships.  

Penn’s FGLI, middle-class, and minority students are what make this University a unique, vibrant, and diverse place. In the midst of an economic crisis, we cannot afford to lose these invaluable students because their families are burdened by ever-increasing costs of attending Penn. We want to continue making the University of Pennsylvania a more diverse and financially inclusive institution. Making a Penn education more affordable and accessible is a first step.