While 2014-2015 tuition and fees will pass the $60,000 mark, Penn President Amy Gutmann announced a new initiative to raise an additional $240 million for undergraduate financial aid.
She introduced the President's Men and Women of Pennsylvania's Challenge Fund at Friday's Board of Trustees winter meeting. The Challenge Fund is designed to reach its goal by offering $1 million in matching funds to the first five donors of $1 million each.
“This new Penn Compact 2020 Presidential Initiative will allow us to expand the impact of our all-grant, no-loan program, which has proven to be hugely successful in opening Penn’s doors to thousands of talented, hardworking students who could otherwise not afford a Penn education," Gutmann said in a press release announcing the initiative.
These first five donors will become Men and Women of Pennsylvania and will join a group of 68 other members who make exceptionally generous investments in student financial aid efforts.
The matching fund pool created by the Challenge Fund will provide matching funds to additional donors. The initiative will allow Penn to uphold its status as the largest university in the United States with an all-grant, no-loan financial aid policy.
Penn's policy, which was launched during the Making History campaign, has reduced the average cost of a Penn education by 10 percent for students with demonstrated financial need. The estimated average grant for students receiving aid in the upcoming academic year is $41,700.
“The Making History Campaign demonstrated the remarkable generosity and passion of Penn’s alumni and friends,” Gutmann said. “With their continued support and engagement, we will meet this new goal and reinforce our unwavering commitment to inclusion, which is a primary pillar of Penn Compact 2020.”
Donations made to the Men and Women Pennsylvania Challenge Fund will be limited to undergraduate financial aid in order to provide match dollars for new undergraduate financial aid commitments.
The Challenge will begin immediately and conclude at the end of the 2014 calendar year. Once the fundraising goal is achieved, the endowment support for undergraduate financial aid will increase by 30 percent. At the Challenge's conclusion, $600 million will have been raised over the past decade in philanthropic support for undergraduate education.