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Tuition does not cover much of the University's costs.

With tuition through the roof, it’s logical to wonder just how expensive it is for the University to educate its students.

So it might come as a surprise that data from the Penn’s annual financial report shows that tuition actually doesn't even cover the University’s costs. Net Tuition and Fees, which is the total amount of money students and parents actually paid to Penn in tuition dollars — that is, without counting financial aid — came to a whopping $845,313,000 for the 2015 fiscal year. Gross tuition, which would include financial aid, winds up exceeding one billion at $1,152,113,000. This is how much money Penn would expect if everyone paid full tuition.

Cost of education is divided into three categories in the financial report — Instruction, which costs the University $1,181,690,000, Student services, which cost $78,440,000, and Academic support, which costs $78,991,000. Gross tuition can be divided by these three costs, plus financial aid — since Penn has to pay for that too — to determine that tuition only actually covers 70% of the cost of going to Penn.

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