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Penn is expected to lose $77 million by June due primarily to reduced tuition and a decline in enrollment.

Credit: Amy Guo

COVID-19 has resulted in an expected $77 million loss for Penn by June, excluding the University's Health System. 

The financial toll for Pennsylvania’s largest universities totals nearly $800 million, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The losses are primarily due to reduced tuition and a decline in enrollment.

In the fall semester, the number of first-year undergraduate students at Penn fell three percent to about 2,300, the Inquirer reported. Overall, Penn’s undergraduate enrollment was down five percent, to about 10,400.

In August, Penn froze fall 2020 tuition at the previous year’s cost of $25,578. The University also lowered the fall general fee by 10%.

Other large Pennsylvania universities face similar challenges. Temple University is reported to sustain $120 million in lost revenues and increased costs, the Inquirer reported. The University of Pittsburgh does not fare much better, with an expected shrinkage of $115 million this year. At Penn State the financial damage has totaled to over $400 million. 

Penn announced that it will raise tuition by 2.8% for the coming school year, the lowest percent increase in the past 50 years. 

Penn continues to incur losses, but its $4.5 billion in revenue the past year places it in a more secure position to weather the financial shock compared to other local schools. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn’s endowment grew to $14.9 billion.

“Pressure remains, but we are well positioned,” Penn’s Vice President of Finance MaryFrances McCourt told the University board’s budget and finance committee in a meeting last Thursday, according to the Inquirer.

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