Special Policies

Eight Semester Undergraduate Institutional Financial Aid Guidelines


A version of the below messaging was shared with undergraduate deans in September 2017

Penn is committed to increasing access for undergraduates by meeting 100% of their demonstrated financial need with grant-based aid for up to eight semesters.

We realize that some students may take longer than eight semesters to complete their undergraduate degree program. The circumstances that lead students to require additional semesters of aid are complex. SFS works with the undergraduate deans to identify situations in which an additional semester of grant funding is appropriate. The below guidelines will help clarify situations in which students may be eligible for grant-based financial aid beyond eight semesters.

  • Requests related to Academic Progress, Leaves of Absence, Withdrawals, and Health:

    • Grant-based financial aid will be awarded for additional semesters, with a manageable portion of student loans, upon recommendation from the student’s undergraduate dean.
  • Requests from students enrolled in Coordinated Dual Degree Programs

    • Students are eligible for an additional semester of grant-based aid (two semesters are available for programs that require an additional year) to allow them to complete their degree or degrees, upon confirmation from the student’s undergraduate dean.
  • Requests to complete additional Degrees, Majors, and Minors for which students apply after they matriculate:

    • Continuing students who added degrees, majors, or minors prior to Fall 2017 are eligible for an additional semester of grant-based aid to allow them to complete their degree or degrees, upon recommendation from the student’s undergraduate dean.

    • Additional semesters of grant-based aid are not guaranteed for students who request additional degrees, majors, minors and apply after Fall 2017. These students will receive financial aid packages that include some student loans.
  • Requests related to submatriculation programs:

    • Students applying to submatriculation programs after fall 2017 will be limited to eight semesters of grant-based financial aid. Aid to complete their graduate work will be in the form of student loans, as is consistent with the aid policies of Penn master’s programs.

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