Financial Aid Information for Accepted Students

Click the headlines to expand each topic.

Financial Aid Checklist

  1. Click the link in your acceptance letter to fill out your enrollment form and pay your deposit.
  2. If you were offered a GSE Scholarship or Graduate Assistantship in your acceptance letter, sign and return award agreement(s) to finaid@gse.upenn.edu.
  3. Fill out the FAFSA ASAP.
  4. Check your email for your code to set up your PennKey and password.
  5. Log in to the Penn Loan System to see or create a Direct Loan Application. 
  6. Complete MPN and Entrance Loan Counseling for Direct Loan on http://www.studentloans.gov
  7. Apply for GradPLUS loan to cover remaining balance via www.studentloans.gov
  8. Sign up for Direct Deposit: on the Penn InTouch website

Download Financial Aid Guide

Billing

SFS will produce a bill per the University billing schedule on the next bill date after which you were registered; e.g., someone registered on 6/3 would be billed on 7/6.  You can view your bill, and initiate payment on Penn.Pay. Penn bills you once per semester for tuition and fees. Subsequent monthly bills capture any charges (such as health insurance) that were not posted on the original statement. 

Loan Disbursements

Loans are generally disbursed on the initial bill, with the following exceptions:

  • You applied for your loans late. It takes between 10 and 15 business days from the time you apply for a loan to the time actual monies are disbursed to your student account. 
  • You were registered late. Because you must have tuition charges on your bill before a loan can be disbursed, if you registered late you may not have charges at the time of the initial loan disbursement. After you are billed for your tuition, your loans will be disbursed.

If you have questions about your registration, please contact your individual program directly.

Refunds

Refunds are issued when your payments and financial aid exceed the charges on your account. Refunds are not issued on deferred or temporary credits. SFS issues refunds twice weekly. Be sure you have enrolled in Direct Deposit so that SFS can issue the refund to your personal checking or savings account. Contact SFS at 215-898-1988 to inquire about your refund.

Note: Most students will not receive a refund that exceeds $14,200 in total for a single semester except in cases of an approved budget increase or a tuition reduction. If you received a refund exceeding this amount, contact SFS to verify you were not over-refunded. 

Advances

If you need funds prior to the established disbursement date for your loans or other aid, you can apply for an advance through Student Financial Services (SFS). To get an advance, you must have an approved loan on file or other pending aid (such as a scholarship) in an amount sufficient to cover your charges and produce a refund. Advances are usually limited to $1,500. Contact SFS directly to request an advance.

Late Fees & Timing of Aid

Contact Student Financial Services to dispute late fees. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis. Late fees are automatically assessed if there is a remaining balance after the bill is due. Late fees accrue at 1.5% monthly on the unpaid balance. Only SFS has the authority to waive or reduce late fees.

Grants & Assistantships

If you are a Masters student who was awarded a GSE merit scholarship, the scholarship will be credited on your bill half in the fall and half in the spring. If you do not see it credited in these semesters, please submit a signed copy of your award agreement to this email address, or to our office at 3700 Walnut and we will credit your account upon receipt. Award agreements can be found in your admissions portal and in some cases were emailed directly.

Outside Scholarships

Outside scholarships are financial aid funds that do not originate from Penn. Outside scholarships are collected and processed by the Outside Scholarship Office. Scholarships are divided equally over each semester. For example, a student awarded a $5,000 scholarship would receive a $2,500 credit in the fall and a $2,500 credit in the spring. If you have questions about the disposition of your outside scholarship, please contact SFS.

Please click here for a list of outside scholarship resources.

Third-Party Sponsors (Employers/Governments)

Third-Party payments are payments made on your behalf by an outside organization, typically an employer or sponsoring government. By establishing third-party payments, your sponsor authorizes Penn to bill them directly and SFS will create custom billing statements per your organization’s requirements. For instructions on establishing third-party payments, go here.

Federal Work-Study

Work-study is a federally funded program supporting student employment. You can search for work-study jobs on the Student Employment Office website. Work study funds are earned as weekly paychecks, and are not automatically applied to your bill. Your financial aid notice will not indicate work-study eligibility. Instead, once you are an enrolled student and are offered a work-study job, let us know and we will confirm that work-study funds are still available. The standard work-study award is $2,500 for the academic year (fall and spring). If you are close to depleting your award amount you will be notified, and you can request an increase if you still have work to do in that term. 

Loans

Loans are certified and processed by Student Financial Services. If you completed a FAFSA, and are otherwise eligible, the loan office will automatically process a Direct Loan on your behalf. Check the Penn Loan System to ensure your loans are being processed for the correct semesters and at the correct amounts. You can always decline or reduce the loan by emailing the loan office at stuloans@sfs.upenn.edu. Contact SFS for questions about your loans.