Penn has a long and proud tradition of intellectual rigor and pursuit of innovative knowledge, begun by Benjamin Franklin in 1740. That tradition lives today through the creativity, entrepreneurship, and engagement of our faculty, students, and staff.
Scholarship and Learning: Academic life at Penn is unparalleled, with an undergraduate student body of 10,000 from every U.S. state and around the world. The entering class of 2015 is the most talented and diverse in Penn's history. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the country, Penn welcomes an additional 10,000 students to our top-ranked graduate and professional schools.
Penn's eminent, award-winning educators and scholars encourage students to follow their passions, pursue inquiry and discovery, and address the most challenging problems through an interdisciplinary approach.
Beautiful Urban Campus: Expansive college greens and recreational spaces. Landmark architecture. Twelve schools connected on a single campus. Penn's geographical unity is unique among Ivy League schools, fostering our integrated approach to education, scholarship, and research.
Research Discovery: Penn is one of the world's most powerful research and teaching institutions, with a research budget last year topping $800 million and more than 4,000 active faculty members. The scale and interdisciplinary character of research and teaching sets Penn apart, and our highly ranked Perelman School of Medicine is one of the top recipients of NIH funding in the country.
Access and Affordability: Financial need is not a barrier to a quality Penn education. Penn admits undergraduate students without regard to need, and offers "no-loan" financial aid—all financially eligible undergraduates have all loans replaced with grants.
Penn has increased its undergraduate financial aid budget by more than 100 percent over the last seven years, even during one of the country's most difficult financial periods. Last year, the average annual undergraduate grant package totaled more than $38,000, with almost 45 percent of undergraduate students receiving financial aid from the University.
Integrated Knowledge: Solving today's complex problems requires knowledge that crosses traditional boundaries. True to our roots, Penn encourages both intellectual and practical pursuits, and has attracted some of the most eminent, interdisciplinary scholars and teachers working today, through our Penn Integrates Knowledge program.
Dynamic and Diverse Community: Penn is committed to creating a community of scholars, students and staff that reflects the diversity of the world we live in. This range of perspectives and dialogue contributes to educational excellence and an inclusive, dynamic campus environment.
Community Engagement: At Penn, civic engagement is an integral part of campus life. Situated near the heart of Philadelphia, one of our country's most historic and vibrant cities, Penn was named a "number one good neighbor" among universities in 2009. We are a national leader in academically based community service through our Netter Center for Community Partnerships, supporting community engagement for students and faculty alike.
Our Commitment to Diversity
A great university – true to its name – must encompass a universe of backgrounds and experiences, ideas and ideologies, theories and perspectives. At Penn, we embody this diversity in our strategic vision, the Penn Compact, which promises to increase access for talented and hardworking students of all backgrounds, to integrate knowledge across far-reaching areas of inquiry, and to engage with our multiplicity of local and global communities. Across 12 Schools, more than 25,000 students, and more than 4,000 faculty members, we become one university: a wide-ranging, ever-changing community that draws its strength from a multitude of races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, historical traditions, ages, religions, disabilities, veteran status, interests, perspectives, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
In the vision of our founder Benjamin Franklin, the diversity of our university must reflect the diversity of the world around it – and the diversity of the world that we want our students to lead. Diversity thereby informs our mission to prepare the students who will be the guardians and innovators of the future. It shapes our shared responsibility, as an intellectual community, to foster innovative research, advance a variety of new approaches, and consider issues from a wide range of viewpoints. At the same time, diversity remains an aspiration and a goal that demands continual improvement. We value diversity above all as a means toward the essential ends of higher education: equalizing opportunity, educating leaders for all sectors of society, and enriching the experience of all members of our community insofar as we learn more from those who are different from us than from those who are just like ourselves.