PennCOMPACT2020

INCLUSION

Access to high-quality higher education is the
single greatest gateway to economic opportunity

Amy Gutmann

Inclusion

The Penn Compact 2020 affirms inclusion 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 the University community.

The cornerstone of Penn’s initiative to increase access for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds is its All-Grant Financial Aid Policy. Penn has awarded nearly $1 billion in grants since implementing the policy in 2008, and the average net cost for aided students to attend Penn today is almost $2,700 less than it was in 2005 (in constant 2005 dollars). In 2016-17, this need-based grant program made it possible for nearly half of Penn’s undergraduate students to attend the University.

The critical importance of Penn’s All-Grant Policy is underscored by the Penn Impact 2020 initiative to raise $1 billion for student financial aid by 2020. This unprecedented goal comprises $600 million for undergraduate assistance and $400 million for graduate and professional student assistance, building on the respective $360 million and $110 million raised in the groundbreaking Making History Campaign, which ended in 2012.

At Penn, one in eight freshmen is a first-generation college student; in 2006, that number was one in 20. As a first-generation college graduate myself, my greatest passion is creating opportunities for outstanding students to aim higher than they ever dreamed.

Penn President Amy Gutmann

Penn’s ongoing commitment to expand access and increase diversity extends to international students, through programs such as Penn World Scholars, as well as millions of learners who will never step foot on Penn’s campus, through the Penn Online Learning Initiative.

Dr. Gutmann's push to increase student diversity under the Penn Compact 2022 is equaled by a concomitant drive to increase faculty diversity. Penn’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence outlines an extensive plan to recruit, retain, and mentor ever more distinguished and diverse faculty, and is backed by $100 million in institutional investments.

The Action Plan includes the expansion of initiatives to recruit exceptional professors of color. These include school-based Diversity Action Plans and the University-wide Presidential Professorship, as well as programs that increase diversity in the faculty pipeline, ultimately building a legacy that enriches not only the Penn community but also the larger academic community and the wider world.

 

Signature Initiatives

Penn’s All-Grant Policy provides students with a financial aid award that includes grants and a work-study job, and does not include loans. All dependent undergraduate students eligible for financial aid at Penn receive these all-grant aid packages, regardless of family income level. This policy represents Penn’s strong commitment to increase access for qualified students from all economic backgrounds.

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The Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence outlines initiatives that help Penn recruit and retain an ever more distinguished and diverse faculty whose composition reflects the pool of exceptional, qualified applicants nationally in all fields. The Plan’s goal is to create an ever more inclusive community where all feel welcomed, supported, and have equal access to networks for mentoring and research.

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Penn is one of the four founding university partners of the Coursera online learning platform and partnered with the edX platform to further increase global access to Penn knowledge and resources. The Penn Online Learning Initiative has become a campus-wide effort dedicated to sharing a piece of the Penn experience with curious minds in 195 countries around the world.

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The Penn World Scholars Program brings outstanding international undergraduates to Penn from a wide range of countries and backgrounds. Selected for their potential to pursue lives of impactful leadership and service, as well as their academic achievement and financial need, they receive financial support throughout their time at Penn that is consistent with the most generous awards available to undergraduates.

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