Financial Aid FAQs

Start here for your financial aid questions.

Wharton Fellowship Questions

How can I be considered for a Wharton Fellowship?

All admitted applicants are considered for Wharton Merit-Based Fellowship support at the time of admission. There is no separate application and criteria for selection of awards may include academic achievement, compelling leadership, exceptional professional development, and unique personal qualities.

How will I be notified if I am selected for a Wharton Fellowship?

You will be notified in your admission and financial aid letters if you have been chosen to receive a Wharton Fellowship.

What percentage of students receive Wharton Fellowships?

Wharton Fellowships are awarded to approximately one-third of the incoming class.

How are Wharton Fellowships applied to my student account?

Wharton Fellowships are applied directly to the University Bursar Account in two equal installments for the academic year.

Does Wharton grant reconsideration of fellowship support?

The Wharton Fellowship does not offer reconsideration of fellowship support.  Fellowship awards are non-negotiable.

Can I be considered for fellowship support in the second year of the program?

There are many related work options and Fellow Programs available to MBA students in the second year of the program. For additional information, please visit Funding Opportunities.

Are Wharton Fellowships taxable?

Generally speaking, a scholarship or fellowship that is used for mandatory tuition and fees is not taxable.  If you are awarded a scholarship, fellowship, or sponsorship that exceeds tuition and fees, then the excess amount may be taxable.

When should I start researching external scholarships?

We encourage all students to explore scholarship opportunities made available by clubs, organizations, and/or corporations with whom they may be affiliated. For additional information, please visit External Funding Resources.

Student Billing Questions

What is Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS)?

Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS) is the University’s one-stop shop for financial services, enrollment, records and registration, and student employment. SRFS manages all University billing and payments, loan processing, and registration.

What is the estimated cost of the program?

Details can be found in the Budget and Tuition page of the  Wharton MBA site. The tuition and living expenses for the second year of the program are similar to the first year of the program.

When will I receive the student bill?

You will receive the Fall semester billing notification in the beginning of July when student bills are available to view on Penn.Pay. The notification will be sent to your University email address and to other payers and/or email address you designated on Penn.Pay.

How do I learn about my financing options?

Information on financing options are available through the Financial Aid section of this site and through Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS).

How do I pay my student bill?

Payments can be made online using Penn.Pay, mail, wire transfer, and in person.

Can I receive an extension on the student bill?

Payment of your bill is expected in full by the bill’s due date. Penn will consider deferring only that portion of your bill that will be paid by pending financial assistance.

What is a student refund?

If you have a credit balance, excluding memos, you may be eligible for a student refund. Refunds are produced bi-weekly, and SRFS will email you when your refund is ready. If you have authorized direct deposit, your refund is deposited in the bank account you designated. Click here for additional refund information.

When will I receive my refund?

Student refunds for the fall term will be available after Pre-Term begins if a credit balance is available on your student account. If applying for student loans later in the academic year, then a student refund will typically be available between 4 to 6 weeks after a loan application is completed with the lender and sent to the school.

What is Direct Deposit?

The University encourages all students to enroll in Direct Deposit. Whether you are entitled to a refund due to overpayment of your student account, or are receiving wages under a University work arrangement, Penn can securely deposit funds to your U.S. bank account.

What is the financial aid process for company sponsorships?

Third Party Payment is when a domestic or foreign company, corporation, state or government agency has been granted, by SRFS, special billing arrangements to cover tuition and other fees for students that they sponsor. SRFS must have an official letter of authorization on file from your sponsor. For additional information, please visit Third Party Payments.

Your company can also choose to make payment directly as a Payee on Penn.Pay if they choose not to be set up as a Third Party Sponsor.

What is a 1098T form?

The University is required by the IRS to provide every eligible student with a 1098-T Tuition Statement each January. This form provides information that will help you, or the person who claims you as a dependent, determine eligibility for educational tax benefits on your annual tax return.

Does every Penn student receive a 1098-T?

Penn does not provide a 1098-T to non-US citizens, or any student whose qualified charges are fully funded by grant, scholarship or tuition waivers, or any student who was enrolled in non-credit courses during the academic year.

How and when can I access my 1098-T form?

Access your 1098-T online through Penn’s partner, ACS Tax Credit Reporting Service (TCRS). First, you will need to provide consent to TCRS to receive an email notification when your 1098-T form becomes available. To do so, log on to the TCRS website in late January and select Access My Record.

When will Health Insurance be added on to my account balance?

Students enrolling in the university’s health insurance will see the health insurance charge for the fall semester added in mid-September. It is important to note that if any financial aid refund is released prior to the assessment of the insurance charge, then it is the student’s responsibility to use the refund to make a payment for the health insurance charge. Failure to pay the health insurance charge may result in late fees or a financial hold on your account balance.

Student Loan Questions

When should I apply for student loans?

For the Full-time MBA Program, the first step in applying for students loans is to review the student loan instructions on this site and research all available private and federal loan options. The earliest you should apply for a student loan is April 1st, 2024 for the 2024-2025 academic year. If you plan to use your loan for your fall and spring account balance, apply by June 30th, 2024. 

Can I submit a loan application now for both years of the program?

When applying for student loans, you must apply for loans based on the first year student budget. The student budget for the second year of the MBA program will be available at the end of the first year of the program.

Do I need to complete a 2024-2025 FAFSA Application? Will I also complete a FAFSA for the second year of the program?

The 2024-2025 FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) will be available on December 31, 2023 and is required if borrowing federal student loans in the first year at Wharton. The FAFSA form allows the University Loan Office to automatically create the $20,500 Federal Direct Loan for borrowers. Federal borrowers are required to complete the Loan Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) after the FAFSA application has been completed. Borrowers will be sent additional information to accept or decline the loan. 

Students who opt to use a private lender in lieu of federal loans are not required to complete the FAFSA application. 

What is the federal school code for the FAFSA application?

The University of Pennsylvania’s federal school code is 003378.

Do I have to borrow the $20,500 Federal Direct Loan since I have to complete a FAFSA application?

The $20,500 will be automatically created and you will have the option to accept or decline the loan.

What is an MPN and when do I complete one?

A Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your loan(s) and any accrued interest to your lender or servicer. You must sign your MPN before you receive your loan funds. The University Loan Office will contact you with instructions to complete the Federal Direct Loan MPN at the end of May.

What is the Federal Loan Entrance Counseling Session?

The Entrance Counseling Session is a federal borrowing overview to help you understand your education rights and responsibilities as a borrower. The completion of the session is required prior to receiving a federal loan disbursement. The University Loan Office will contact you with instruction to complete the Entrance Counseling Session at the end of May.

What is the difference between federal and private student loans?

Federal student loans offer fixed interest rates, income-driven repayment plans, and federal loan consolidation. Private student loans offer favorable interest rates, flexible repayment plans, and typically little to no origination fees.

Why do students apply for federal loans instead of private loans?

Students may favor federal loans over private loans because of the fixed interest rates, easier loan process, and flexible repayment plans.

Can you recommend a private lender?

Because interest rates and fees on most private loans are based on your credit score, we cannot provide you with useful information about comparative pricing of private loans for you, nor about the likelihood of your being approved for a loan. Students can explore ELMSelect for a comparison of loan products. Select ‘Wharton MBA, University of Pennsylvania’ then compare loan providers.  Lendedu is a great website to start researching private student loans and interest rates.

Why is a good credit score important?

Your credit score is a measure of the likelihood that you will pay your debt as agreed. Most lenders rely on your credit score to determine eligibility for private student loans.

When applying for student loans, do I need a co-signer?

A credit worthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer is not required to apply for a student loan but may help lower your interest rate for private loans.

Can I submit my loan application for any amount; if not what is the maximum loan amount I can request?

You are eligible to borrow student loans up to the student budget for both years of the program but must apply for student loans one academic year at a time. You may request an increase in the student budget if you are married and/or have dependents. You may also request an increase in the student budget if you have extenuating circumstances once the Fall semester has started. Details on the extenuating circumstances and the budget increase process are available at Budget and Tuition.

What happens after I apply for a loan?

The earliest you can apply for student loans for the upcoming fall/spring academic year is in April. Your lender will approve the loan request and send the electronic application to the school for certification. The University Loan Office will process the loan request within 3 to 5 business days and send you a confirmation email.

How long does the loan process take?

A loan application can take between 4 to 6 weeks to process and the loan funds will be sent directly to the school.

When will I receive the loan funds and by what method?

Student loan disbursements for the fall term will be sent to the school in time for the fall billing due date and a student refund for the fall term will be available by the first day of Pre-term.  Student loan disbursements for the spring term will be sent to the school in the beginning of January and a student refund for the spring term will be available by the first day of the spring term.

Why are my student loans scheduled in two equal disbursements?

The University Loan Office will automatically schedule two equal loan disbursements for the fall and spring terms.

If I decide not to take the federal or private loan after submitting the application, what should I do?

If you would like to cancel or reduce the approved loan amount for your federal or private student loans, please contact the Student Loans team at  Include your Penn ID with any correspondence to the Student Loans team.

Can the school increase my loan amount?

The University Loan office cannot increase a private student loan amount since the loan request is based on your credit. If you would like to increase a private loan amount, you will need to apply for a new loan with your lender. To increase a previously declined federal unsubsidized loan or federal graduate plus loan, email the Student Loans team ( Include your Penn ID on any correspondence. Note – your credit check must be unexpired to increase the federal graduate plus loan, or another credit check may be necessary. Student Loan increases can only be approved if the total student loan funding is within a student’s Cost of Attendance budget when taking all other forms of aid into account. The Cost of Attendance Budget can be increased for the following reasons:

  • Global Immersion Programs (GIP)
  • Global Modular Courses (GMC) – excludes summer programming*
  • Fall Semester in San Francisco
  • Personal Medical Expenses above Insurance
  • Child care expenses
  • Computer purchase up to $2,000 (one time only)
  • Students with extenuating circumstances and/or computer purchase can request a budget reevaluation to borrow funds above the set student budget once the Fall semester has started. Budget increases can only be approved for purposes and amounts that fall within guidelines set by the University and federal law.

*  Loans and WSEF funding cannot be used to fund summer (May/June) GMC programming as programming is outside the scope of eligible academic calendar dates. Students interested in summer GMC programming must self-fund.

How many loan applications can I submit during the year?

You may submit as many loan applications as you choose but each loan request will affect your FICO score and credit history. If you know that you require student loans to cover the fall and spring terms, then you should submit one loan application for the first year of the program. You may initially apply for a loan below the student budget and apply for more funding later in the year.

If I only want student loans for the spring term, do I need to submit a loan application now?

Students can submit loan applications at any time in the first or second year at Wharton, however, you will want to keep the following information in mind. Loans typically take 4 to 6 weeks to process. If you plan to use the loan to cover your fall and spring account balance, or for living expenses for fall, we recommend you apply for any loan funding prior to June 30th prior to the fall semester start.