Financial Aid Quick Guide

Take a breath. If you need financial aid, the loan application process runs from May to the beginning of June. Follow these steps to learn and prepare.

Prepare and Review

Save money for your Wharton experience

School is expensive and can be tough to take on, especially if you are unprepared. Start building your savings now to help with the cost of the MBA program and experience.

Review the Wharton MBA student budget

Review the 2018-2019 Estimated Wharton MBA Student Budget and plan your finances accordingly.

Below are several tips from the Wharton MBA Financial Aid Team:

  • Plan a conservative but realistic budget and stick to it.
  • Build in flexibility to ensure you can handle unexpected expenses or emergencies.
  • Differentiate between needs and wants in your budget. Uber is easier but Septa is cheaper!
  • Get a roommate. Rent can be very costly in Philadelphia and splitting the rent and utility bills is a great way to stay within the per month room budget.

Review the different funding opportunities at Wharton

You may have not been awarded a Wharton Fellowship but there are numerous ways to fund your academic pursuits. Check out Funding Opportunities for additional information.

Review the Financial Aid FAQs

Review the list of Frequently Asked Financial Aid Questions.  If you still have financial aid related questions, contact us at 215-898-8728 or by email at

Apply and Register

Become familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The FAFSA application is available to U.S. Citizens and Permanent Resident Students and helps determine whether students are eligible for federal loans or work-study programs. The FAFSA application is also required if planning to borrow federal or private student loans.

The Federal Direct Loan is the only student loan created by the school and instructions to accept or decline this loan will be emailed to you at the end of May.


Choose a student loan program

All student loans require some form of credit evaluation of you, and your co-signer (if applicable). You must review your credit report and clear up any discrepancies before applying for a loan. Credit Karma and Nerd Wallet are great starting points.

Review the tips below before apply for a student loan:

  • Take Your Time – The deadline to apply for student loans (if required to pay your student bill) is June 30, 2018, so you have time to research the best loan option for you.
  • Interest Rates – Interest is money paid to the lender in exchange for borrowing money. Interest is calculated as a percentage of the unpaid principal amount borrowed. The interest rate varies depending on the loan type and lender, and interest starts accruing on the first day of the disbursed loan amount.
  • Loan Selection – Consider federal loans as well as private student loans. Private student loans may offer interest rates that are more favorable but federal loans offer flexible repayment options. It is important to select the right loan product for your situation.
  • Grace Period – All student loans include a grace period but you can make payments in school to help offset the accrued interest.

Set up Penn.Pay and understand your bill

Once you’ve enrolled in the Wharton class of 2020, register for Penn.Pay!

Penn.Pay offers easy online enrollment, real time detail charges and payments, and optional interest-free payment plans using a single set of account sign-on credentials for students and parents.

Sign up for direct deposit

You may be entitled to a credit balance refund when payments to your student account, including financial aid awards and loan disbursements, exceed your Penn tuition, fees, and other charges. Student Registration & Financial Services (SRFS) will produce a student refund in the amount of your credit balance and you will receive an email notification when your student refund is produced.

Direct Deposit 

If you have authorized direct deposit, your refund is automatically deposited into your designated U.S. bank account. If you are not enrolled, sign up now using your US bank account, or select a local bank.

Get Help

Check the status of your student loans on the Penn loan system

The SRFS Loan Office will start processing loan applications for the upcoming year on May 1, 2018. You will receive a confirmation email for your loan request(s) within 5 to 7 days after the request is sent to the school. You may check the status of your student loans on the Penn Loan System (after May 1, 2018) and also view loan correspondence, reduce or cancel loans.

Login to Penn Loan System 
Check the status of loans, view correspondence, submit online requests to reduce or cancel loans.

Schedule an appointment with a member of the Financial Aid team

The Wharton MBA Financial Aid Team is available to assist you Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM and can be reached at 215-898-8728 or by email at You can also connect with us on Facebook every Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM in the MBA Class of 2020 Facebook Group.

How Angela Paid for Her MBA

 “To stretch my budget to as many trips as possible during the MBA, I opted to live slightly further from Rittenhouse Square and pay cheaper rent.”